WORCESTER, Mass. — The postponement of the Boston Marathon last week was tough news for the runners.
It was also a devastating development for local charities. The Marathon generates about $40 million in donations to all kinds of causes.
A group of Worcester police officers has been training to raise money for “Cops for Kids who have Cancer.” It’s a group that helps families cover all kinds of expenses associated with cancer treatments.
When Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the iconic race would be pushed back to Sept. 14, the officers’ initial disappointment quickly shifted to determination.
“Hopefully we can raise even more money, and help even more local families, and hopefully with us running and getting the publicity out, we’ll have more people that want to donate,” Patrolman Ryan Caneen said.
Patrolman Justin Manzello and Sergeant Justin Bennes are also running the race.
Bennes likes the way this effort gets them out in the community in a different way.
“Meeting the kids is great,” he said. “It puts a face to the people that you’re trying to help, and it really motivates you when you’re on mile 22, going, ‘What was I thinking?’”
Luis Portillo Reyes is one of the young people that the Worcester runners have helped in recent years. He had Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The police officers raised $5,000 for his family to help with a wide range of expenses.
Today Reyes credits his exposure to the officers as the motivation for him to study criminal justice and pursue a career as a police officer.
“What they did, they didn’t have to do. But in fact, they did it. It shows they have a big heart and are concerned about what was going on in the community,” he said.
The officers originally set a target of about $20,000 but now think they might be able to raise more with this additional time for fundraising.