The Boston Marathon is more than just a race - it's an event that brings together athletes, spectators, and charities to raise money for worthy causes. With over 30,000 runners from around the world participating each year, the marathon is a massive undertaking that requires the support of many organizations, including charities that help fund research, provide services to those in need, and much more. Here are five news stories that showcase the impact of charity work on the Boston Marathon.
The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) is the organization that puts together the Boston Marathon each year. In 2017, they selected Tenacity, a non-profit organization that helps under-resourced urban youth through tennis and fitness programs, as an official charity of the marathon. This meant that Tenacity was able to secure a limited number of race bibs, which could be allocated to runners who committed to raising a certain amount of money for the organization. Through their participation in the marathon, these runners were able to help support Tenacity's programs and the youth they serve.
The COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into the plans for the 2020 Boston Marathon, which was ultimately postponed and then held virtually. For charity runners who had been training and raising money for months leading up to the race, the cancellation was a major disappointment. Some runners started a petition calling on the Boston Athletic Association to offer fair treatment for charity runners in the 2021 race, including the opportunity to roll over their bibs and fundraising totals from 2020. While the B.A.A. has not yet announced their plans for the 2021 race, this petition is a testament to the dedication of charity runners and their commitment to raising money for worthy causes, even in challenging times.
Charities that participate in the Boston Marathon are often able to raise significant amounts of money through their runners' fundraising efforts. This article from NECN highlights some of the organizations that have benefited from the marathon, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which has raised over $300 million through their Team in Training program, and the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, which has raised over $200,000 through their marathon team. These fundraising efforts are an important part of the marathon's impact on the communities it serves.
When the 2020 Boston Marathon was ultimately canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many charities that depend on the marathon for fundraising were left in a difficult position. This article from WBUR highlights some of the challenges that charities faced, including the loss of donations from runners who were unable to participate in the virtual race and the increased competition for fundraising dollars in a year when many organizations are struggling. However, the article also notes that some charities were able to pivot their fundraising efforts to virtual events and other initiatives to make up some of the lost revenue.
Since its inception, the Boston Marathon has raised over $400 million for charity organizations. This milestone was recently reached thanks to the efforts of runners, donors, and charities that have collaborated to make the race a force for good. This article from PR Newswire highlights some of the organizations that have benefited from the marathon's fundraising efforts, including the Martin Richard Foundation, which works to promote peace and kindness in honor of the youngest victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation, which funds research and treatment programs for victims of traumatic injuries. The Boston Marathon's impact on charity fundraising is truly remarkable.
As these five stories illustrate, the Boston Marathon is not just a race - it's a community effort that relies on the support of many organizations, including charities that work to improve the lives of others. Whether through fundraising, running, or volunteering, participants in the marathon are able to make a tangible difference in their communities and beyond. The spirit of the Boston Marathon is not easily dampened, even in the face of unexpected challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. This event serves as a testament to the resilience and generosity of those who work together to make the world a better place.
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