50,000 Pounds Of Clothes Are Left At The Boston Marathon Start Line...

....So what happens to them?!

April 17, 2018

Judy Pitasi has been involved with the Marathon for 26 years. Her brother was a back-of-the-pack runner and she would meet him at Heartbreak Hill with a dry shirt, bananas and water. Then when she moved [to Hopkinton] in the late 1980s - she contacted the BAA to get involved. Over the years, she has housed runners, as well as worked water and security duties. But about 10 years ago, she found her true niche.... collecting the clothes left along the way. 

Pitasi got a phone call from Dotty Ferriter-Wallace, the Hopkinton Marathon Chairperson who was designated the founding captain of the Boston Athletic Association's official clothing collection program. "I started with 10 people, walking myself from downtown Hopkinton up to the Village, which is probably a quarter of a mile," said Pitasi. "I’d probably walk it 25 times through the day." Along the way, she and her small team bagged up all the clothing they saw. All. Of. Them.

"Shirts, sweatshirts, sneakers, socks, anything they might be sitting on the ground with — blankets, towels, tarps, blow-up pool mattresses and yoga mats," she said. "Just a plethora of stuff." She also forged a crucial partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, which provides ten moving trucks to cart all the clothes away and put them to good use.  

Now there are 201 volunteers. They cover all the way to Ashland town line, and have gotten up to 52,000 pounds. That's s 26 tons of clothing — one for each mile in the Marathon. And the proceeds now cover the cost of a full-year of mentorship for about 20 Massachusetts children.