Sandy Silbert and Amy Troupes
Twin sisters Sandy Silbert and Amy Troupes have volunteered together since 1987 and have the pins to prove it. Each year, they proudly wear a lanyard displaying the pins from every Boston Marathon they have volunteered at.
The two started out on the Baggage Claim team and have moved through a variety of assignments including the Pre-Race Dinner, the Human Chain, Clothing Collection, Food Distribution, T-shirt Distribution, and most recently, Bib Distribution. “We’ve seen a lot of things over the years,” Sandy said. She will never forget the year that Johnny Kelley signed their jackets at the Start Line.
Sandy and Amy consider volunteering a family event because of the connections they have with their fellow volunteers and as well as with returning runners. “They remember us. Every year is a reunion – it feels like Thanksgiving!” Amy said. For the sisters, volunteering is their way contributing to the family. “These runners are beautiful, nice people,” Sandy said.
“Volunteering is just part of our life,” Amy said. The two volunteer for the B.A.A. Half Marathon and 10K as well as for many events outside of the B.A.A. including the Jimmy Fund Marathon Walk, the Run to Home Base, and the Special Olympics.
When asked what advice she would give to a first-time volunteer, Sandy’s answer was simple; “Enjoy the day. The city is different – enjoy it.” In addition to advising comfy shoes, Amy said, “Talk to people. When else can you meet so many people from around the world?”
“Amy and Sandy are knowledgeable, hardworking volunteers that know their craft and take their role of being hosts of the city and Marathon seriously. They bring joy to all who meet them and leave a lasting impression that Boston is a fun, warm community that all are welcome in.” - Boston Athletic Association
Sarah McCoy has been a B.A.A. volunteer since 1995. She started as a Boston Marathon volunteer and has volunteered at every B.A.A. Half Marathon and 10K since their inceptions. Sarah was never a runner, so volunteering for the B.A.A. is her way of being part of the experience. “There is something so mythical about running,” she said. “I think it’s amazing.”
Sarah doesn’t care what her volunteer role is as long as she can help runners have a great experience. She has worked in the Food Tent, Medal Distribution, and her personal favorite, Bib Distribution. For Sarah, volunteering has created truly lasting friendships. “I love getting to know the other volunteers,” she said. “We come together for each event and it’s like we have never left each other.”
Sarah lives in Roxbury, MA and works in the Psychology Department at Boston Medical Center. She volunteers for the election department as an ambassador for accessibility, helping handicap citizens vote in her precinct. She also volunteers for the Big Sister Association, most recently at their summer picnic at Camp Harbor View in Quincy, MA. When it comes to community service, Sarah believes that “time is greater than money.”
Sarah’s advice to new volunteers is simple; be happy. “It only takes one scowl to ruin someone’s day,” she said. “Smile, because you represent the B.A.A. to people from all over the world.”
"Sarah is one of our most dedicated volunteers. She has an innate ability to comfort and encourage runners no matter what her role is. Her contagious energy and genine spirit is truly something to admire." - Boston Athletic Association
Ed Carpenter is not a runner, but on Marathon Monday each April, running is his favorite sport. He has been a Boston Marathon volunteer since 1987 and can prove it with all the volunteer jackets hanging in his closet.
Ed volunteers in the pressroom, tracking the lead males all the way from Hopkinton to Boston. He is on the phone with a bike spotter who reports all updates from the front of the pack to Ed. “We are like a well-oiled machine at this point,” Ed said.
Volunteering for the Boston Marathon is just one of the ways Ed is involved in the Boston community. From 1977 to 2006, he worked at Boston University, retiring as the Assistant Athletic Director for Communication. He now serves on three boards at BU; BU Friends of Athletics, BU Athletic Hall of Fame, and BU Retired Staff & Faculty.
Since retiring in 2006, he works part-time as a Fenway Park tour guide. “I could spend eternity at Fenway,” he said. He loves sharing the history of the team and meeting people from all over the world. “I admit my tours go longer than the designated hour, but I just love telling stories,” he said.
Ed’s personal pride for Boston fuels everything he does in this community, especially as a volunteer. The Boston Marathon is more than a race to him. “It is a day we show the world how much pride we take in our city,” he said.
Ed currently resides in Stoughton, MA and enjoys spending time with his family, including 5 children and 7 grandchildren.
“Ed has been involved with Boston sports for many years and it shows. He understands the Boston community and embodies the pride we all take in the Boston Marathon.” - Boston Athletic Association
Javier Cheung started volunteering for the B.A.A. in 2009 after becoming a member of the Cambridge Running Club. “It started off as a job. The club asked me to help organize volunteers for B.A.A. events,” he said. “Now, however, it is far beyond that for me.”
Since 2009, Javier has volunteered annually at the B.A.A. Half Marathon and B.A.A. 10K. He has worked runner registration, shirt distribution, wave start and his personal favorite, medal distribution. “My favorite part is when the later waves of runners cross the finish line,” he said. “Many have accomplished something far out of their comfort zone, so seeing them tear-up and smile with their medals is the most inspiring part.” Javier ran the 2008 B.A.A. Half Marathon and the 2011 Boston Marathon, so he understands the hard work it takes to cross the finish line. He doesn’t run as much these days, but loves supporting his friends as a volunteer and spectator at B.A.A. races.
Javier is engaged throughout the Boston community. He is still an active member of the Cambridge Running Club and enjoys cheering on his fellow club members at local races, including the Boston Marathon. Outside of the running world, Javier coaches basketball for the Special Olympics and every Thursday he works one-on-one with elementary school kids helping them read. “I love helping to develop such an important skill,” he said.
For Javier, volunteering is more than the job itself. “Now, I feel like I am helping out while being with friends,” he said. He encourages first-time volunteers not to feel intimidated and to just enjoy every part of the experience as he does. “I don’t do anything extraordinary,” he said. “Just the best I can for the B.A.A. and the city.”
“Javi keeps everyone in good spirits with his infectious smile and happy personality. Individuals like him who organize larger groups of volunteers really make the B.A.A. Volunteer program run smoothly.” - Boston Athletic Association
Troy Botts started volunteering with the B.A.A. in 2012, and in three short years has become a standout volunteer. He has been an avid runner for about many years, participating in numerous races including the Chicago, Maine, Hartford, and Marine Corps Marathons.
He learned about B.A.A. volunteer opportunities as an employee of State Street in Quincy, MA. “As a runner, I was excited by a chance to volunteer for the running community,” he said. Troy’s first assignment was with bus unloading for the 2012 Boston Marathon. “Since then, if I don’t run in a B.A.A. race, I am volunteering at it,” he said.
Troy now organizes State Street volunteers for the Boston Marathon. In 2014, over 200 of them volunteered on Boston Common helping runners check bags before they left for Hopkinton and pick them up after crossing the Finish Line. “I love managing and interacting with everyone on my team,” he said. At other B.A.A. races, Troy helps with volunteer check-in and anywhere else there is a need. He says he simply enjoys volunteering no matter what the task may be.
Troy will always remember being recognized as a B.A.A. volunteer one afternoon as he was walking down the street. “It made my day,” he said. “A runner remembered me, had a good time and felt inclined to tell me.”
Outside of the B.A.A., Troy volunteers year-round at local food pantries and churches. He also teaches kids about the basics of finance and money at Boston-area Citizen’s Schools, YMCA’s, and Boys & Girl’s Clubs.
When asked what advice he would give to first-time B.A.A. volunteers, Troy did not hesitate: “Soak up every second of it,” he said. “It goes fast and there is so much to take in.”
“Troy’s ability to connect with people makes him a natural leader that other volunteers are drawn to. He has a quick-wit and rolls with on the spot changes, making him an all-star volunteer.” - Boston Athletic Association
As a child, Mary McManus wanted nothing to do with athletics. She contracted paralytic polio when she was five years old and constantly struggled with any sort of physical activity. At age 53, Mary was diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. Her doctors told her that she would need to quit her job and eventually use a wheelchair. Mary, however, refused to accept this as her fate.
She started physical therapy at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. After 6 months she set her sights on a goal that would change her life; she wanted to run the Boston Marathon. “I wanted to shed my identity as someone who was handicap,” she said. After a year of training, Mary completed the 2009 Boston Marathon as a mobility-impaired runner. “I channeled the energy of the crowd and volunteers from Hopkinton to Boston,” she said.
This energy inspired Mary to give back as much as she could to the running community. When it’s not possible for her to run in a race, she volunteers wherever she is needed. In 2011, she volunteered at the B.A.A. Half Marathon, encouraging runners as they navigated Franklin Park Zoo. She joined the packet stuffing team for the 2014 Boston Marathon and worked with fellow volunteers to prepare for the arrival of 36,000 runners. Most recently, she volunteered at the Kids Fun Run Races for the 2014 B.A.A. 10K.
Mary’s involvement in the running community extends beyond the B.A.A. She volunteers at local races including Boston’s Run to Remember, the Falmouth Road Race and most recently the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon. She helps with marathon training runs for members of her own L-Street Running Club, and is involved with other non-profit organizations including the National MS Society and 2020 Vision Quest.
Whether it is as a runner, spectator, or volunteer, Mary makes it a priority to support her new-found community. “We are truly a family,” she said.
“Mary exhibits a true love for the running community in everything she does. Her determination and willpower teaches us to stay positive and that life has no limits.” - Boston Athletic Association
Gloria Wilkins Webster
Since 1994, Gloria Wilkins Webster has held a variety of volunteer jobs for the B.A.A. She is truly a jack-of-all-trades. Her and husband, Scott live in Roxbury, MA. They have two sons, and a daughter. Gloria works as an accounts payable specialist.
She first worked as a volunteer at the Boston Marathon with Scott and her brother, Gregory, in 1994. “Every year is a lot of fun,” she said. It has become a tradition for her family. Gregory has come up to Boston from Baltimore every year to volunteer with Gloria. “It is our chance to spend some fun time together,” she said. “He always gives me the stats and updates on the runners and makes the race more exciting.” She said that each year they have a good laugh because Gregory tricks his students with an assigned quiz on that day even though he won’t be there--he is volunteering in Boston!
The two had their first assignment for the 100th running of the Boston Marathon. Gloria helped with security at the start in Hopkinton. Her job was to make sure the runners made it into the correct corrals. She said the multitude of runners that year looked “like a corral of wild horses.” That year, as Gloria and Gregory were driving back from Hopkinton, they caught up with the elite runners as they passed over Route 16 in Wellesley. “It was so exciting to see them,” she said.
Since that year, Gloria has volunteered in Hopkinton as security, an entrance corral monitor, and as an ambassador. She has also worked at Registration at the expo in Boston. She has also been a volunteer at the B.A.A. Half Marathon since its inception in 2001. In 2011, she volunteered at the inaugural B.A.A. 10K in Boston.
For Gloria, it is easy for her to “get into the spirit of the moment” as a volunteer. She ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2008, so she respects the training and hard work of the runners. There are some years when Gloria and her brother know someone running. She is proud to say that they have tracking runners down to a science. In 2011, Gregory encouraged a friend's daughter who was struggling around mile 15. He ran alongside her and helped her to finish.
Gloria has done it all as a volunteer, and her dedication and spirit is contagious. When asked what makes the Boston Marathon so special to her, she simply chuckled and replied, “Because it’s the best marathon out there.”
“Gloria’s spirit captures everyone she comes in contact with. She’s made volunteering a year-round family tradition and we are honored to have the Webster’s projecting such a family-friendly atmosphere at all B.A.A. events.” -Boston Athletic Association