Singer-songwriter Chris Gagnon to Perform at Walk of Champions

WARE — Ever since he was 6 years old, Chris Gagnon’s life has been punctuated by his passion for music. On Sunday, May 3, Gagnon, who is a paramedic and lieutenant with the Ware Fire Department, will be joined by hundreds of walkers at the 10th annual Walk of Champions as he performs the theme song, “Walk Like Champions,” which he wrote in 2006 after the first walk. The walk raises funds to support cancer care at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital and is held at the Goodnough Dike area of the Quabbin Reservoir.

“My music and EMS career evolved at the same time, and often paralleled each other,” said Gagnon. “My life experiences of caring for people as a paramedic often come out in my music and in the songs I write. Over the years, I’ve witnessed many patients’ cancer journeys, starting before they even reach the hospital, and these people truly are champions every day. The music to the Walk of Champions theme song came easily to me, and the words were already written in my heart.”

Since 2005, the Walk of Champions has raised over $560,000 to benefit cancer care at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. Country Bank is a key sponsor and contributor to this success.

“We are pleased to once again be the presenting sponsor of the Baystate Mary Lane Hospital Walk of Champions,” said Deb Gagnon, Corporate Relations officer at Country Bank, who also serves as a steering committee member for the walk. “We are proud to have been part of this very worthwhile event since its inception in 2006, raising money to assist our local community hospital. And we are grateful to Baystate Mary Lane for the care they give our neighbors facing cancer. Receiving cancer care close to home in familiar surroundings helps to relieve the stress of a cancer diagnosis and treatment for patients and also for their families.”

Now is the time to form a team and become involved in the 2015 Walk of Champions. The walk offers five-mile and two-mile courses among the comfortable walking terrain of the Goodnough Dike. Along these routes, walkers will enjoy entertainment and refreshments, along with the peace and beauty of the Quabbin Reservoir.

Pledge forms, fund-raising resources, giving opportunities, and more are now available online at www.baystatehealth.org/woc for businesses, community organizations, and individuals who wish to participate. For additional information about the Walk of Champions, contact Michelle Graci, manager of Fund Raising Events for the Baystate Health Foundation, at (413) 794-7654 or michelle.graci@baystatehealth.org.

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