On September 26, 2020, Home Base held its 11th annual Run to Home Base presented by New Balance 5K/9K as a virtual fundraising event. Originally scheduled for Fenway Park in July, Home Base made the difficult decision to postpone and “reimagine” the event out of health and safety concerns amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Although the 2020 Run to Home Base looked—and felt—different than years past, the reimagined event proved to be as inspiring as ever. A total of 2,010 participants from 40 states raised $1.2M in support of Home Base’s mission to heal the invisible wounds of war for Veterans and their Families.
Included in the participants were more than 522 Service Members and Veterans, 338 Military Family Members, and 1,150 civilians. At a time of social distancing, the day served as a poignant reminder that the community Home Base has built over the last 11 years is stronger than any challenge faced.
As Home Base’s most critical fundraiser, the Run to Home Base is a primary source of funding for the clinical care and support for Veterans and their Families who are impacted by the invisible wounds of war. Unfortunately, Home Base is currently facing a significant budget shortfall due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Run to Home Base traditionally raises a majority of the funds for two specific programs; the Traumatic Brain Injury program and the Intensive Clinical Program for the Families of the Fallen. Neither program would have been funded past October 1st had fundraising goals not been successfully met or exceeded. Thanks to this year’s generous sponsors, 100% of every dollar raised will go directly towards the life-saving care provided by Home Base.
“The turbulence associated with the last several months has affected us all tremendously, and we are incredibly grateful for your continued support,” said retired Brigadier General Jack Hammond, Executive Director of Home Base. “Wherever you chose to run or walk this year, we hope you took pride in knowing you did so in unison with hundreds of other members of ‘Home Base Nation.’ On behalf of our entire team, a heartfelt thanks to all of those who supported the Run this year! We encourage others to consider making a donation so that we can continue to provide this lifesaving care.”
Participants were mailed a race package containing their official Run to Home Base shirt, camo hat, bib, bottle of water, and a mock “home plate” to take photos with. The day kicked-off with a special motivational message from retired Brigadier General Jack Hammond. Participants were encouraged to share photos and videos from their run or walk using “#RTHB2020.” From Boston to Hawaii —and nearly everywhere in between—the day was filled with powerful and inspiring messages from runners and walkers as they navigated their reimagined race routes and crossed home plate from afar.
At 5:30 pm on race day, participants were also recognized during the Run to Home Base TV Special on NESN before the Red Sox game that evening, featuring interviews with Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner, Home Base Executive Director Brigadier General (ret.) Jack Hammond, Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, a patient speaker, top fundraising team captains, and corporate sponsors.
Home Base, the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital are so grateful to all the participants and donors for this year’s Run to Home Base, who played a very special role in not just the event, but our mission. All of us are hoping to be in-person next year for the 2021 Run to Home Base and the event date will be announced soon.