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Mayor Walsh, Bill Rodgers Help Unveil 2014 Boston Marathon Street Banners

BOSTON, March 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In a brief program on Boylston Street this morning, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and four-time Boston Marathon Champion Bill Rodgers helped race sponsor John Hancock reveal designs for its 2014 Boston Marathon street banners. Each year, approximately 500 banners are hung in Boston usually a month prior to the race until about a week following the event.

Similar to prior years, the banners' theme of "We Run Together," highlights the importance of many different communities of people who come together to make the race what it is – from the elite athletes to the qualifying runners, to the non-profit runners who raise millions of dollars, to the volunteers, police and medical personnel who line the course.

This year, the company also designed honor banners that will hang in front of Marathon Sports and Forum restaurant as a tribute to all those affected by last year's tragic events. An honor banner was unveiled by Rodgers with assistance from Shane O'Hara, store manager of Marathon Sports, on the pole outside the store. Chris Loper, general manager of Forum also was in attendance.

"The Boston Marathon street banners mark the kick-off of a world-class event the City of Boston is so proud to host," Mayor Walsh said. "This year, we have the opportunity to reflect and draw inspiration from the strength and courage of all those affected by last year's tragedy– by the heroics of our first responders and caregivers, and by the countless acts of selflessness throughout our community."

"Our banners are a representation of the Boston Marathon, which connects eight cities and towns – and the entire world – in the spirit of competition, camaraderie and community," said James Gallagher, general counsel and chief administrative officer, John Hancock. "This year when people see the banners or think of the race, we hope they also think of resilience, strength and generosity."

In years past, John Hancock would collect the banners following the race and use them in a number of ways to promote the race and a variety of causes. This year, John Hancock created honor bracelets cut from the actual 2013 banners that lined the streets of Boston last year.  These authentic bracelets will be provided to each of the 36,000 race participants, and a limited supply is available for the public to purchase, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the One Fund Boston. The bracelets can be ordered online at ( www.crowdrise.com/braceletsforboston) for pick up at the John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo over Marathon weekend.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial

John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$599 billion ( US$563 billion) as at December 31, 2013. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.

SOURCE John Hancock Financial

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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