LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – An organization well-known in western Massachusetts for improving the lives of those affected by cancer held its biggest fundraiser of the year Monday.

“Be positive, that’s my biggest thing… be positive,” Rebecca Gonzalez was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago, she’s now waiting to see if she’s free of that cancer in the coming weeks. On Monday she donated her time to Cancer House for Hope’s annual golf tournament at the Twin Hills Country Club.

Gonzalez says the organization was an essential resource during the last 12 months providing free counseling, healing therapies, and wellness programs in a non-clinical setting for those affected by cancer.

“It’s a blessing to know you have a house to go to when you’re dealing with something like this. If I didn’t have that house to go to, I wouldn’t know where to go.”

A note on each golf cart with stories like Rebecca’s reminds participants what the Cancer House of Hope is all about. The work of the organization inspires other local groups to show support.

“Our organization is a local nonprofit that raises money for cancer patients. We donated $20,000 to Cancer House of hope last year and we wanted to participate in this event this year as another way to help them raise money.” Tammy Glynn – Volunteer, Western Mass Mom Prom

Those participating in the tournament are aware of the toll the disease can have on those diagnosed and loved ones from personal experience.

“I think everyone in our foursome has been touched by cancer, either lost somebody or have a survivor, it’s just something that runs deep.” Joe Tavella, Bearingstar insurance

President Biden visited Massachusetts on Monday to speak about new funding and initiatives that will go toward fighting cancer in the U.S. The director of the Cancer House of Hope says this is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done.

“Well I think more money needs to be appropriated, and research needs to be done. I truly believe there’s a cure out there for cancer, all cancers, and I’d like to see that happen soon.” Margaret Tooney – Director, Cancer House of Hope

Last year’s tournament raised over $85,000 and the Cancer House of Hope hopes to surpass that number to continue to provide support for people across the region.