A few months ago, there was a story in the Mail Tribune about a local defense attorney who was raising money in memory of a little boy who was killed in the Boston Marathon. I believe the participants were running around Lost Creek Lake. The money was supposed to go to the child's elementary school. Was the race a success? How much money did they raise?
— Ellie G., Ashland
Medford public defender Justin Rosas is the fellow who ran in the Boston Marathon and asked local runners to help honor the memory of 8-year-old Martin Richards, killed in the bombings, Ellie.
Rosas, a defense attorney with Southern Oregon Public Defenders and an avid marathoner, crossed the finish line in the iconic Boston race an hour before the two bombs detonated. Witnessing the aftermath was both harrowing and haunting, he said.
Rosas hooked up with the Rogue Valley Runners store in Ashland and Medford-based running groups Southern Oregon Runners and Southern Oregon Running Enthusiasts to help organize and sponsor the April 21 event.
A crowd of about 200 runners and walkers gathered on the shore of Lost Creek Lake and participated in the memorial-benefit run and walk. More than $5,600 was raised, Rosas said.
"This was truly an amazing community experience for so many," Rosas said. "It was great to be with the other local runners who had been to Boston."
The money raised in the memorial run was sent to Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester, where Martin Richards went to school. Martin's mother works at the school, and his surviving siblings attend it, Rosas said. He asked that all money be dedicated to a new piece of sporting or playground equipment in the boy's honor, he said.
"The school was very appreciative of the donations," Rosas said.
Rosas is determined to run the Boston Marathon again — to help heal his own memories and to honor those who will never run again, he said.
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