SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Breast cancer survivors, support teams, researchers, and advocates are gathering in Springfield Sunday morning for the post-pandemic return of the Rays of Hope Walk and Run Toward the Cure.

It’s the 29th year Rays of Hope has teamed up with Baystate Health to help fund local support programs and cancer research. To date, Rays of Hope has collected more than $16 million, and it all has stayed and funded programs right here in Western Massachusetts.

Rays of Hope believes in holistic care from diagnosis through recovery and beyond. The funds they raise today will go to support research at the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer research and to provide state-of-the-art equipment and treatment at Baystate locations as well as support and education programs.

They also provide grants for complementary therapies and cancer programs to community partners across Western Massachusetts. The current fundraising campaign is aiming for $196,000. Already Sunday morning, they are about 82% of the way there.

The Ray of Hope will step off from Temple Beth El on Dickinson Street in Springfield and wind through and around Forest Park, according to a press release from Baystate Health. Check-in for begins at 7:30 a.m. followed by step-off at 8:30 a.m., while check-in for the walk begins at 9 a.m. followed by step-off at 10:30 a.m. Buses start operating at 7:30 a.m. for runners and at 9 a.m. for walkers to shuttle them to Temple Beth El. Parking for runners is only at the Lenox lot in East Longmeadow at 301 Chestnut St. 22New’s own Taylor Knight will serve as the emcee.