Giving thanks for a community’s spirit

On Monday, the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation (Team MR8) named 59 runners to its roster for the Boston Athletic Association’s 2015 Boston Marathon. The Dorchester-based non-profit was formed by the parents of eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed when one of two bombs exploded at the marathon’s finish line on Patriots Day, 2013.

It will come as little surprise that the roster — 28 women, 31 men — includes 15 Dorchester residents and is heavy with names from 11 other Boston neighborhoods. A number of them ran with Team MR8 last year and helped raise more $1.25 million for the new foundation.

They include: Patrick Ryan, Steve Wilkins, Joseph Betz,
Patrick Brophy, Jose Calderon, Meaghan Carroll, Steve Datish, Tricia Dillon,
Patrick Doherty, Eric Gagnon, William Holbrook, Megan Leonido,
Danielle Lydon, Michael McCarthy, Kathleen Mullen, and Amanda Mawn of Mattapan.

“We were once again impressed by how sincere and thoughtful the applications were and appreciate the personal stories shared with us,” said Denise Richard, Martin’s mother, in a statement. “There are so many people out there who feel a connection with Martin through his message of ‘no more hurting people’ and believe in the mission of his Foundation. It is heartening to hear from so many young people who give personal testament of how education, athletics, and community have shaped their lives, and who are willing to help us ensure that for the next generation.”

The Foundation is accepting additional applications on a rolling basis from runners who are already registered to run next April, and who wish to contribute to the Foundation. Several grants have already been issued by the Foundation to assist local non-profits, one of which is Boston’s first Little League Challengers’ Division for children with physical and cognitive disabilities, which played its first full season last spring at Savin Hill, Martin’s home field.