Join Us in Turning the Commonwealth Blue to Thank the Front Lines

Community Asked to Let Front Lines Know: “You Are Essential. We Are Grateful.”
124 Race Bibs for 124th Boston Marathon Donated to Boston-area Hospitals and Boston Resiliency Fund in Recognition of Ongoing Work During Crisis

To mark what would be the 124th Boston Marathon this April, 35-year principal sponsor John Hancock, joined by the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, call on the community to collectively share gratitude for the essential workforce who are risking their lives every day to fight COVID-19 by lighting their buildings blue, displaying signs of gratitude in their homes and showing support online.

John Hancock will join other signs of gratitude that have been displayed throughout the community by lighting its historic weather beacon blue in honor of those working on the front lines, starting today until the stay-at-home advisory is lifted, and asking other buildings to do the same. On OneBoston Day, April 15th, a thank you flag will be placed on the company’s 200 Berkeley Street building.

As part of the initiative, the MBTA will light the T’s Government Station building blue and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will light the Zakim Bridge in Boston and the Burns Bridge in Shrewsbury blue from April 6th until the morning of April 21st. The Mayor’s office will also light City Hall blue starting on April 6th.

John Hancock, the B.A.A., Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh are calling on others – from the business community to individual residents – to do the same by lighting their buildings, showing support online and displaying signs of gratitude in their homes.

Templates to print and color, or post online, reading: “You are essential. We are grateful.” are available here.

As a gesture of gratitude for their lifesaving work, the B.A.A., in partnership with John Hancock, will contribute 124 Boston Marathon invitational entry bibs to those responding hospitals battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boston Resiliency Fund, and organizations on the front lines of the crisis.

The majority of these institutions are part of the existing John Hancock Non-Profit and B.A.A. Charity programs and include the American Red Cross, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts Eye & Ear, Massachusetts General Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, South Shore Hospital, and Tufts Medical Center. Each organization will have the opportunity to use their bibs in any capacity. To date, 2020 Boston Marathon runners have raised nearly $25 million for charity.

“Massachusetts has been John Hancock’s home for over 150 years, and we’ve seen before the unwavering spirit of our partners and neighbors during difficult times,” said Marianne Harrison, President and CEO of the company. “The Boston Marathon has always been a collective celebration of persistence and resilience, and we are looking forward to cheering from the finish line again on September 14th. Right now, our focus is on the essential frontline workers, and we are grateful to them for risking their lives for us.”

“Our contribution of invitational entries into the postponed Boston Marathon is intended to show our appreciation of the healthcare and frontline workers in this unprecedented battle,” said Tom Grilk, CEO of the B.A.A. “The essential workforce, hospitals and medical support have always been here for us, and we want to honor them by partnering with our principal sponsor John Hancock on collaborative efforts to support them at this crucial time.”

"The Commonwealth is fortunate to be home to so many resilient and dedicated residents as we fight COVID-19, and we are especially grateful for the countless hours our essential workers are putting into this battle," said Governor Charlie Baker. "This is a great opportunity to show how united the Commonwealth stands in the fight against COVID-19, so we are asking organizations and individuals across Massachusetts to join us in showing support for the dedicated essential workers on the front lines of the fight by turning the Commonwealth blue."

“Boston is a city known for its collaborative, team spirit. We know how to lift each other up in the face of adversity,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’m proud to work with Governor Baker, John Hancock and the B.A.A. on this effort – and join them in encouraging all businesses and citizens to go blue. Let’s show our frontline workers that there’s an army of support behind each and everyone of them.”

As part of John Hancock’s long standing commitment to build a healthier, more equitable Boston, the company helped the City launch the Boston Resiliency Fund as one of the first to contribute $1 million to support COVID-19 relief for the most vulnerable and affected populations in Boston. The B.A.A. also contributed $100,000 to the Boston Resiliency Fund, in addition to donating race-related medical supplies to agencies across Massachusetts, including medical and non-medical grade gloves, medical grade face shields, face masks, IV fluid bags, hand sanitizer, antiseptic, thermometer covers, nebulizer tubing sets, and ponchos.

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About John Hancock and Manulife

John Hancock is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife globally, including Canada, Asia and Europe. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were CAD$1.2 trillion (US$0.9 trillion) as of December 31, 2019. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at

One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports more than 10 million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insuranceannuitiesinvestments, 401(k) plans, and college savings plans. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

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