Skip to content
michaeldidonato's profile image - click for profile

Michael DiDonato's Fundraiser:

Team Hoyt Running Chairs

Michael's Photo


Michael DiDonato


Welcome to Team Hoyt Running Chairs, a partner of Ainsley's Angels.


Several years ago I attended a sales and marketing seminar.  The second image of the power point presentation was that of Rick and Dick Hoyt.  The speaker gave us a little background of who they are and their accomplishments.  Of course I was inspired…

A couple months later my family and I were walking into the grocery store.  Just as we were entering, Dick Hoyt was leaving.  He said hello to my wife and I, and gave a big smile to my daughter who was just a year old.  I franticly told my wife, “That’s the guy from the seminar I was just at!  You know the one that does the races with his son!  I want to say something to him but I don’t want to bother him, he must have people approaching him all the time… What should I Do Jenn?!  She replied, “Well, what ever you do, you better do it quick because he’s getting in his van.”  So I ran out to the parking lot with emotion welling up inside me and a lump in my throat.  I was quickly trying to come up with something to say and not sound foolish.  Normally I would leave my business cards in the console of my car, but for some reason I felt the need to bring a couple with me into the grocery store.  Just as Dick had one foot in his van I yelled to him, reached into my pocket and said, “Mr. Hoyt I’ve seen the races that you do with your son and I just want you to have my business card.  My family owns a manufacturing company and we can fix most anything, so if something breaks on your running chair or bike, bring it to us and we’ll fix it for you.”  We shook hands and both went on our way…  A year later (February 2010) I was at my shop and got paged to come to the front office.  I opened the office door and that same emotion along with the lump in my throat came back as I saw Dick Hoyt standing there.  To my surprise he didn’t need to have anything repaired, he needed to have a new chair built!  He explained that Rick recently had surgery on his spine and there current chair was very uncomfortable and painful for him.  He asked, “Do you think your shop can handle it?”  In my mind I was thinking of the steps we would need to take, engineering, material gathering, machining, forming, welding, lots of trial and error, etc… “We can handle it.” I said.  Dick said “Great! The Boston Marathon is April 19th; I’ll need the chair a couple weeks before then to get Rick used to it.”  As I smiled and shook his hand I thought, what have I gotten us into?  He wants this done in six weeks!  Well, we came through for Team Hoyt and with Dick and Rick’s vast race experience and Southbridge Tool’s many years of design and manufacturing expertise; we joined forces and started Team Hoyt Running Chairs.


  • Anonymous



Donor Comments




4 years ago