Roslindale 5K Raises Funds for Cops for Kids with Cancer

By Jonathan T. Dame, Wicked Local Roslindale.

Local runners braved the hills of the Arnold Arboretum for the firth year in a row Sunday as they participated in the Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 5k Road Race in Roslindale. The annual race is organized by the Emerald Society of the Boston Police, a nonprofit organization.

“It’s a tough course, but it’s not as tough a time as these kids have dealing with cancer,” Dan Adams, a Boston Police detective and the event’s lead organizer, said to runners before the race.

Proceeds from the race – raised through a $25 registration fee, raffle sales and donations from local businesses – will benefit Cops for Kids with Cancer, a local charity founded in 2002 by law enforcement officers to help families affected by childhood cancers.

“Everyone makes a donation for the cure … but when you give to us, it goes directly to families that need the help,” said Robert Faherty, the chairman of the organization’s board of directors and a former superintendent-in-chief of the Boston Police Department.

Since 2008, the charity has donated $1,250,000 to around 250 families, Faherty said, money that helps families get by when one or both parents have to leave work to take care of a sick child.

“Everyone has been touched by cancer one way or another,” said Dorchester resident Dave McGuinness, 46, who completed the race.

With 505 registered runners, this year’s race was the largest yet according to volunteer organizer Matthew Hoey. As of Sunday organizers didn’t have a final tally of the amount raised, but initial estimates put the number at over $12,000.

Two former college runners – Worcester resident Paul Noone, 29, and Jamaica Plain resident Alejandro Ruiz, 24 – were the top two finishers in the race. Noone came in at 17 minutes, 18 seconds, and Ruiz followed at 18 minutes, 17 seconds.

A former runner at UMass-Amherst, Noone said that he saw the race was benefitting kids with cancer and decided to come out, despite living 45 minutes away in Worcester.

The 3.1-mile course started near the intersection of South Street and Belgrade Avenue, followed Walter Street into the Arnold Arboretum, and then looped back around to finish in front of the Roslindale Village commuter rail station. Dozens of volunteers, many of them students at Boston Latin Academy, lined the course and greeted runners at the finish.

After the race, runners seemed to be in agreement: The views were beautiful but the terrain was challenging.

“The hills were a bit of a killer,” said Roslindale’s Wilma Monaghan.

The running ended after about an hour, but the festivities continued through the late afternoon.

Participants enjoyed free beer courtesy of Sam Adams, Magners and the Banshee Pub in Dorchester, while children took advantage of a free face-painting booth and explored the inside of a special operations vehicle of the Boston Police Department.

“It’s a good event. It’s great for the community,” said Boston mayoral candidate and City Councilor Rob Consalvo, who has attended the race in previous years.

Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley, another mayoral candidate, was also in attendance, as was Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley.

As runners sipped their beers and stretched their legs, the Celtic Sensations sang “Danny Boy” and “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” before performing some traditional Irish dance. Afterward, the local band Fenian Sons played three sets.

“It’s just great to be out at a community event on a weekend,” said runner and Roslindale resident Jon Casey.