HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Runners from across the region joined members of Team Hoyt New England for the 2023 Run Billy Run 5k Road Race Saturday morning, honoring the late Judge William J Boyle and raising awareness for ALS.

Hundreds of people from across the region will be gathering at Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke for the annual Run Billy Run 5k Road Race.

“This event is a super good cause. It helps deserving youth get the scholarship and it’s put on by really good people,” expressed Paul Robillard of Springfield.

Members of Team Hoyt will be participating in the race on Saturday. Team Hoyt New England was first organized in 2013 and their goal is to raise awareness of inclusion and educate, inspire, and enhance the community by bringing athletes of different abilities together, to participate in endurance events.

“We have 6 duos from Team Hoyt New England participating. We are really excited about that!
Their slogan is ‘yes we can’, and that really fits in with today’s mission,” expressed William J. Boyle Scholarship Fund Board Member, Margaret Boyle.

This comes after Rick Hoyt who had cerebral palsy, and his father participated in a race to benefit a paralyzed lacrosse player at his school back in 1977. Organizers say the goal was to remind people that anything is possible regardless of your disability.

The race began at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. The money raised at the race goes towards the William J. Boyle Scholarship that will be awarded to students from Springfield High Schools, who will be attending Springfield Technical Community College. Judge William J. Boyle passed away after battling ALS. This scholarship will honor his legacy and allow a student who may be fighting those same battles, like ALS, to higher their education.

Mayor Domenic Sarno of Springfield attended the race, according to the City of Springfield. Mayor Sarno states, “I am proud and honored to once again support the Judge William ‘Billy’ Boyle Scholarship and their annual ‘Run Billy Run’ event.  Judge Boyle was such a kindhearted and true gentleman, always with that Irish charm, wit, and wisdom.  His wife Rose and daughter Margaret are doing a tremendous job in keeping his memory and legacy alive and strong.”  

“We are so honored to have Team Hoyt New England duos run at the 2023 Run Billy Run,” said Rose Boyle, Chair of the William J. Boyle Scholarship Fund in a news release from Run Billy Run 2023. “This group of athletes reminds us that nothing is impossible. They align with and actively live out the scholarship’s mission of providing a way forward for everyone, no matter their background.”

For those who were not able to participate, it is not too late to donate. They are accepting donations on their website.

Local News

Kiara Smith is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since March 2023. Follow Kiara on X @KiaraBSmith1 and view her bio to see more of her work.