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Rock 102’s Mayflower Marathon continues to be a tried and true Holiday Tradition


SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — Chances are if you drove by the Basketball Hall of Fame today you noticed all the commotion in the South End parking lot.

The excitement was revolving around the annual Rock 102 Mayflower Marathon.  Bax and O’Brien were out once again giving it their all for their annual Open Pantry food drive.

The holidays of course are all about tradition, and one of the great traditions here in Western Mass is the Mayflower Marathon, still going strong after almost 20 years.

“People expect it, said John O’Brien.    “It’s to the point now, 17-18 years we’ve been doing it for them, and people know it’s there.  They’ve made a tradition out of it.  They probably make a tradition of it almost as much as they have of their Thanksgiving.”

And while you can usually expect the unexpected from Springfield’s #1 radio morning show, when it comes to the Thanksgiving holiday you can always count on Bax & O’Brien to deliver the goods.

The annual Mayflower Marathon kicked off this morning with a goal in mind to fill the area’s food pantry’s with much needed and much appreciated food for needy families.

The bar is always set high with these guys, and this year the goal is to break last years record of $80-thousand worth of donated food.

“Yes last year we set a record and the idea of doing it again there’s no pressure, said Mike Baxendale.

“It never ends, said O’Brien.    “We’re constantly on 24/7.  We’re entertainers, and about that time everybody had a good laugh.”

And while it may appear to be all fun and games with Bax & O’Brien the work they’ve done on Rock 102 collecting food has been monumental.

The marathon began Monday morning at 6am and will continue through Wednesday morning at 10am.

The Bax & O’Brien Show has been the morning show of record in Springfield for years.  And Monday morning the donations started coming in.

The goal is to fill three tractor trailer trucks full of food.  This is the biggest food drive that the Open Pantry does the entire year.

“With the recent events with the tornado in June ans the snow storm in October,” said Open Pantry Director Allison Maynard.   “We’ve seen a downturn in donations at the Food Pantry.”

At the Food Pantry and the Mayflower Marathon.  Allison told us that normally there would be 50 to 100 turkey’s donated the first morning.  But because of all the natural disasters our area has endured, donations were a little slow.

But that’s where Bax & O’Brien come in.  They’ll be at the Hall of Fame around the clock, spending nights living in a nary-by trailer.

And while living in a trailer isn’t such a stretch for these guys, no pun intended, things can get a little ripe after a few days.

“By Tuesday I really start to funk up the joint,” said Bax.   “And by Wednesday I do the annual View from the Couch where I talk about the physical repulsive nature of my entire physical being.  It’s really the most disgusting thing I do.  Monday is definitely the day to be near me.”

Just like the zoo you don’t need to get too close to the animals to enjoy the experience.

Bax & O’Brien will be broadcasting live and accepting donations until 10am Wednesday morning.


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