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For many people, Memorial Day isn’t just an opportunity to celebrate and give thanks to the wonderful service men and women of this country. Memorial Day is also a chance to raise funds for great causes while enjoying the start of some great weather. And for many nonprofits, Memorial Day is the perfect time to create an annual event. The following events are just some of the fun Memorial Day fundraisers happening around the country.

Rochester Memorial Day Boat Race

What started as a 4-H project in 1934 by Jim Hartley, the Rochester Memorial Day Boat Race has become an annual tradition which is supported by the entire community and currently sponsored by the Rochester Fire Department.

The annual event was created when members of the Rochester 4-H club built canoe-shaped boats from pine boards and decided to race them along the Mattapoisett River. That first race with just four teams gave birth to a tradition that in 1996 saw a record 106 teams compete in this annual race. Most teams come from the Rochester and Mattapoisett communities but there have been some international entries over the years as well.

In keeping with tradition of the first race, each team to enter must race with a handmade boat and two crew members. Such is the tradition of this annual event, the Rochester Memorial Boat Race has been held every year since 1934, the only exception being the years during World War II. Spectators can even enjoy watching competitors at certain places along the course (which is somewhere between 10 and 12 miles long) and everyone can enjoy a Ham and Bean Supper at the end of the day.


Memorial Day


Memorial Day Races at The Berkshires

Fun runs are a popular fundraiser and this year The Berkshires are holding their sixth annual Memorial Day Races. This annual fundraiser helps to raise awareness and money for Team Red, White and Blue (a nonprofit organization helping veterans connect with their communities through physical and social activities) and Solider On (a nonprofit organization helping homeless veterans).

With the option of a marathon, half marathon, 10k 5k, kids run, 15k trail, trail road challenge, and dirt road race available, there is a race for everyone, no matter what their fitness level. The marathon course is even USATF certified meaning the distance has been certified as accurate by USA Track and Field.

The Memorial Day Races are a fun day of activity for the whole family and all levels of fitness enthusiasts, all while raising much needed funds and awareness for two organizations supporting veterans.

Memorial Day Murph Challenge

Crossfit is a popular form of training and exercise, and is often used by military personnel. The Memorial Day Murph Challenge has turned one Crossfit workout into a wonderful annual fundraiser.

The Memorial Day Murph Challenge is held in honor of Lt. Michael Murphy (winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor) who was killed in battle. This nationalwide event is held throughout many crossfit gyms and raises funds to support the Michael Murphy Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The event features a tough, military style crossfit workout that can be tailored to suit all levels of fitness. The annual event also includes a BBQ and drinks so competitors and their supporters can socialize while raising funds for a great cause.

These are just some of the fundraisers taking place this year to celebrate Memorial Day. Creating a traditional, annual event can take some time but with a great plan and a great idea, it is possible to establish an event that will become entrenched within your community and your organization.

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