HOLLAND, Mass. (WWLP) – The Hoyt Foundation will carry on the work started by the father-son duo of Rick and Dick Hoyt, after Rick passed away on Monday at the age of 61.
After everything they have been through in the last 48 hours, the Hoyt family are still laser focused on continuing the mission that Rick and Dick started more than 40 years ago, proving to people with disabilities that… yes you can.
22News spoke with Rick’s brother Russell Tuesday morning at the family home in Holland. He said Rick’s passing was a shock to the family. They had just made an appearance at an event last weekend with Rick giving a powerful speech as the focal point of the event.
This was already set to be an emotional week for the Hoyts and the community they have built over the last four decades, with the inaugural Dick Hoyt Memorial Run scheduled for this Saturday. There were questions in the day and a half since Rick’s passing whether or not the event should go on. However, the answer ended up being simple.
Russ Hoyt, the brother of Rick, told 22News, “We thought about first, would Rick want this to happen? And knew immediately the answer was yes. Would dad, who was originally… its the Dick Hoyt Memorial Road Race… that was the plan. What would he say given what had just happen, and the answer again was yes.”
Interview: Russ Hoyt on the passing of his brother, Rick Hoyt
Now, the first Dick Hoyt Memorial 5k will be honoring the towering legacy of his son, as well, and the inclusive world they built together.
“It’s really going to be special. It’s definitely going to be heavy but I’m gonna have a smile on my face the whole time thinking about them up there watching us,” said Troy Hoyt, the nephew of Rick.
Interview: Troy Hoyt on the passing of his uncle, Rick Hoyt
Registration is still open but they are going to have to cap participation at 500 runners for the full five-mile race. That distance, by the way, picked to echo the distance of Rick and Dick’s very first run together at Stanley Park in Westfield.
There are also 100 spots open for the two mile walk and a virtual option if you can’t make the trip. To register, go to the Hoyt Foundation website… it’s sure to be a powerful day. The starting gun will sound at 10:00 Saturday morning with both the run and walking course taking athletes past the bronze statue memorializing the father-son duo.
So far, over 13-thousand dollars have been raised for the foundation.