By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – The Marlborough Police Patrol Officers Association (MPPOA) is preparing for its 12th Police Chase 5K to hit the roads Saturday, Sept. 19, at 11 a.m., beginning and ending at the Marlborough Moose Family Center 1129. Concurrently, the Marlborough Police Department (MPD) is mourning the recent loss of an employee, Sue Blaisdell. Proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will go to her family, said Officer Pat Hogan, the race director since its inception in 2001.
“We like to donate the race proceeds to a cause that’s close to us and it doesn’t get any closer than someone we’ve worked with for 17 years,” he noted. “Sue was like the den mother in the department.”
Blaisdell began working with the MPD in 1998 as a dispatcher; she became the administrative assistant to Chief Mark Leonard in 2012. She was also the lead instructor of the department’s Rape Aggression Defense (RAD), a self-defense class offered to women from teens to seniors.
On Aug. 15, Blaisdell passed away at age 46 after an eight-month battle with stage four colon cancer. She left her husband Daniel, and three young adult children, Alfred, Danielle and Nicholas. The MPPOA wants to financially assist the family.
“They still have huge medical bills and now they need to pay for a funeral,” Hogan said. “The race is happening now, so we figured helping them is the right thing to do.”
The MPPOA founded the Police Chase 5K in 2001 and contributed the proceeds to the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial in Boston. The following year, Sgt. William Kirby of the MPD died of pancreatic cancer. From 2002 through 2009, proceeds went to the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance. The race still memorializes Sgt. Kirby, who epitomized the term “a cop’s cop,” Hogan noted.
After a three-year hiatus while Hogan recovered from a work-related injury, the race returned in 2013 when the MPD was planning to add a dog unit. The MPPOA decided the new K-9 program should benefit from the 10th Police Chase 5K.
Last year, funds raised were placed in the MPPOA account for donations to numerous causes year-round. Among the causes to which the MPPOA contributes is families of police department employees in need of assistance, as is the case this year.
Hogan expressed his gratitude for the reliable volunteers of the race and cookout afterward.
“The same group of people has been putting this together for 12 years,” Hogan said. “You can count on them, so now it’s just a few phone calls to set up everything.”
The barbecue is provided and prepared by the Fraternal Order of Marlborough Eagles Aerie #3565. Nancy Hatch Ronayne, the Marlborough Moose administrative assistant, helps on behalf of the host facility. Billy Claire, guitarist of the popular band The Allens, performs his solo act. Sound is handled by Roger Cassie of High Voltage Sound. Officer Al Vorce consistently donates raffle items. George Larassa, Sgt. Kirby’s nephew, continually offers support in various capacities.
Following advice from Gary Cattarin, who finished the race first overall last year, the 12th Police Chase 5K will be wheel measured for accuracy.
“Whether you run or not, donating and coming to the post-race activities is a great idea,” Hogan said. “It’s an easy way to enjoy yourself for 12 bucks – and it’s for a great cause. Sue helped everybody and made the police department run well.”
Registration fee is $12 in advance; $15 day of race onsite. Advance registration can be paid by credit card online at MarlboroPoliceAssociation.org. For advance registration by cash or check, applications are available at the MPD, 355 Bolton St. First 150 registrants get a T-shirt. Questions can be directed to Officer Pat Hogan at 774-245-1325 or [email protected].