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Santa Speedo Run raises $300,000 for Play Ball! Foundation

Last Saturday, 700 people left the Lir and Whiskey's pubs in Boston to brave the cold for the 12th annual "Santa Speedo Run", a charity race where runners are decked out in Santa Claus garb and swim trunks.

Naturally, as one can imagine, things got a little zany -- there was even a wedding proposal in the middle of the street. But among all the hoopla and sponsorships, one number that sticks out is the amount of money the event raised for the Play Ball! Foundation, which is estimated at over $300,000.

Last month, we profiled the Play Ball! Foundation, a charity founded by finance executive Mike Harney that funds middle school sports leagues for the Boston Public Schools. Thanks to the money raised by Play Ball!, over 1,000 kids in the BPS junior high schools now play sports (Play Ball! currently offers football, baseball, girls' volleyball and double dutch).

“Ultimately, the goal of Play Ball! is to get feet on the field,” Harney said. “A showing like this for the race means that it will open up further opportunity to help kids throughout the city of Boston.

“Five years ago in the city of Boston there were no junior highs that offered football and baseball,” Harney said. “Now there’s more than a dozen schools that offer them thanks to Play Ball!, and the money raised on Saturday will keep those numbers going up, which keeps kids both engaged academically, socially and living healthier lifestyles.”

For more information on the event, check out PlayBallFoundation.org