Richard Foundation to suspend marathon teams post 2020; put focus on MR8K, giving

The Martin Richard Foundation will field teams for the Boston, New York, and Chicago marathons for the last time in 2020, the organization announced last week. It plans to refocus its mission on deepening its community impact through civic engagement and philanthropic work.

While the nonprofit will reduce its presence on a national scale, it will commit to growing the MR8K, a fundraising race held in Boston annually on Labor Day, as the foundation’s signature event.

“The MR8K allows us to continue to engage with runners to advance our Foundation’s mission and drive awareness around how we can collectively do more to empower our young people,” said Bill Richard, co-founder of the Martin Richard Foundation and MR8K. “The energy participants have brought to this event, in just its first two years, is incredible, and we know the impact it has for the individuals and organizations that selflessly give of themselves will continue to reflect that.”

As part of its enhanced Giving Program, the foundation will introduce two new community engagement campaigns in October: the Bridge Builder and Challenger Sports campaigns. These initiatives will help access funds for intentional service projects and a new inclusive sports league.

In addition to these new fundraising campaigns, the organization also reiterated its commitment to promoting equity and inclusivity through community work.

“The Martin Richard Foundation is ready to put our values of peace, justice, and kindness into action to show our belief in all people to succeed if given the means, opportunity, and sense of belonging,” read the press release.

It added: “We believe that community building begins at the grassroots level and is necessary for every person regardless of income or social status to feel safe, valued, and welcomed across our community.”