For the past several years, the friends and family of the late Evan Girardi have run as teams in his memory, in various events and road races around Massachusetts. Now, they're starting their own event in his hometown.
The inaugural Evan Girardi 5K will step off on Sept. 7 in Hopkinton. The road race will raise money for the Boston Cardiac Foundation, which sends doctors to poor, developing countries to implant life-saving pacemakers in patients who otherwise couldn't afford them.
His friends and family have worked for months on the memorial 5K, said a close childhood friend and classmate, Shane Lavoie. Girardi's parents will be helping to organize at the start of the race, and his three younger sisters all will be running in the 5K.
The choice of the Boston Cardiac Foundation as the recipient of the race proceeds came after some research. The volunteers researched the organization online, Lavoie said, and met with the Massachusetts-based foundation, as well.
"We knew we wanted to choose a heart organization," Lavoie said, but also wanted a smaller organization. "Something where our donation made more of an impact."