City of Springfield employees support breast cancer awareness with Pink & Denim Day

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield city employees showed up wearing pink and denim, marking the first donations toward Sunday’s Baystate Medical Foundation’s Parade in Pink Rays of Hope fundraiser.

Mayor Domenic Sarno proudly introduced the many city employees who donated to the Rays of Hope. City employees have been contributing every year since Rays of Hope began.

“We all have family and friends touched by this god forbid cancer and breast cancer, so every year we do a pink and denim dress down. We raised about $5,000.” Mayor Sarno

“This is the 28th anniversary for the Rays of Hope and begun under the Sarno Administration, the 13th year in the City of Springfield we have held our annual Pink and Denim Day to support Breast Cancer Awareness. I want to thank those city and school department employees who generously donated to this great and worthy cause. Special thanks and a shout out to Assistant HR Director Caitlyn Julius, my Director of Constituent Services Molly Shea and Communications Director William Baker for their efforts coordinating our annual city Pink and Denim Day event, and thanks to Kathy Tobin and Michelle Graci and the team from Baystate for always being there in support of those individuals and families in need. We all have family and friends who have battled this challenge – this is especially true for me and my office as both my former Chief of Staff Denise Jordan, who was also the past Chairwoman for the Rays Hope 2018/19, and my longtime Administrative Assistant Carolyn Jackson and Mayoral Aide Mini Merraro have all fought and beaten breast cancer!

My administration is proud to stand with those affected and Baystate Medical Center in continuing to raise funds to cure and beat this medical challenge,” Mayor Sarno continued. “Although this year has brought many changes due to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, this year is extra special and I wish to congratulate our very own Al Rodriguez and his lovely wife Jackie for being named Baystate Health’s Rays of Hope chairs for 2020/2021. Such a wonderful and beautiful family who continue to show tremendous support not only to Jackie but to other breast cancer survivors too. Al, Jackie and family good health and continued success. God Bless.”

Mayor Sarno

The Pink & Denim Day event sets the stage for Sunday mornings Parade in Pink event starting at the Temple Beth El parking lot, replacing the Rays of Hope walk for the second year because of the pandemic.

“We’re hoping we’ll see a lot of people coming with their cars decorated and a lot of excitement for the event. They’re embracing the power and they’re here to help support breast cancer patients in our community.” Michelle Graci, Baystate Health Foundation, Manager of events

Like so many others in our community, City Councilor Kateri Walsh has lost a loved one to breast cancer. Councilor Walsh told 22News what the Rays of Hope event means to her. “So this is hope to see men and women so many people from all walks of life coming together to help raise money. It’s hopeful and those of us who’ve lost family members we don’t want others to go through that loss.”

Al and Jackie Gonzalez, the first Latino chairs of the Rays of Hope are hopeful for a well attended parade Sunday that will add substantially to the $15.7 million raised over the year by this Rays of Hope event.

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