The Rays of Hope Walk in Springfield, Massachusetts is celebrating 18 years of hope!
Join us on October 20, 2013 as we hit the pavement in support of breast health in western Massachusetts. Since 1994, Rays of Hope has raised $11.08 million, all of which has remained in our communities.
The 4th annual Run Toward the Cure 8K fun run will once again be held in Springfield. Many participants run the event route each year and, with the help of Fast Feet in West Springfield and Westfield, we move into our fourth 8K fun run! Runners will lead the way, as they hit the pavement at 10:15 am, 15 minutes prior to the Walk participants who step off at 10:30 am. Runners sign up online and, just like the walkers, can create a personal webpage where they can easily fundraise for Rays of Hope. And, just like the Walkers, they can also just fundraise offline as well. While the Run Toward the Cure 8K is a fun run, there will be a time clock at the finish line so runners can still see and record their time. The Run Toward the Cure 8K fun run is only at the Springfield event location.
The Walk in Springfield begins at Temple Beth El on Dickinson Street. Large tents, pink balloons, music, colorful flags and a festive, hopeful atmosphere welcome all participants. Local businesses and services offer information and giveaways in the Exhibitor Tent. Be sure to bring extra spending money - the Food Tent offers wonderful treats at a low cost, with all proceeds benefiting Rays of Hope. And, the Rays of Hope Store sells merchandise including new 20th Anniversary merchandise, sweatshirts, fleece or quilted vests, zip-up hoodies, scarves, eco-friendly shopping bags and more! The official program begins at 10:15 a.m. then the Walk steps off at 10:30 a.m. in a sea of pink shirts and smiling faces. Click on the diagram to see a PDF version full-size layout of the Springfield Walk Site. (Be aware this is a 11x17 document and may not print on your computer) A large sign with this layout will be at the Temple Beth El on Walk Day.
The Pink Hope Lounge, sponsored by The Walking Company, welcomes all breast cancer survivors inside for special treats, then the 2013 Survivors' photo shoot takes place at 10:00 a.m. The survivors stroll back to the main stage amid cheers and fanfare before the official program begins!
There is a two-mile and a five-mile route Walk participants can enjoy. Runners in the 8K will follow the five-mile route with a slight deviation in the begining. The two-mile route is accessible to all walkers including handicapped participants. It is a flat route following the loop around the ball field in Forest Park then back to Temple Beth El.
The five-mile route is a little more challenging with some hills. The route winds its way in and out of Forest Park before heading back to Temple Beth El. Both routes offer beautiful Fall scenery in and around historic Forest Park.
Click here for a detailed map of the Rays of Hope Walk routes
There are several water stops sponsored by local businesses along both routes. Free bottled water is available for all participants. Many of the sponsors offer goodies, too! Restrooms are available at each Water Stop. Handicapped accessible units are available at 4 of the Water Stops. (See detailed map above to learn more.)
All along the Walk routes participants will be entertained by the many local musicians who have volunteered their time and talents to Rays of Hope. We know you will enjoy them and may even pause to dance or sing along!
Free parking is available at specific locations near Temple Beth El. Free shuttle service runs continuously from each parking lot bringing Walk participants to the main event site at Temple Beth El. Participants should refrain from parking on the side streets near the Temple in consideration of the people who live there. Dickinson Street will have traffic diverted onto Tiffany Street to allow for easy shuttle bus access for all participants. There is ample storage space on the shuttle buses for strollers.
Handicapped parking is available at Temple Beth El with official handicapped parking permits and/or license plates only.
Click here for parking locations and directions.
Pets are Prohibited at the walk
While we know your family pet is probably quite friendly we ask that you leave them at home. More than 20,000 people participate in Rays of Hope and it can be quite intimidating for even the most disciplined pet. Please consider your pet's safety and the safety of your fellow participants.