Rays of Hope Celebrates 19 years!
On Sunday, October 28 more more than 22,000 people took steps toward the cure of breast cancer. Participants stepped off in both Springfield and Greenfield in a sea of pink for the 2, 3 or 5-mile routes along the Walk & Run. Presented by Health New England, we celebrated 19 years of supporting breast health in western Massachusetts this year and we ended the day with $838,000 raised! Since 1994, Rays of Hope has raised $11.08 million, all of which has remained local, helping the people in our communities throughout Western Massachusetts.
Rays of Hope Walk - Greenfield, MA Location Highlights
Superstorm Sandy may have been hovering, but she couldn't stop 600 walkers from celebrating breast cancer survivorship in Greenfield for our fourth Rays of Hope Walk. From the pink sunrise to the pink balloons to the sea of pink hats, scarves, tee shirts and decorations, Rays of Hope shone through the cloudy skies.
Our 2012 breast cancer survivors on the Station Stage
Behind the Scenes
The Greenfield steering committee worked together through the summer to plan the event, including inviting entertainers and exhibitors, planning the decorations for the Pink Hope Lounge, overseeing the Pink Scarf Project for Greenfield and Springfield, preparing for registration, soliciting refreshments for volunteers and entertainers, distributing tee shirts -- entertainment, exhibitors tent, Pink Hope Lounge, the Pink Scarf project, registration, decorations, tee shirt distribution, volunteer refreshments, set up and "strike" -- and countless other tasks. Additional volunteers joined the committee on Walk Day to help the day run seamlessly from the first balloon on the arch till the last table was stored away at the end of the day.
Pink Scarf Project
Each year, people from our community and beyond lovingly knit, crochet or weave pink scarves, which are displayed in the Pink Hope Lounge in both Greenfield and Springfield during the walk. Because of the generosity of so many creative individuals, every breast cancer survivor who participated in the 2013 walk had the opportunity to choose a scarf. Extra scarves were donated to the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center in Springfield, and the Oncology departments at Baystate Franklin Medical Center and Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware for distribution to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. We will continue the Pink Scarf Project in 2013, and welcome your knit or crocheted pink scarves at the BFMC Development Office in Greenfield or the Rays of Hope Outreach Office in Springfield throughout the year.
A creative group of young teens wandered about the park offering free face-painting services, adding another colorful dimension to the décor of the day.
A special thanks also to Russ Thomas, MD, who sends walkers off every year with Greenfield's own Rays of Hope theme song, which he composed for the 2009 event. Russ' inspiring chorus "Step by step; walk as one, in a strong unbroken line; rising like the morning sun -- Rays of Hope will shine...."
Bundled for a chilly October afternoon, with Superstorm Sandy lurking, Greenfield walkers headed up to the top of Main Street, where they chose to continue either along High Street (flat, 2-mile loop) or through Greenfield’s beautiful Highland Park (hilly, 3-mile loop). Walkers on both routes passed Baystate Franklin Medical Center, then continued down Franklin Street to Main Street, ending at the Energy Park.
The Greenfield Entertainers
From the gentle tones of Rosie Caine’s Celtic harp in the Pink Hope Lounge, to the performers on the Station Stage, in the park, and out on the route, music, dance and juggling helped inspire everyone throughout the day. A lively variety of entertainers sang, played, danced or juggled for our Rays of Hope walkers and friends. A huge thank you to the following volunteer entertainers for helping to create a festive atmosphere: Fire Pond, Paul Richmond (juggler), Northfield Mount Hermon Nellies, Annie Hassett, Northfield Mount Hermon Hogappellas, John Currie, Jack Park (Deerfield Academy student), Phil Watson and friends, Celtic Heels and the Greenfield High School Crush Squad. Your enthusiasm such an element of celebration and joy to our day!