HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The first-ever Run Billy Run fundraiser took place Saturday in honor of Judge William Boyle.
Runners and walkers came out to raise money for the scholarship in his name that is awarded to Springfield seniors.
“He would be overwhelmed and a little embarrassed by how many people came out, but he would want everyone to have a great time, and that’s what we’re going to do,” daughter Margaret Boyle said.
More than 400 runners and walkers came out to the Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke on Saturday in honor of Judge William Boyle.
Judge Boyle died at age 62 after battling ALS.
His daughter Margaret worked to organize this fundraiser to raise money for her father’s scholarship while also paying tribute to one of his favorite hobbies.
“My dad was an avid runner, and he ran marathons and everything. But his favorite place to run was here at the Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke and so it was an easy thing to come up with as a fundraiser. Have a beautiful day, good music, good friends, and a fun little race,” Boyle said.
But the first-ever Run Billy Run was about more than just the race.
“He was such a proud Springfield resident and so we want to make sure that the scholarship is there for students who are graduating from Putnam then going on to STCC who may be in a financial situation that doesn’t necessarily allow them to go onto higher education but they want to. We want to make sure that the next generation of Springfield leaders is supported so, that’s what we are going to do,” Boyle explained.
The scholarship recipients are specially chosen as seniors from Putnam Vocational-Technical Academy who are heading to Springfield Technical Community College just as Judge Boyle did.
One community member coming out to support is Hampden County, Sheriff Nick Cocchi.
He said the event’s large turnout speaks volumes to the memory his friend left behind.
“He was very humble. He doesn’t believe that he would leave a legacy. Well, I think today shows differently. I think Judge William Boyle has left a tremendous legacy about public service, about helping others, and about being a good human being, and if we could have more people like Bill Boyle, I think the world would be a better place,” Cocchi said.