A Morning of Inspiration | MetroWest YMCA

2019 Inspiration Award Honorees Becca Pizzi and Bill Rodgers were surrounded by Local Business and Community Leaders at the Annual MetroWest YMCA Marathon Community Breakfast

Mar 19, 2019

FRAMINGHAM, MA – On Friday, March 15th, more than 300 people came together at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center to support the MetroWest YMCA as they kicked off their Annual Campaign, honored Becca Pizzi and Bill Rodgers with their annual Inspiration Award, and celebrated impact of the Y on the community, with local business and community leaders.

Paul Burton from WBZ TV emceed the event and Representative Carolyn Dykema provided a community welcome, highlighting Representatives Jack Lewis, David Linsky, Carmine Gentile, and Maria Robinson who were also in attendance. Representative Dykema also discussed the important role of the Y in meeting the needs of the community.

A special moment during the event was when Tim Kilduff, Founder and President of 26.2 Foundation, spoke about the relationship between the Y and the work in Hopkinton, then presented Rick MacPherson, President & CEO of the MetroWest YMCA, with a golden olive branch, from Marathon, Greece.

Long time Y member, Kim Poness, was present to share her appreciation to the Y for all the ways the organization has impacted her family. From learning to swim a the Y when she was 3, to helping send her kids to summer camp, helping her husband regain his health after a heart attack, and a cousin after a cancer diagnosis, to now, helping her raise her grandson, “The Y has just done some much for one family, that can touch so many areas of one’s life. It is a community that is there to help you… it’s a community that lives love and kindness and respect and diversity, and there’s no other place like it.”

Prior recipients of the Inspiration Award, Team Hoyt and Dave McGillivray were on hand to present year’s awards to Becca Pizzi and Bill Rodgers. Pizzi, from Belmont MA, is an accomplished runner, but in 2016 she was the first American woman to complete the World Marathon Challenge, a series of seven marathons on seven continents in seven consecutive days. She completed the challenge again in 2018. Beyond her running, she is also deeply involved in programs in the community, like the running group, Boston Bulldogs an addiction recovery group.  

Bill Rodgers’ name is synonymous with marathons, and has won 22 marathons, having won Boston and New York four times each. Rodgers has worked hard over his lifetime to elevate the sport of running and the health benefits to individuals.

According to Rick MacPherson, President & CEO, “we are fortunate to have two such incredible honorees -- highlighting what can be accomplished individually as well as with support from family, friends and the community. They personify the values and mission of the Y.”

During the event, MacPherson highlighted the work of the Y, presenting a historical look, thanking those “whose shoulders we stand upon today. The generosity of those in the room today -- like the Fitts family who donated the land which the Framingham branch now stands -- has made it possible for us to serve thousands of children and families in the community.” MacPherson also shared a vision for a new regional YMCA serving the towns of Ashland, Hopkinton and Holliston.

The event ended with opportunities for the attendees to have their pictures taken with the honorees and other notable attendees.

The funds raised through this event go to the Y’s Annual Campaign which provides financial assistance for summer camp, early education and other YMCA programs such as LIVESTRONG at the YMCA for cancer survivors, and its High Flight program for at-risk teens, so families and individuals can access these life-changes services regardless of ability to pay.

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About the MetroWest Y: The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits, strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The MetroWest Y, with branches in Framingham and Hopkinton, serves more than 20,000 people annually with its programs, and has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver lasting personal and social change.