Runners participated in the 24th annual Santa and Elf run

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – These runners participated in the 24th annual Santa and Elf run in support of Griffin’s Friends, an organization that helps children with cancer.

As a result of Saturdays weather, the event was moved to Christmas Eve but a rain date and icy roads didn’t stop dozens from showing their support for this cause.

Griffin’s Friends was founded in 1994 in memory of Griffin Kelleher, who died from cancer at 14-months old. Since then, the goal of this organization has been to bring joy to every courageous child and the organizations help their families as well.

Paul Grenier told 22News, “The family just goes through such a focus that’s all they think about, so Griffin’s Friends takes their mind off of some of these things.”

Money raised during Sunday’s event benefits Griffin’s Friends programs and activities, both for children and parents. Each year the Hampden county sheriff’s department supports the event, as do employees at Baystate medical center.

Nathan Somers told 22News, “I work at Baystate Medical Center and it seemed like it would be a good way of combining my interest in running with supporting families struggling with pediatric cancer.”

All year long, volunteers also help raise money for the “Griffin’s Friends Children’s Cancer Fund” at Baystate Medical Center.

This event was also the official kick-off for training season for Team Griffin’s Friends.. who will run in the Holyoke Marathon in May 2018.

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