SPRINGFIELD – Large tents, pink balloons, music, colorful flags and a festive, hopeful atmosphere will welcome participants in Springfield and Greenfield at this year’s annual Rays of Hope – A Walk and Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer.
Breast cancer survivors at both locations will have their own special place to gather in the warm and comforting Pink Hope Lounge, where they will be welcomed with special gifts followed by the 2013 survivors’ photo at 10 a.m. in Springfield and 11:30 a.m. in Greenfield. In Springfield, the Pink Hope Lounge is sponsored by The Walking Company.
Local businesses, services, and breast cancer-related programs will offer a variety of information and giveaways under the event’s large exhibitor tent. The Rays of Hope Store will also be selling sweatshirts, quilted vests, eco-friendly shopping bags, and aprons, including special 20th anniversary merchandise celebrating two decades of the Walk in Springfield and five years in Greenfield.
For walkers and runners in Springfield, free parking with shuttle service is available at locations near Temple Beth El, including in East Longmeadow at American Saw, East Longmeadow High School, as well as in Longmeadow at Blueberry Hill School and at Longmeadow High School, and at other locations found on the Rays of Hope website. Participants are asked to refrain from parking on the side streets near the Temple in consideration of those who live in the surrounding neighborhoods, and to allow easy, safe access for the runners participating in the 8K.
In Greenfield, free parking is available in the public lots beside the Greenfield Fire Station, as well as behind Green Fields Market, Wilson’s Department Store, and the Franklin County Court House. There is no shuttle service, however, all lots are within walking distance of Energy Park.
Handicapped parking is available at Temple Beth El and at Energy Park for those with an official handicapped parking permit and/or license plate only.
No pets, other than service dogs, are allowed at either the Springfield or Greenfield locations for the safety of both the pets and participating walkers and runners.
All monies raised through the Rays of Hope remain local and are administered by the Baystate Health Foundation. Over the years, funds have supported the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research, as well as treatment, breast health outreach and education, and the purchase of state-of-the art equipment through the Baystate Health Breast Network, including Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, and various community projects throughout western Massachusetts.
This year’s Rays of Hope major sponsors are Health New England, Gale Toyota, Balise, Baystate Breast & Wellness Center, Baystate Breast Specialists, Chicopee Savings Charitable Foundation, Doctor’s Express, Kinsley Power Systems, Lia Auto Group, Radiology & Imaging, and Zasco Productions. A listing of all sponsors can be found on the Rays of Hope website.
For more information about this year’s Rays of Hope Walk and Run, held rain or shine, call 794-8001 or visit baystatehealth.org