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It's time to start your fundraising for the 24th Annual Rays of Hope Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer

August 29, 2017

Rays of Hope is putting a call out for walkers and runners who have the power to bring hope to family, friends and neighbors fighting breast cancer through their participation in the 24th annual Rays of Hope Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer.

This year’s annual fundraiser – presented by Health New England – is set to step off on Sunday, Oct. 22, from Temple Beth El on Dickinson Street in Springfield and wind through and around Forest Park. The 8th Annual Run Toward the Cure 8K is coordinated by Fleet Feet and timed by Accu Spec.

It's never too early

“Don’t wait until the last minute. It’s never too early for teams and individual participants to begin their fundraising efforts. Beyond the importance of raising dollars to help care for patients, education and research, we have an extra incentive to set your goal even higher this year,” said Midje Theulen, Rays of Hope chair.

The Rays of Hope BIG WIG program offers special “big wig” status to those raising $1,000 or more online only by credit card. Rays of Hope BIG WIGS will have their own registration area at the event, as well as other perks depending on which level they achieve. Among the many BIG WIG perks will be a hat with 2017 pin, swag bag, access to premium restrooms, your own parking spot in the VIP lot, invitation onto the main stage, photo op with Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Rays of Hope founder Lucy Giuggio Carvalho, as well as free coffee, donuts and breakfast bars.

Using the simple and convenient online registration, BIG WIG and other participants can create their own personal webpage to assist them in their fundraising efforts. Participants must raise at least $50 to receive the collectible Rays of Hope t-shirt.

Some 24,000 strong

Since its inception in 1994 by Lucy Giuggio Carvalho, Rays of Hope, the most successful fundraising walk and run in western Massachusetts for breast cancer, has grown from 500 participants raising $50,000 to some 24,000 participants comprising some 600 teams raising a to-date total of over $13.7 million.

Check-in for the run begins at 7:30 a.m. followed by step off at 8:30 a.m., while check-in for the walk begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by step off at 10:30 a.m. Buses begin operating at 7:30 a.m. for runners and at 8:30 a.m. for walkers to shuttle them to Temple Beth El. Parking for runners is only at the Lenox (formerly American Saw) lot in East Longmeadow at 301 Chestnut St. Parking information for walkers can be found on the Rays of Hope website.

If you want to support the Rays of Hope, but are unable to due to other commitments, you can sign up as a “virtual” participant. You can choose your own method of participation – walk, run, bowl, swim and more – anytime during the month of October to get in five miles, while raising donations similar to other Rays of Hope participants.

Your dollars remain local

All monies raised remain local and administered by the Baystate Health Foundation to assist patients and their families affected by breast cancer. Funds support the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research, as well as treatment, breast health programs, outreach and education, and the purchase of state-of-the art equipment through the Baystate Health Breast Network, and provides grants to various community programs throughout western Massachusetts.

“Having been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer in the spring of 1998, I know firsthand how vital all the money raised is to winning the war against this horrific disease. I participated in my very first Rays of Hope Walk in October of 1998 – just two weeks after my last chemo treatment. The clinical trial I participated in was testing a new drug called Taxol, which is now part of a standard chemotherapy regime. Without the funding and research, I would not be here today, serving as the chair of this awesome event,” said Theulen.

This year’s Rays of Hope major sponsors are Health New England, Baystate Breast & Wellness Center, Baystate Breast Specialists, Baystate Radiology & Imaging, Chicopee Savings Charitable Foundation, Gale Toyota, Kinsley Power Systems, Westfield Bank, USA Hauling & Recycling Inc., and Zasco Productions. A listing of all sponsors can be found on the Rays of Hope website.

For more info

For more information about this year’s Rays of Hope Walk and 8K Run, held rain or shine, call 413-794-8001 or visit the Rays of Hope website.