Over 1200 walkers crossed the Quabbin Reservoir's Goodnough Dike to participate in the Walk of Champions on May 1, 2011.
Sunday, May 1, marked the sixth annual “Walk of Champions” to benefit integrated Cancer Services at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. The walk, held at the Quabbin Reservoir, raised $64,000 as amid the magnificent views of the Goodnough Dike at the reservoir, over 1200 walkers participated in this special event in support of cancer services.
“Keeping cancer care local is important, and we are honored by the hundreds of walkers that support this important event each year,” said Lori Tuttle, RN, Program Manager of the Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Mary Lane Hospital. “Because of this ongoing generosity and support, we are able to continue to offer care in a patient-centered environment, with the expertise of our medical staff from the Baystate Regional Cancer Program, here in Ware.”
Dean Wilson of Quaboag Regional Junior – Senior High School, led a student team of 100 members at this year’s walk. Wilson and fellow Sports Medicine students were faced with the challenge offered by their teachers, John O’Neill and Alison Gagner, to get 100 student walkers to participate in this year’s Walk of Champions. The students met the challenge and sponsored a dance at the school to add to their team’s donation.
O’Neill and Gagner were proud to offer their students a lesson of giving and volunteerism. “We wanted them to know that they could make a valued contribution to their community, and to know that even at a young age, they have the ability to make a difference,” said O’Neill. “We wanted our students to learn that it is a life requirement to give.”
“The Quaboag students proudly made up the largest team in this year’s walk,” noted Carol Baribeau, Director of Annual Funds and Events at Baystate Health Foundation.
“Thanks also go to the dedicated group of volunteers who met monthly throughout the year to plan this special event,” noted Baribeau. “We are extremely grateful to our presenting sponsor, Country Bank for Savings, and to other local businesses that also sponsored the event, including Health New England, Intercity Lines, Boar’s Head Pioneer Provisions, and Wal-Mart who all contributed immeasurably to the success of this event,” Baribeau said.
“It was an amazing day as our patients, joined by their families and friends supported each other during the very moving walk which since 2006 has raised $300,000. to benefit cancer care, right here in our community. I speak on behalf of Integrated Cancer Services at Mary Lane Hospital in saying thank you to the many teams, individual walkers, corporate and in-kind sponsors, schools and volunteers who helped to make the 6th annual Walk of Champions a huge success,” said Baribeau.
For more information about the Walk of Champions, or to find out how you can become involved, call Michelle Graci, Manager of Fund Raising Events, BHF at (413) 794-7654 or by e-mail at Michelle.Graci@baystatehealth.org.