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Directions: Take Interstate 93 to Interstate 89. Take Exit 1. At the bottom of the ramp, turn right onto Logging Hill Road. Proceed approximately 9/10ths of a mile to the intersection of Logging Hill Road and White Rock Hill Road (at Bow Fire Station). Turn right onto White Rock Hill Road and proceed approximately 2/10ths of a mile to Bow High School.
Information:The tradition begun in 2003 will continue on Mother's Day 2013. Each year’s Purple Ribbon Run/Walk benefits the Michelle Cadorette Fund for Thymoma Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. The generosity of the Bow High School community and the proceeds from this event have helped establish a tissue bank at MGH to study this rare form of cancer, support genetic testing and to work toward a cure.
The race course is 3.1 miles (5 K), and there is a 2 mile walk. Results are chip-timed and prizes are awarded for the top 2 finishers in each age group. There are fun events for kids ages 10 to toddlers.
In honor of Mother's Day each female finisher receives a gerbera daisy.
About Purple Ribbon Events
In the fall of
2003, one of the athletes on the Cross Country Team that I coached
at Bow High School needed an idea to pursue for his Senior Project,
a graduation requirement encompassing reading, writing, research,
proposal documentation, community outreach, public presentation and
service. One of my colleagues and dearest friends, Lily Woo, told
the student, Geoff MacDonald, about my diagnosis of Malignant Thymoma.
She also told him that at Trinity High School, where she and I first
taught together, students and teachers had worn purple "awareness"'
ribbons to help raise money for Thymoma research at Massachusetts
General Hospital (MGH).
Soon after their
conversation, Geoff asked my permission to organize a road race that
would raise money to be donated to the Michelle Cadorette Fund for
Malignant Thymoma Research at MGH. Geoff's race, called "Run Around
the Town", included over 70 participants and was a great success.
With help from
Dyrace Maxfield, our friend and coach at Bow High School, Geoff measured
a course, advertised the race and prepared thoroughly for the big
day. He raised over $2,000the start of a tradition that continues
In the Spring
of 2005, senior track and field athlete Kara Dugas used Geoff's idea
as a model and organized another road race that, despite rainy weather,
drew over 100 runners and raised nearly $3,000 for the hospital's
research. Participants wore Purple Ribbon Run T-shirts with sponsors'
names. There was a huge registration tent and free merchandise for
In the fall
of 2005, cross country star Gretchen Andrus organized a run on local
cross country trails. She, too, with the help of local merchants and
donors, provided great refreshments and prizes for runners and volunteers
alike. Chris Naime, a Bow teacher and an athlete in his own right,
was instrumental in organizing the computerized timing for the finish
line. This Purple Ribbon Run also drew a crowd and raised thousands
more to be added to the growing fund.
Linking the Purple
Ribbon Run to the Walt Disney Marathon was the idea of senior athlete
Casey Bessette. She decided to raise awareness and collect pledges
before going to Florida to race in her first official marathon! It
was amazing and inspiring to follow her training regimen throughout
the months of summer and fall, and even more incredible to be able
to stand on the roadside in Orlando on Sunday January 8, 2006, to
cheer as Casey (and her Mom and Dad) ran past. Her efforts raised
In the fall of
2006, senior harrier Kevin Bosse took up the challenge of the Purple
Ribbon Run. Kevin made some changes to the course, the T-shirt and
the overall organization of the race. Nearly 100 participants raced
on a bright sunny day, resulting once again in donations to MGH's
In May of 2007, senior athlete Taylor Phelps hosted a Purple Ribbon event at Bow High School with the goal of raising money for and awareness about thymoma. Succeeding on both counts, she planned a walk as well as relay events for families and kids. The balloon toss was a real crowd pleaser. There were refreshments, prizes, and of course lots of fun.
November 18th of 2007 saw another Purple Ribbon Race. Friends, family, members of the Bow community and local runners gathered at Bow High School for a 5K race/walk. This event, organized by senior Beth Penney, drew a crowd of close to 100 people and raised over $1,000 for the Thymoma Fund.
In the fall of 2008, Bow High School Varsity Track and Field coach Dyrace Maxfield, BHS Assistant Principal Gay Longnecker, Teachers Lily Woo and Chris Naimie, BHS School Resource Officer Margaret Lougee and I took up the mantle of the Purple Ribbon 5K Run/Walk. Sunday, October 18, 2009 had over 100 participants and raised nearly $4,600 for the MGH Fund.
The spring of 2011 brought many changes to our annual event, now the "Purple Ribbon Mother's Day Run". Elite runner and race organizer John Mortimer stepped in to help re-structure the race, and Tom Raffio, President and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental provided some substandtial funding. There was a 5K run, a 2 mile walk, official 'chip-times', on-line registration, events for kids, and (as always) great food and prizes. In a 'nod' to Mother's Day every female runner received a gerbera daisy! It was a true community event, with volunteers and participants from near and far. There were close to 200 runners and walkers, including athletes, friends, family, students, teachers, staff, and alumni. Together we raised enough money to support the Fund with $6,000.
In 2012, the Mother's Day tradition continued. We were so lucky to have great weather and over 250 participants! Many Bow High School faculty, staff and students volunteered their time and energy to make this run the most successful one yet. We were thrilled that this year's event netted over $10,000 for the Fund at Mass. General.
I continue to
be honored and humbled by the students who began the proud
tradition of the "Purple Ribbon". I'm so grateful for the hundreds
of sponsors, donors, colleagues, family members and friends who continue
to support the Fund's goals with such generosity. Because of their support the Fund has made possible the establishment of a Thymoma Tissue Bank (the only one in the country) at MGH to study thymoma. The fund now also supports genetic testing for research purposes.