Mayflower Marathon gets underway at MGM Springfield

The annual 52-hour Mayflower Marathon is underway with non-perishable food donations going to the Open Pantry in Springfield
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 12:17 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2022 at 4:57 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The annual 52-hour Mayflower Marathon is underway with non-perishable food donations going to the Open Pantry in Springfield

The marathon, which started on Monday and runs until 10 a.m. Wednesday, is being held outside MGM Springfield for the first time. MGM Springfield Community Affairs Director Beth Ward told us how they are doing a back-of-the-house donation drive with their team members.

“We have about a dozen volunteers who got here bright and early at the crack of dawn this morning and we’re gonna have them here throughout the whole three days,” Ward explained.

The cohosts of the Mayflower Marathon, Mike Baxendale and Steve Nagle from Rock 102, started raising money for the past couple of weeks, but they said the ultimate goal is to get the products for the Open Pantry ad for the last 20 years, they have filled three 48- foot trucks.

“We not only have the three trucks ready to go, but we got two more on reserve,” Baxendale explained.

To fill the trucks, they are accepting non-perishable food items.

“Canned goods, soups, beans, vegetables, rice, things like anything that not going to spoil very quickly and please, do not bring expired items down to the Mayflower Marathon,” Nagle noted.

If you are not able to drop-off donations, there is the option to donate online.

“At, it’s a Paypal account. We do it very, very easily. All that money goes directly into the Open Pantry and it’s a great cause to do a lot of wonderful things to do for this community,” Baxendale added.

This is truly a community effort with 25 students from West Springfield’s Innovation Pathways volunteering to help load the truck Monday morning. Adil Ramazonov, a senior, explained how important it is for students to help this holiday season.

“We are coming from the Innovations Pathways and we are doing community service for those in need and its Thanksgiving time and we want to give back…Think about it, you’re going to be sitting at the dinner table eating that turkey, what about all of the people that can’t afford that. What about all the moms and dads who can’t provide for their family just because of a financial disability, that’s not fair,” Ramazonov said.

Also, Junior ROTC cadets from Springfield Central High School joined their instructor to donate 759 items.

“We have a competition amongst other flights that which flight raises the most and they look forward to a pizza party,” said aerospace science instructor William Butman.