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Rays of Hope

More than 21,000 walkers in both Springfield and Greenfield participated in this year’s Rays of Hope – a Walk Toward a Cure for Breast Cancer. For the first time, the event raised $1 million, surpassing last year’s $950,000 total. Dollars are still being counted and will continue to trickle in over the coming weeks. Including this year, $10.25 million has been raised since the walk’s inception in 1994. Pictured, top: members of the walk team representing the Pioneer Valley Chapter 8 family camp club, one of about 650 teams taking part, an increase from about 500 last year. Above left: South Hadley High School cheerleaders encourage walkers. Right: throngs of participants make their way through Springfield’s Forest Park.

More scenes from the Rays of Hope Walk in Forest Park. Top left: a walker grabs some refreshment at a water stand along the route. Top right: this year’s walk also included the 2nd Annual Run Toward the Cure 8K in Springfield, which began just 15 minutes before walkers stepped off. Middle left: a display of ‘tribute flags,’ signed over the years by breast-cancer survivors and others in tribute to or in memory of loved ones or friends. Middle right: breast-cancer survivor and Rays of Hope founder Lucy Giuggio Carvalho signs the 2011 tribute flag, which will be displayed at next year’s walk. Bottom: Donna Valletti, executive assistant to the president of the Baystate Visiting Nurse Assoc. & Hospice and a member of the Rays of Hope Steering Committee in Springfield, hangs a banner to attract walkers to the Pink Hope Survivors’ Lounge.

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