BENEFITING: HOYT FOUNDATION
ORGANIZER: HOYT FOUNDATION
EVENT: Boston Marathon 2014
EVENT DATE: Apr 21, 2014
In 2011 I joined Team Hoyt to help raise disability awareness. My motivation was my brother, Ryan, who at the age of 18 months was in a car accident that left him with a handicap limiting his mobility on his left side and with cerebral palsy-like symptoms.
My participation with Team Hoyt in 2011-2012 connected me and my brother in a way that I will cherish forever. It was tough for Ryan - he was a man who wanted very little attention brought to him, and my fundraising did just that. However, Ryan interpreted the attention as pity, which was actually quite the opposite of what everyone felt for him. People whom I had never even met before came across our cause, which we named Running for Ryan, and saw a man of strength and purpose. An inspriation.
Ryan very unexpectedly passed away just over a year after I ran the 2012 Boston Marathon for him. The day after I learned of his passing, I immediately wrote Team Hoyt and begged for my place back on the team, which would obviously be competitve after the Boston bombings and the announcement that it would be Dick and Rick's last run across the Boylston finish line. And even though I would be having a baby just 5 months shy of the race, I knew I had to run it for Ryan.
I have been blessed to have The Ryan Shuck Foundation's support on this venture, as a chunk the Running for Ryan's 5k proceeds will be going to my fundriasing; however, anyone that knows me knows that I will work until Patriots Day to raise as much money as possible.
I appreciate all of the love and support once again this year. I know many of you have already supported several of the family's causes since Ryan's passing. Every penny, every thought and every ounce of support is appreciated by every member of Ryan's family and community. We all want to see Ryan's name be carried on forever as one of courage, strength and determination.
A little bit about the Hoyt Foundation
Rick Hoyt was born in 1962 to Dick and Judy Hoyt. During child birth, Rick's umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck cutting off the supply of oxygen to Rick's brian. He was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Doctors advised Dick and Judy to institutionalize Rick because he was a vegetable. Dick and Judy refused and brought Rick home.
Dick and Judy could tell that Rick could comprehend his surroundings even though the medical doctors continued to insist Rick was a vegetable. In 1972, the Hoyts raised $5,000 through bake sales, a local dinner dance and donations from friends and family. They paid that amount to a group of skilled engineers at Tufts University that built an "interactive computer" for Rick. Rick was able to see the letters of the alphabet and select the ones he wanted by pressing a pad on the headrest of his wheelchair with his head, the only part of his body he can move voluntarily. The first words Rick ever "spoke" were "Go Bruins!" The Boston Bruins were in the Stanley Cup that year and it turned out Rick was a Bruins fan.
In the spring of 1977, Rick told his dad that he wanted to compete in a 5 mile road race to help raise money for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Dick, a non-runner pushed Rick for the full 5 miles, and they finished next to last. Later that night, Rick typed "Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped." And that is when it all started.
Since that fateful day in 1977, Team Hoyt has finished 255 triathlons (6 being Ironman distance and 7 being Half Ironman distance), 22 duathlons, 71 marathons (31 being the Boston Marathon), 95 half marathons, 35 Falmouth 7.1 milers, and a handful of other various distance races. Team Hoyt has a marathon PR of 2:40:47 and half marathon PR of 1:21:12. Dick and Rick are also two of only 27 total members of the Ironman Hall of Fame, carried the Olympic torch in 1996 and in 1992 they ran and rode a bike from Santa Monica, CA to Boston Harbor in 45 consecutive days. As of September 15, 2013, Team Hoyt has competed in, and finished, 1,104 events.
Followoing the Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, the Hoyt's received an e-mail from Bruins' defenseman Andrew Ference that read, "I wanted to let you know that the Boston Bruins watched and were inspired by your video prior to our Stanley Cup victory. It would be my honor to meet you and have you join me in Boston during my day with the Stanley Cup." And they did.
On April 8, 2013, a life-size bronze statue of Team Hoyt, commissioned by John Hancock, was unveiled on the lawn of the Center School in Hopkinton, just yards from the starting line of the Boston Marathon. The statue was unveiled in a 30-minute dedication ceremony. When asked about the statue, Dick said, "It [doesn’t] get any better than that. To us this is the Stanley Cup, this is the World Series[.]"
Following the tragedy of the 2013 Boston Marathon, Dick and Rick appeared on the Today show. It was that day that the Hoyts announced they would return to run in the 2014 Boston Marathon. "We’re definitely going to run next year, and we’re going to be stronger next year, and I know the marathon is going to be stronger next year," Dick said. Following the interview on the Today Show, Dick and Rick appeared on the "Katie" show.
Then on July 17, 2013, Dick and Rick were awarded the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2013 ESPY Awards. The Jimmy V Award is given to those individuals in athletics who have overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination. The award couldn't be more fitting, with Team Hoyt's motto being, Yes, You Can!" Dick and Rick were presented the award by Boston native Ben Affleck. As the Hoyts made their way across the stage, they were greeted with a standing ovation by the room full of high caliber athletes.
On Monday, April 21, 2014, Dick and Rick Hoyt will be running their 32nd Boston Marathon. This will be Dick and Rick's final Boston Marathon. They will be joined by a team of carefully selected athletes from Canada and across the United States to form the 2014 Team Hoyt Boston Marathon Team. The team will be runningt to raise money for the Hoyt Foundation, Inc., an IRS 501(c)(3) charity whose purpose is help integrate disabled people into everyday activities so they may live fruitful and productive lives.
None of the funds raised go to administration of the Hoyt Foundation, as it is 100% run by volunteers. The Hoyt Foundation gives gifts each year of $30,000 to the Easter Seals of MA summer camp programs and to Children's Hospital Boston- Augmentative Communication Enhancement Program. The Foundation also makes various donations to camps for the disabled and therapuetic horseback organizations in the Massachusetts area.
This years team is again made possible by our generous sponsor, and the principal sponsor of the Boston MArathon, John Hancock.
Our team of both qualified and chairty runners have set a fundraising goal of $200,000. Please give generously as our runners train, sweat, fight through pain, and raise funds for the Hoyt Foundation, Inc. The Hoyt Foundation, Inc. is an IRS 501(c)(3) charity. Checks can be made payable to the Hoyt Foundation, Inc. and mailed to 241 Mashapaug Road, Holland, Massachusetts 01521.