Born and raised in Holyoke, I still have a deep connection to the city. I encourage you to check out I’m Running for Holyoke as a really awesome and inspiring concept.
(From the I’m Running for Holyoke site)
Here’s a little bit of the group’s history:
• Founded in the summer of 2011 by Harry Melendez as part of Harry’s bid for eligibility in the 2012 NFL Draft
• Conceived under the mantra of “Start Small, Dream BIG,” the group runs through the streets of the city of Holyoke; the runs are both part of Harry’s NFL training and of each group member’s individual quest for self and community improvement
• Comprised of Holyoke residents who are not only supporting Harry’s dream, but their own; the number of runners has approached 30
• Runs are anywhere between 2 and 3 miles
• Participants all proudly don purple and white, the colors of Holyoke High School. Harry Melendez articulates his vision as helping “Holyoke become more physically active as I try to get in the best shape of my life to pursue an NFL career and put Holyoke on the map. I’m running for Holyoke.” Harry also believes the group possesses the ability to show citizens of Holyoke that they can make a difference in “every step, jog, and run at a time.”
• As of February 8th, 2012 the group has run 8,244.2 Miles
In a city so stigmatized by the scourge of violence and poverty, I’m Running for Holyoke emanates the positive energy and fighting spirit that has defined Holyoke for centuries. With what these people have begun, Holyoke stands a chance to reclaim its place as one of the best cities in the nation.