HCN News & Notes

Rays of Hope Walk to Step Off on Oct. 25

SPRINGFIELD — This year’s 22nd annual Rays of Hope – a Walk and Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer steps off Sunday, Oct. 25, when large tents, pink balloons, music, colorful flags, and a festive, hopeful atmosphere will welcome thousands of participants — all of whom will need somewhere to park.

For walkers, free parking with shuttle service is available at locations near Temple Beth El, including in East Longmeadow at Lenox American Saw and East Longmeadow High School, or in Longmeadow at Blueberry Hill School and Longmeadow High School, as well as other locations found on the Rays of Hope website, www.baystatehealth.org/raysofhope.

Runners, who will be arriving earlier than others due to the new early start time for the 8K run, may park only at Lenox American Saw.

Handicapped parking is available at Temple Beth El with an official handicapped parking permit and/or license plate only.

Greenfield-area residents who wish to participate in this year’s event can board the Pink Party Bus offering a complimentary ride to Springfield and back to Greenfield. Advance registration is required to use the bus. Call (413) 794-8001 or e-mail raysofhope@baystatehealth.org to register.

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 all walkers and runners. No pets, other than service dogs, are allowed at the event.

Breast-cancer survivors attending the event will have their own place to gather in the Pink Hope Lounge, where they will be welcomed with special gifts followed by the 2015 survivors’ photo at 10 a.m.

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 merchandise, including Rays of Hope apparel for women and men, water bottles, small backpacks, umbrellas, and more.

As in past years, the event begins at Temple Beth El on Dickinson Street with a two- or five-mile route for the walk along with the 8K run. Registration for the run begins at 7:30 a.m., while registration for the walk begins at 9 a.m.

Since 1994, Rays of Hope has raised over $12.4 million, with all monies remaining local and administered by the Baystate Health Foundation to assist patients and their families affected by breast cancer. Over the years, funds have supported 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 for Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, and various community programs throughout Western Mass.

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

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