BOSTON (CBS) – John Hancock employees were out pounding the pavement during a reprieve from the snow.

This April’s race marks 33 years of John Hancock sponsoring the Boston Marathon. And Sunday dozens of employees trudged 18 miles to support more than 100 local charities.

A group of young supporters held signs and cheered loudly while team members ran by.

“It’s awesome to have the support from all these kids out here,” said Nicole Ricciardi of Medford.

The young sign-holders were from the Boys and Girls Club of Boston, one of the non-profits that will benefit from the John Hancock Boston Marathon team.

“I know when they are running they are helping students like myself, providing opportunities to me,” said 14-year-old Alton Jenkins, who was just named Boys and Girls Club junior youth of the year for his leadership skills.

runner1 John Hancocks Boston Marathon Runners Helping City Youth Achieve Dreams

A John Hancock runner is all smiles during a Boston Marathon training session. (WBZ-TV)

The Dorchester resident said he draws inspiration from the club.

“It’s a home away from home and given me opportunities I wouldn’t have anywhere else. There are so many caring people there and they push themselves to push you,” Jenkins said.

There are 150 John Hancock employees who run for the Boston Marathon team, and 1,000 non-profit runners in the program who raised more than $12 million last year.

“We are out here to cheer on the amazing runners of John Hancock who are raising money, critical dollars for our operating support so we can service 17,000 kids in the City of Boston,” said Kip Parker of Boys and Girls Club Boston.

Caroline Collier has been a member of the Boys and Girls Club for more than 10 years.

“Been a huge impact on my academic success. I have a whole a second family there,” she said.

Mary Kate Shea said runners draw inspiration from the children.

“All about helping these kids achieve a dream they were meant to live,” she said.

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