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Blazers Student-Athletes, Staff Participate in Rays of Hope Walk

Blazers Student-Athletes, Staff Participate in Rays of Hope Walk

Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Elms College athletics community showed support for one of the local charities by participating in the 2014 Rays of Hope, A Walk & run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer, Sunday afternoon in Springfield.

Over 60 Elms College student-athletes and staff participated in the annual event. Members of the Lacrosse, Field Hockey, and Men's and Women's Basketball teams raised over $1000 for breast cancer research.

"It was great to participate in an event like this," said Elms Head Women's Lacrosse Coach Maureen Ruane. "The team really embraced the environment and we even talked about doing more community service during our five-mile walk. We have planned to help out at a soup kitchen in November, as well as a potential event in December. Participating in community service events just helps to strengthen our bond as a team, as well as improve our local community."

Since it was founded in 1994, Rays of Hope has been committed to improving the breast health of people in our communities with quality and compassion. Through the Baystate Health Foundation, the event has grown from 500 participants to over 24,000 and has raised over $11.6 million - all of which has been awarded locally throughout western Massachusetts. 2009 marked the first year the Walk expanded into Franklin County.

At the 2010 Springfield location, the first Run Toward the Cure 8K was introduced.

In 2011 $1.5 million was awarded over five years to form the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research at the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute, a collaboration between clinicians at Baystate Health and scientists at UMass-Amherst, to continue locally based breast cancer research on a broader scale.

In partnership with the Baystate Health Breast Network and Baystate Health Foundation, funding benefits the breast health programs at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, local breast cancer research at the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research, outreach and education, and various community support projects and organizations.

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