Corrib Charitable Trust board member Tony Bligh knows just what the 18th Annual Corrib Classic 5K, which will take part throughout the neighborhood on Sunday, means to West Roxbury.
First, there's the celebration of community that the 18th annual race will bring about.
"We love seeing all the families there," he said, "all the friends. It's a great family day in West Roxbury."
There's also the real, tangible effects the race has had throughout the neighborhood, raising more than $800,000 since the first race in 1994 for local groups, organizations, and events, ranging from Parkway Little League to the Shamrock Shootout to the Roche Community Center to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
"It's a big help to these organizations in present financial times," he said.
With more than 2,000 runners expected on Sunday, each paying $20 to compete in the race, the expectations of both community and fundraising can likely be expected once more.
The race, which starts at noon, will as always be accompanied by a party at Billings Field afterwards. For kids, there will be a moonbounce, face painting, and other attractions. The event's chefs will be hard at work cooking literally thousands of hot dogs and hamburgers that even non-runners can enjoy for free. In addition, a raffle will help raise more money for the community.
The Cooperative Bank will also be responsible for 30 of the race's 200 or so volunteers. Volunteers will work along the race track, which covers parts of Lagrange Street, Bellevue Street, Corey Street, the VFW Parkway, Maple Street, Weld Street, and Howitt Street before wrapping up at Billings Field. (See attached map for course route.)
Bligh was eager to thank the Trust's 11-person board.
"We're lucky to have such a great board, a hard-working board that helps make an impact in the community," he said.
But, he added, it's the community itself that makes the Classic so special.
"West Roxbury's such a great community," he said. "It's just the best neighborhood in Boston."