While most of us run in the opposite direction in dangerous situations, first responders are the people who run directly into danger. It’s not a job we’re all cut out for and it’s one that Garth Roberts was inspired to recognize after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Roberts was training for the New Jersey marathon when the bombings happened and he watched along with so many others as people on the ground rushed in to help the injured. He wanted to do something to help, to recognize these people, and to maybe even make their jobs a little easier.
It started with an event that fall to recognize the Boston EMS. Held in Provincetown, it garnered the support of the Chief of Police and civic leaders and led to the creation of Provincetown First Responders Appreciation month. That outpouring of support from the community turned what was originally a single event into Hero Fund America, a non-profit group that supports first responders.
Hero Fund America helped support the Boston Fire Department after the Beacon Street blaze, set up an endowment for the Lower Cape Amublance Association, and has a charitable endowment fund that will help with education and training of first responders.
Their annual Run 4 the Hills for First Responders is a charitable run/walk that raises funds for local fire departments and rescue squads.
Now they’re adding cars to the mix with their first road rally. The inaugural event is set for September 23 and will run from Roberts’ hometown of Sharon Springs, New York to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.
The rally will cover roughly 200 miles and let participants experience the beautiful fall foliage of the Catskills. The exact route will be announced the day of the event and will include several stops along the way, including a lunch break. Drivers will depart at 9:15am with an estimated arrival time of 3:30pm in New York City.
Anyone can participate in the Rally for First Responders and help raise funds and awareness for the heros who rush in to help when things go horribly wrong. The registration fee of $175 covers a driver and co-pilot and includes two t-shirts, swag bags, and a vehicle rally decal kit.
The Boston Marathon was a defining moment for Roberts. He saw a horrible tragedy and was inspired by the people who ran to help rather than running away. His efforts through Hero Fund America help support those first responders and the important work they do to keep us all safe.