The Martin Richard Foundation is organizing a community clean-up, a memorial ceremony in Peabody Square and a three-mile run to commemorate the third anniversary of the attack on the Boston Marathon that killed 8 year-old Martin in 2013. The commemorative events will be held on Friday, April 15 — or “One Boston Day” in the city of Boston. Mayor Martin Walsh has now permanently designated April 15th as an annual day of service to “celebrate the resiliency, generosity and strength demonstrated by the people of Boston.”
After morning ceremonies, including a wreath laying at the Boylston Street finish line, the Martin Richard Foundation will convene a group clean-up in Dorchester's Peabody Square and along Dorchester Avenue. The team will then gather to observe a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m. at the Peabody Square clock. Following that service, the group will gather on Ashmont MBTA Plaza for hot dogs and soft drinks. Volunteers are encouraged to register for the clean-up online.
Later that afternoon, at 5 p.m., friends of the foundation will participate in #RunForMartin, a three-mile group trek beginning and ending in Adams Village. The foundation invites the public to “join us as we remember Martin’s love of community and running.” Escorted by Boston Police from Area C-11, the run will start promptly, following a course along Adams Street, King Street, Neponset Avenue, and Minot Street.
The city has scheduled other One Boston Day events, including a donation drive to assist the people of Flint, Michigan. Donations most needed – pre-mixed baby formula, baby wipes and hand sanitizer – will be accepted at the third floor of City Hall, at 1010 Mass Ave. by the Inspectional Services Department on the 5th floor, at all Boston Children, Youth and Families (BCYF) Community Centers, and at all fire and police stations as well as all Boston Public Library sites.
The city is also assisting in a donation drive for the St. Francis House in partnership with John Hancock Financial and collecting used adult sneakers to benefit homeless men and women across Boston. Large collection boxes will be placed on the third floor of City Hall, and on One Boston Day there will be a collection box at the Marathon Jumbotron at the corner of Exeter and Boylston from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The general public is encouraged to donate.
Next Monday, the day of the Marathon, the Martin Richard Foundation’s official running squad – Team MR8 – will compete in the road race. This year’s team, which includes 75 runners at last count, is raising funds to continue the work of the Martin Richard Charitable Foundation – which honors Martin’s message of “No more hurting people. Peace” – by investing in education, athletics, and community. The foundation has become an important funder for local sports leagues and other groups, including the All Dorchester Sports League, Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester, Greater Neponset Flag Football, and the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, among others.
Bill Richard, who launched the foundation along with his wife Denise to keep their son’s spirit alive through serving others, will be visible in the coming days on a related project. – a park that will be created and named for Martin along the Fort Point Channel will be the focus of a series of public service announcements this weekend on local media. John Hancock has pledged $150,008 towards Martin’s Park— and Richard and his family will lead an appeal for small donations that will be aired on local radio and TV during Red Sox games and the marathon itself.
Donors will be asked to text the word “Martin” to 91999 to offer $8 or more to the construction effort, which is still in the design phase.
Plans for the park were announced last December by Mayor Walsh, Gov. Baker, and the Richard family.
The park will be located next to Boston Children’s Museum on land owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and deeded to the city of Boston Parks and Recreation Department. A second design meeting to plan the park was held earlier this week.