HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — Tonight the Holyoke Parade Committee named Rick and Dick Hoyt as this year’s recipients of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Award.
The award is presented annually to an American or Americans of Irish descent who have distinguished themselves in their chosen field or profession.
And the Hoyts have certainly done that. They are known as a father-son team for running marathons and triathlons. Father Dick Hoyt pushes his son Rick Hoyt in a wheelchair in every race.
In his 70′s, Dick still wants to attempt one more Boston marathon.
Parade committee members say it’s this drive that inspired them to honor the Hoyts.
“It’s celebrating family and coming together as a family. And that’s our goal for parade weekend, is for people to come together, be with your families and enjoy it, and the Hoyts exemplify family love, dedication, and perseverance,” explains Jane Caughlin Chevalier, 2014 parade president.
“We tracked down the Hoyts from all their running and we had a great discussion with them. And they are really looking forward to this year’s award,” says Ray Feyre, with the parade committee.
The two men are in California at the moment, but will be in town at a later date to accept the award. And will of course march in the 2014 Holyoke Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
Past recipients of the JFK Award include Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished authors, and even an astronaut.