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Bridge of Flowers race to raise money for Boston victims

  • This file photo shows the start of the 30th annual Bridge of Flowers 10K Classic in Shelburne Falls.<br/>Recorder file photo/Geoff Bluh<br/>

    This file photo shows the start of the 30th annual Bridge of Flowers 10K Classic in Shelburne Falls.
    Recorder file photo/Geoff Bluh

  • This file photo shows the start of the 30th annual Bridge of Flowers 10K Classic in Shelburne Falls.<br/>Recorder file photo/Geoff Bluh<br/>

SHELBURNE FALLS — In the wake of the tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon, the organizers of the Bridge of Flowers races are starting a fund drive to help victims.

“As runners, many of us have a direct connection with what happened in Boston,” said Michael McCusker, race organizer. “I had good friends and family at the marathon.”

“But it’s not just runners,” he continued. “It’s really pulled at everyone’s heartstrings.”

As McCusker was setting up the online registration for the August races at www.bridgeofflowers10k.com, he had an idea. What about adding a way for runners to donate to help those affected by the bombing? Now, as runners sign up for the race, they can add a donation to their race fee instantly.

“If money can help people run again, literally or figuratively, I’m all about helping to collect donations,” said McCusker.

The former owner of McCusker’s Market, he said he’s seen Franklin County step up to the plate again and again to help when others are facing hard times. He said he routinely took donations at his store for disaster relief and other causes, and people were always willing to give to help their neighbors, be they next door, in the next county, or farther.

These kinds of tragedies, he said, remind us that we’re all part of a greater community, be it one of neighbors, runners, or citizens of the world.

If you’re not planning to run in the Bridge of Flowers races, but still want to pitch in, you can send a check to: The Bridge of Flowers Race, P.O. box 42, Shelburne Falls, MA, 01370. In the check’s memo, write “Boston Marathon Victims Relief Fund.”

Those who would like to help in the donation drive, by sharing their ideas, or volunteering their time and talents, can call McCusker, at 413-834-3477. He would also like to connect with people directly affected by the bombing.

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