SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As the Rays of Hope Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer gears up for its 30th annual event on Sunday, October 22, the community is abuzz with excitement and hope.

Over three decades, this remarkable event has raised nearly $17 million, all of which remains within the local community to support individuals and families grappling with breast cancer.

Courtesy of Baystate Health

This year’s milestone event, presented by Gary Rome Hyundai, is a testament to the unwavering support and dedication of the community. The event has grown from humble beginnings, sparked by the courageous journey of Lucy Giuggio-Carvalho, who envisioned a centralized space for breast cancer support. Now, with over 20,000 participants, the Rays of Hope Walk & Run stands as a symbol of strength, unity, and progress in the fight against breast cancer.

The funds raised through this event are administered by Baystate Health Foundation, channeling support toward vital areas such as treatment, breast health programs, state-of-the-art equipment, outreach, education, and the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research. Additionally, Rays of Hope extends grants to various community programs across western Massachusetts.

Lindsey Bubar, 2023 Rays of Hope Chair, expressed gratitude towards the community and encouraged participants, both old and new, to join in the event. Bubar highlighted the event’s goal of making the 30th year the best one yet, underscoring the vital role the community has played in achieving the remarkable fundraising milestone.

Lindsey Bubar, 2023 Rays of Hope Chair (Courtesy of Baystate Health)

The Rays of Hope Walk & Run will commence from Temple Beth El in Springfield, taking participants through the scenic route around Forest Park. The event includes the 14th Annual Run Toward the Cure 8K, meticulously coordinated and timed by 4Run3. The Rays of Hope BIG WIG program recognizes and appreciates individuals raising $1,000 or more online through credit card transactions.

Participants can register conveniently online, where they can create their personal fundraising pages to support this noble cause. To receive the collectible Rays of Hope 2023 t-shirt, participants need to raise at least $50. Check-in for the run begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by the step-off at 8:30 a.m., and for the walk, check-in begins at 9 a.m. with the step-off at 10:30 a.m.

Courtesy of Baystate Health

For those unable to participate on the event day or who are unvaccinated or immune-compromised, there’s an option to sign up as a “virtual” participant, allowing people to walk or run anywhere on any day and fundraise online.

Rays of Hope also offers an opportunity to support virtually through the Rays of Hope Shop, featuring branded apparel for sale, and the Pink Hope Survivors Lounge. The event will also host various breast health exhibitors, water stations, and entertainment along the walking routes, making it a memorable and impactful experience for all.

For more information on the Rays of Hope Walk and 8K Run, regardless of the weather conditions, contact 413-794-8001 or visit their website. Join the community in the fight against breast cancer and celebrate 30 years of hope and support.

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