Shortly after noon on November 6, 2016, runners and walkers toed the mark at the starting line of the 21st Annual Genesis Battlegreen Run in Lexington, Massachusetts. By all counts, it was larger than most races considering the 800 or so participants who took part—but that is not the whole story.
Yes, those who won awards for their age groups were winners, but in reality, the real winners were the 19 non-profit organizations that raised more than $57,000 for their respective charities. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon in the town that is known as the “Birthplace of American Liberty.” It was here in Lexington that the “shot heard ‘round the world” was fired, which gave birth to the American Revolution. The rest, of course, is history.
And now, the Genesis Battlegreen Run is making a little history as well. As the main fundraiser for the Battlegreen Run Foundation, Genesis HR Solutions has been the lead sponsor of this event since 1996.
Platinum sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Prism HR, Burns and Levinson, Boston Volvo Village, Nixon Peabody, Winter Wyman, Lexington Toyota, and DCU Federal Credit Union joined 40 other corporate sponsors to create an event that is second to none in New England. And for many good reasons.
The race day began with Rene Rancourt, legendary voice of the Boston Bruins, singing the National Anthem. A local radio station, Magic 106.7, set up shop at the finish line to greet the runners as they head home. And that is where more fun begins.
More than 50 food vendors provide a post-race spread that has become a signature of the event (and one that is not duplicated anywhere). Additionally, a live band serenades the crowd, and the kids enjoy the Boston Volvo Family Fun Run, where balloon magicians and face painters add to the show.
But the best news is the fundraising component. Affordable housing, organic farming, scholarship assistance, legal aid, special education, third world healthcare concerns, animal shelters, veterans’ assistance programs, local school aid, and a number of other charities all benefit. This year’s participants include:
- Northeast Organic Farming Association
- Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston
- Genesis Community Fund
- New England Innocence Project
- Special Needs Arts Program (SNAP)
- Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
- Esperanza – Hope for the Children
- Pauline Briggs Memorial Scholarship Fund
- Turner Syndrome Society
- Joslin Diabetes Center
- Lighthouse Animal Shelter
- Minuteman High School
- Lexington Special Education PTA
- Bedford Research Corporation
- William Diamond Middle School PTA
- Boys and Girls Club of Stoneham
- Shamrock PTO
- Jonas Clarke Middle School PTO
- Bowman PTA
The good news gets better. The amount raised this year was a 50% increase over 2015, and there is reason to believe this upward trend will continue in 2017 and beyond. The event was a great way for the BRF to end 2016, and 2017 will certainly be even better.