Founder of DMSE Sports and Race Director of Boston Marathon accepts award at MIAA/MSSADA Sportsmanship Summit

William Gaine, the MIAA Deputy Director, (left) and Steve Burton of WBZ-TV (center) present the 2010 Ron Burton Community Service Award to Dave McGillivray, president of DMSE Sports, Inc.  GrynnAndBarrett   

William Gaine, the MIAA Deputy Director, (left) and Steve Burton of WBZ-TV (center) present the 2010 Ron Burton Community Service Award to Dave McGillivray, president of DMSE Sports, Inc. GrynnAndBarrett

BOSTON — Dave McGillivray, who has helped raise millions of dollars for charitable causes by participating in, producing and directing athletic events over the past 30-plus years, received the Ron Burton Community Service Award for 2010 at a ceremony Friday (Nov. 19) at Gillette Stadium.

The award was presented to McGillivray, founder and president of Massachusetts-based DMSE Sports (www.dmsesports.com) and longtime director of the BAA Boston Marathon, at the annual MIAA/MSSADA Sportsmanship Summit at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, attended by more than 1,000 high school athletes and educators. 

The event, sponsored by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Massachusetts Secondary Schools Athletic Director Association (MSSADA), featured speakers, workshops and awards, capped by the presentation to McGillivray. 

McGillivray, who earlier had made a presentation to students called “Defining Moments,” received the Ron Burton Community Service Award for “demonstrated leadership in service and respect for others.” 

The award comes on the heels of an announcement last month that McGillivray will be inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in January.

“As a kid, I may have always been ‘the last pick’ when my friends bucked up for sides because I was small in stature, but standing here today and receiving this award is proof that we all have a purpose and we all can make a difference in this world – there is no greater reward than knowing that,” said McGillivray to the audience of students, teachers and organizers. 

The Ron Burton Community Service Award is named after former New England Patriot Ron Burton, a philanthropist and athlete who used his football legacy to help deliver his message of hope, determination and optimism, emphasizing that love, strong family values and hard work can overcome any obstacle. 

In 2003, the MIAA instituted a community service award in Ron Burton’s name and the first recipient was his son, Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports Anchor/Reporter. Other award winners include Boston Celtics great JoJo White, legendary Boston College and NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, and Boston Globe sportswriter and columnist Jackie MacMullan. 

Upon receiving the award, McGillivray said he was most touched by the fact the award is named for a man as well respected and admired as Ron Burton, who he said he admired for his generosity, kindness, sincerity, tenacity and dedication to fitness. “He was always fit and to me that is an unselfish quality - as when you take care of yourself, you put yourself in a better position to take care of others, and that he did better than anyone.” 

McGillivray, 56, a Medford, Mass., native who now lives in Andover, Mass., has devoted most of his life to challenging himself while at the same time helping others. He uses running as his tool to give back to the community. His accomplishments are both numerous and unique. They include:

  • In 1978, McGillivray ran across the U.S. from Medford, Oregon to his hometown of Medford, Mass., covering a total distance of 3,452 miles and ending to a standing ovation in Fenway Park. His effort raised thousands of dollars for the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
  • Two years later, he ran 1,250 miles from Winter Haven, Fla., to Boston to raise money for the Jimmy Fund, even meeting with President Jimmy Carter at the White House during the run.
  • In 1982, McGillivray ran the Boston Marathon in 3:14 while blindfolded and being escorted by two guides to raise more than $10,000 for the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Mass.
  • In 2004, McGillivray and a team of veteran marathon runners journeyed across the country following the same path he took in 1978, raising more than $300,000 for six charities benefiting children.
  • McGillivray created the DMSE Children’s Fitness Foundation to support non-profit organizations that use running to promote physical fitness in children and help solve the epidemic of childhood obesity.

William Gaine, the MIAA Deputy Director, introduced McGillivray and Steve Burton, Ron Burton’s son, presented the award at Friday’s ceremony. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft also lauded McGillivray for his contributions to the numerous worthwhile causes while the scoreboard on the field illuminated his name.

“Dave McGillivray has a demonstrated history of leadership and respect for others. His dedication and creativity in finding ways to give back to the community are remarkable,” Gaine said. “The values that Dave promotes through his work model the legacy of Ron Burton and we are pleased to present him with this award.”

The MIAA is an organization of 373 high schools that sponsor athletic activities in 33 sports. More than 200,000 young men and women compete annually in approximately 100,000 competitions among MIAA member schools.

An accomplished motivational speaker and author, McGillivray has spoken to more than 1,600 audiences from corporate executives to high school students, and his book, The Last Pick, chronicles his career while motivating and inspiring readers to never underestimate their own ability to set and achieve goals.

Professionally, McGillivray is one of the world’s most sought-after sports event managers. DMSE Sports, the company he founded in 1981 to create athletic events in the Boston area, is now a world leader in sports event management, specializing in creating, marketing and producing mass participatory athletic events throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Perhaps best known in New England as the race director of the BAA Boston Marathon and the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race in Maine, McGillivray has produced or consulted on more than 900 mass-participatory athletic events throughout the world, including 23 Boston Marathons, the 2004 and 2008 USA Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials, the 1990 Triathlon World Championship, the 1998 Goodwill Games Triathlon and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

On Dec. 5, McGillivray will be in Asia to direct the revamped Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, which features 60,000 runners starting four different races at the same time. McGillivray lives in North Andover, Mass., with his wife, Katie and five children, Ryan, Max, Elle, Luke and Chloe.