Hundreds run, walk at successful Halfway to Dot Day 5k

Dorchester Running Club volunteers after the race. Paula Skalinski photo

The Dorchester Running Club hosted its third annual Halfway to Dot Day 5K road race on Sat., Dec. 9 at Florian Hall and Pope John Paul II Park.

Police Commissioner William Evans kicked off the race and hopped in to run after counting down the runners to start. They had 383 registered runners, 68 of them age 12 and under, and over 50 volunteers who worked from 5 a.m. until the end of the race. Ryan Graf took home first place to become a second-time race winner.

After the race, Mayor Walsh welcomed the Dorchester Running Club into his annual holiday toy drive at Florian Hall. They were partnered with the toy drive this year, and many runners and volunteers were able to donate toys for the kids in the community.

After expenses, the Dorchester Running Club was able to donate over $5,000 back to the community.

Many members of the club are teachers in the Boston Public Schools and often hear of families who are in need of some extra help. The Running Club used the funds raised for those families in need, and for people experiencing homelessness in the community during the holiday season.

“We are very excited and thankful to our generous sponsors for making [the donation of $5,000] a possibility,” said Stefanie O’Shea, president of Dorchester Running Club. “With the race a wrap, we are looking to increase our membership numbers and get more of our neighbors out there on the road with us, combining fun and running, which is our goal.

“Next year, we hope to be bigger than ever and make as much impact as we can through sponsorship generosity and donations to the toy drive.

We are thrilled to have a third race in the books and already planning number four,” O’Shea added.

The running club is passionate about running to help, not just running to run. To be a part of this organization, join them for a run every Thursday night at the Adams Village clock at 7 p.m. or on Saturday morning at Garvey Park at 7 a.m.

For more info, visit dotrunners.org.