In the News
Monday's Wake Up Call comes from Jimmy Fund Walk Heroes.
Friends of Jill Di-Tommaso, the Sandwich woman who co-founded the Girlygirl PARTS 5K Walk/Run for Ovarian Cancer, say she would have loved the teal blue velvet couch where survivors and winners will be seated for Saturday’s race at Craigville Beach. Teal is the official color of ovarian cancer. If a piece of brightly colored furniture could talk, this one would be yelling the message of awareness. It’s what Di-Tommaso would have wanted, said Laura Smith, of Sandwich, who co-founded Girlygirl PARTS with her longtime friend after Di-Tommaso was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008.
Robert Howard, right, owner of Heritage Farm in Lowell, hands a check for $5,000 to Fred Georgoulis of Heritage’s weekly Bike Night and the Boston Motorcycle Marathon Ride for the Jimmy Fund. The money will be donated to the Jimmy Fund of the Dana Farber-Cancer Institute. The money was raised during Heritage’s yearly summer campaign and at Bike Night for the Jimmy Fund. Howard and Georgoulis thanked sponsors and contributors to the cause, including 105.7 FM WROR, Trinity EMS, state Rep. Tom Golden, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England and Greater Lowell Kiwanis.
More than 30 residents from Clinton and the surrounding towns will walk one of the four designated distances along the historic Boston Marathon course this September in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, which raises the most money of any single day walk in the country. About 9,000 participants are expected in the annual event, which takes place Sunday, Sept. 22. Money raised from the Jimmy Fund Walk will support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at the nation’s premier cancer center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event has raised more than $135 million over 30 years. The Boston Athletic Association has supported the event since 1989, and Hyundai has been the presenting sponsor since 2002.
Local emergency officials, including Windham firefighters and Salem police officers, were among the participants in Grady's Gladiators Best Day Ever, a fundraiser held in Windham last month. The event is named after 8-year-old Grady Smith, a Salem boy who has Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a brain disorder that damages myelin, which acts as a barrier that protects and surrounds the brain's neurons. "Best Day Ever" raised funds toward ALD research and bone marrow transplants at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) proudly announces a groundbreaking gift from Oppenheimer Generations Foundation to create The Jennifer Oppenheimer Cancer Research Initiative. This new translational research initiative will address key obstacles across the continuum of care facing patients with glioblastoma-including surgery, new drug development, and palliative care. Jonathan Oppenheimer made the gift in memory of his late wife, Jennifer Oppenheimer, who passed away from glioblastoma in May 2017.
The Westborough Little League 10-year-old All Stars team was recently named one of the top fundraising teams in the 2019 Jimmy Fund Little League season, raising $30,630 to support patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The Westborough Little League Team received tickets to the Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles game on Aug. 17. The team was honored at a pre-game ceremony at Fenway’s Champions Club, and they were also recognized during the game with an on-field appearance.
Nearly 1,000 runners laced up their sneakers for a good cause Sunday morning, raising $132,000 at the Jimmy Fund Fun Run in West Roxbury. The fund supports care for adults and kids battling cancer as well as cancer research, and the second annual 5K at Millenium Park had perfect conditions for a run. “We had to reschedule … and now we’re about 30-degrees cooler and it’s just a perfect day of people having a great time,” said Jimmy Fund Vice President Suzanne Fountain. And there’s lots to do after the race.”
The game still counted in the standings, but the environment Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park was unlike anything the Red Sox have seen before. With dollar hot dogs, largely reduced food prices and free tickets for children while adults could gain entry with just a $5 donation to the Jimmy Fund, the century-old ballpark was filled with people who might not otherwise get a chance to watch the most expensive team in baseball at one of the most expensive venues. “It was one of the coolest atmospheres that we’ve had here,” said Brock Holt, who hit a walkoff single 12 minutes into the suspended game to capture a 5-4 win over the Royals. “Just how many people showed up and how excited they were. The music was loud pregame and everyone was dancing and seemed to be into the game.”
It wasn’t enough for him to ride his bike nearly 200 miles in the Pan Mass Challenge, so a man from Bedford decided to push that to nearly 4000 miles on a coast-to-coast trip. On Thursday, that trip ended as it started, on a beach, this time in Revere. And all those miles and hard work will help Boston scientists fight cancer. Dan Hurwitz is one of the most determined guys you’ll ever meet. On Thursday he completed a bike journey he began at the Pacific Ocean in May. One hundred seven days later, he arrived at the Atlantic Ocean, Revere Beach, a trip from sea to shining sea.
Brock Holt was a leader by example while serving as the Red Sox Jimmy Fund Captain for the fifth straight season. Holt and his wife, Lakyn, made a $15,000 donation Wednesday as part of the 18th annual radio-telethon produced by WEEI and NESN. Boston's broadcast partners helped coordinate the two-day fundraising effort on behalf of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and nearly $2.5 million had been pledged as of 5 p.m. "These are some of my favorite days of the year," Holt said. "Just to see everybody kind of come together and raise a tremendous amount of money for a great cause, it's cool."
World-class talent has graced the ice of the Bright Hockey Center in Allston, Massachusetts for years now, during the annual figure skating exhibition, An Evening with Champions. Founded in 1970 at Harvard University, the exhibition stems from an organization of the same name. An Evening with Champions is a public charity non-profit committee that raises money to battle cancer with the Jimmy Fund, the fundraising arm of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "We are very thankful to the national and Olympic figure skaters and all the stalwart Harvard students who have volunteered their time to make this event a success year after year," said Suzanne Fountain, Vice President, The Jimmy Fund. "We are extraordinarily grateful to them for making a difference in the fight against cancer."
Thursday's Wake Up Call comes from the Jimmy Fund Walk.
Berkshire County sports notes, Aug. 14: Great Barrington Little Leaguers raise $5,000 for Jimmy FundAugust 14, 2019
The youth of Great Barrington Little League have worked hard enough to make their fundraising efforts felt far beyond southwestern Massachusetts. As a result, on Saturday night they will visit a field far beyond their home diamond at Olympia Meadows. Great Barrington will be honored at Fenway Park during a pregame ceremony at the Champions Club, before the Boston Red Sox take on the Baltimore Orioles. The reason behind the group's trip to Boston is the $5,815 dollars they have raised for the Jimmy Fund. That mark is one of the top amounts among teams in the 2019 Jimmy Fund Little League season, and it will go toward patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Institute.
On August 11th, The Herb Chambers Companies, New England's largest automotive dealership group, hosted its second "Cars & Coffee" event of the 2019 season at his Herb Chambers Ford of Westborough dealership located on Route 9. At the event, more than one thousand car enthusiasts gathered to showcase their pride and joys while admiring the prized hardware of other automotive and motorcycle devotees, exchanging stories about their cars and special experiences along the way. Among the attendees was Chelmsford resident Miles Mann and his dog Ruby, who brought his 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.
PawSox Principal Owner/Chairman Larry Lucchino will be extremely busy on Tuesday, August 20. Ditto for Wednesday, August 21. Mind you it’s a very good busy … a true labor of love on Lucchino’s part. With the power of two iconic Boston-based sports stations (WEEI & NESN) providing the platform to raise funds to help conquer cancer, the 17th annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon will step off on the aforementioned dates. It’s two days where you’ll hear inspiring stories that tug at your heart strings and serve as a source of true inspiration.
Boston fans are used to seeing Lenny DiNardo and Steve Lyons on NESN during Red Sox coverage, but the former pitchers recently visited some fans away from the set. DiNardo and Lyons visited Dana Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic on Thursday, bringing smiles to the faces of kids throughout the Cancer-Institute. DiNardo brought his 2004 World Series ring, which was a big hit with plenty of kids.
Jimmy Fund Golf extends its sincerest thanks to the organizers and sponsors of the Ciampa Cup in memory of Lauren Ciampa held on July 19, 2019, at Windham Country Club in Windham, New Hampshire. Special recognition and appreciation goes to David Castellano of Burlington and Frank and Sheila Ciampa of Andover who organized the 10th annual event. The Ciampa Cup in memory of Lauren Ciampa is one of more than 160 Jimmy Fund Golf tournaments in 2019 that help raise critical funds to support world-class cancer research and care. Proceeds from this event will specially fund the Sarcoma & Bone Cancers Fund and the Pediatric Activity Program Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The North Leominster Little League Jimmy Fund Open and Sinclair teams came out victorious on and off the field this summer. Both North programs won Jimmy Fund championships on Sunday afternoon. The Sinclair team came from behind on the road in the sixth inning to defeat top-seeded Quabbin, 6-5, at Felton Field in Barre. The Open team slugged its way to an impressive 15-5 victory over No. 1 seed Leominster National at Angelo Piccuci Memorial Field. But the biggest win came in fundraising for the Jimmy Fund, as the two North teams combined to raise over $12,000 of District 3′s total of $17,560.20.
Shawmut Design and Construction participated in the 2019 Pan-Mass Challenge, marking the twelfth straight year the firm has participated in the two-day bike-a-thon. This year, Team Shawmut raised $230,000 and counting, accumulating more than $1,500,000 in total fundraising since the team’s inception. The money raised will directly support the research being conducted by Dana-Farber’s Dr. Christopher Sweeney, who rode with Team Shawmut for the sixth consecutive year.
Get your motor running – to the second Herb Chambers' "Cars & Coffee" event of the 2019 season. On Sunday, August 11th, Herb Chambers will host the early morning meet-up of classic, vintage and specialty car and motorcycle owners and enthusiasts from all over New England at his Herb Chambers Ford of Westborough dealership located on Route 9. In addition, this will be a special "Cars & Coffee" to commemorate August as Jimmy Fund month. As a result, the Herb Chambers team, along with members of the Jimmy Fund team, will be accepting donations at the event to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund. The Herb Chambers Companies is in its 4th year as an official partner of the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
It was the biggest year yet for the Pan-Mass Challenge. A total of 6,800 bicyclists from all over the country and the world participated in the fundraising ride. The sun shone brightly through the blue sky as thousands of riders crossed the finish line in Provincetown on Sunday morning. “All of these people have a story and they are all turning it into progress,“ said PMC founder Billy Starr after he crossed the finish line for his 40th ride.
Dana-Farber President Dr. Laurie Glimcher talks about the importance and impact of the partnership with the Pan-Mass Challenge.
Now in its 40th year, the Pan Mass Challenge has raised more than $650 million for cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. More than 6,800 cyclists will ride the 192-mile-course this year. Included among them will be so-called "Living Proof" riders and volunteers who are themselves cancer survivors. Jim Braude was joined by Pan Mass Challenge founder Billy Starr, WBZ-TV anchor and PMC enthusiast Lisa Hughes, and biker Taylor Chinitz, who is one of the “Living Proof” participants.
The fourth annual Sunrise to Sunset Jimmy Fund Golf Tournament to benefit cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at The International Golf Club and Resort. Golfers can sign up for this 36-hole fundraiser as individuals or with a group. Players have the choice to play a scramble or their own ball on The International’s two premier courses, The Oaks and The Pines. Red Sox legend and 1967 Cy Young Award Winner Jim Lonborg will serve as the celebrity host and play in this year’s tournament.
The 40th Pan-Mass Challenge kicks off this weekend and will raise millions of dollars for Dana Farber, to help fight cancer. The annual bike-a-thon relies on 4,000 volunteers to pull off the two-day bike-a-thon, and this year all six members of a single Framingham family will be part of the PMC’s success. Shaun Keefe has been a PMC volunteer for 24 years. His wife Eileen is 14 years in; sons Alex and Trevor each have volunteered for 16 years; the youngest Keefes – Daniel and Joanne are first-timers.
When Thomas Fuller needs a little extra inspiration while training for the Pan-Mass Challenge bikeathon, he thinks about a boy named Alex. Every year, Alex is one of dozens of kids who line a certain section of the 192-mile, two-day PMC route from Sturbridge, Mass. to Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod. They're all cancer survivors or currently in treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, the PMC's beneficiary. But Alex stands out because he holds up a sign, "I'm 12 now, thanks to you!" Fuller will ride in the PMC for the 17th time this weekend, "some years in a little bit better shape than others." But the event has become a bit more personal. He, too, is a survivor.
Brian Loomis was 12 years old when doctors diagnosed him with Stage 4B Hodgkin lymphoma, an advanced cancer that requires invasive treatment. Support from the Jimmy Fund helped him reach remission and now he wants to give back by participating in its annual walk on behalf of children like 2-year-old Grace Stockbridge, the daughter of a co-worker, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “I not only wanted to walk for myself and give back, but also for her,” Loomis said. “It’s about walking next to people who I know what they’re going through.” He will participate in a five kilometer walk that traces the Boston Marathon route as a member of Team Amazing Grace. His parents, wife Ericka, step daughter Kayla Rice and Grace’s family are on the team and are raising money for the walk on Sept. 22.
Monday's Wake Up Call comes from the Jimmy Fund Walk Pacesetters.
Connecticut's contingent to this year's Pan-Mass Challenge bicycle race will include several from area townsJuly 24, 2019
Several local riders will be participating in this year’s PMC, including riders from Berlin, Southington and Farmington. Sean Paquette of Berlin is riding in his first-ever PMC in honor of his wife, Jenny, who is a breast cancer survivor and continues to receive treatment at Dana-Farber. “It’s very important to me and to us to continue funding research,” Paquette said. Paquette has always been an avid cyclist, who usually rides around 60 miles a week, but has never done a near-200-mile ride. The PMC will be his first, he said.
The fourth annual Sunrise to Sunset Jimmy Fund Golf Tournament to benefit cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will take place on Wednesday, August 21 at The International Golf Club & Resort in Bolton, Mass. Golfers can sign up for this 36-hole fundraiser as individuals or with a group. Players have the choice to play a scramble or their own ball on The International’s two premier courses, The Oaks and The Pines. Red Sox Legend and 1967 Cy Young Award Winner Jim Lonborg will serve as the celebrity host and play in this year’s tournament.
They're out for a ride on separate bikes, but they're on a mission built for two. George Miller and his daughter, Kelly, are preparing to ride in the Pan-Mass Challenge the first weekend in August. It's a two-day ride across the state to raise money for cancer research being done at Dana Farber in Boston. Kelly did it in 2015. George rode it three times in the 1990s in memory of his mother who passed from cancer.
After a four-year hiatus, a popular, footloose community event returns this weekend to entertain residents and visitors. The Hinsdale Block Dance kicks off 5 p.m. Saturday and runs until midnight on the grounds of the Hinsdale Fire Station. It will be the third incarnation of a celebration dating back to the 1950s when the center of town would be closed off for the nighttime affair. Sponsored by Hinsdale volunteer firefighters, the block party was a prelude to the annual firefighters' muster.
Former Red Sox players Manny Delcarmen and Lenny Dinardo, along with Wally the Green Monster, visited Boston’s Jimmy Fund Clinic on Friday to deliver ice cream to pediatric patients. “It’s always a good time to come out, see the kids smile, give them some ice cream and hopefully they enjoy,” Delcarmen said. In celebration of National Ice Cream Month, the former World Series champion pitchers also handed out Hood ice cream sandwiches to kids undergoing treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Jody Adams, 62, a chef who has restaurants in the Back Bay and Fenway and lives near the Shawmut T station was inspired, and awed, when, spending her summers in Barnstable Village on Cape Cod, she watched the streams of bikes come through each year. “It was just an amazing experience to watch and I wanted to be a part of it,” Adams told the Reporter. She will be bicycling along the Sturbridge to Provincetown two-day route, one of twelve routes taken by riders aged 13 to 88. The first day is the most grueling— with 100 miles of roadway on the schedule. The second day is a 90-mile ride to the finish. Joining the cause isn’t just a seasonal training regimen for Adams. “It’s not just for those two days, you know, it’s the entire year,” she said. “So, it brings a real focus to the cause at hand and you feel like you’re part of a community that is all working towards this one goal of fighting cancer.”
On August 3 and 4, more than 6,700 riders, including 245 Connecticut residents, will pedal up to 192 miles in the Pan-Mass Challenge with the goal of raising $60 million for cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Area riders taking part include Corey Potoniec of Bethlehem; Michael Griffin, Tom Haynes, Marianne Haynes and Steven Trinkaus of Southbury and Parker Washburn of Watertown.
"For almost half my life, I’ve been participating in the PMC,” said Melissa Jacoby. The Pan-Mass Challenge is a two-day biking fundraising to support cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This will be the 19th year Melissa is participating. She took on the Pan-Mass Challenge in 2001, motivated to carry on her husband’s memory. “I think the shock of having a 32-year-old, really healthy husband pass away sticks with me.”
Brock Holt has been a Jimmy Fund Captain since 2015. In that role, he attends fundraising events, visits patients and builds support for cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. But if you ask the family members of the patients he's interacted with, he's done much more than that. "He could do just the bare minimum and still be a good guy," said Shaun Clark, the father of Nixon, who is was diagnosed with leukemia in 2017 during a visit to Vermont from Australia. "He does way more than just the bare minumum, and it's awesome." Friday, the MLB Players Association released a video of Jimmy Fund patients and their families reading thank you letters to Holt. In it, Nixon thanks his friend for sharing his Gatorade and bubble gum with him during a visit to Fenway Park, and pokes fun at him for his attempt at an Australian accent.
Brock Holt has had a special relationship with families going through tough times and they wanted to share their appreciation. There's not much to say beyond what the families say to the Red Sox utility player and the video is incredibly moving. He's played a special role in the lives of children involved with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Jimmy Fund and this video expresses how big it is.
Pan-Mass Challenge riders raise millions of dollars for cancer research and treatment and the payoff is priceless, as you can see with 13-year-old warrior Emma Levine. “I like to play outside with my dogs, cuddle them, go for a bike ride. I’m living life to the fullest, as I perceive it,” Levine told WBZ-TV. Last summer, those simple pleasures may not have been possible. In 2016, Emma was diagnosed with a rare renal sarcoma cancer. Months of intense chemotherapy followed to treat the kidney cancer. But, the tumors returned and spread to her lungs. Emma endured another long and painful round of chemo. “It was invasive. It was scary. Not a single part of it was good,” explained Emma.
On Aug. 3 and 4, more than 6,700 riders, including 108 riders from Cape Cod, will pedal up to 192 miles in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) with the goal of raising $60 million for cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Locals will ride with the goal of raising $60 million for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
On Sunday, the kids of Westwood, along with a few adult volunteers that made sure they didn’t go astray, hopped on their bicycles to take part in the PMC Kids Ride, a fundraiser and bike ride designed to let kids take part in the Pan-Mass Challenge. Beginning at the Martha Jones School, children had their choice of completing the one-mile Alisa’s Ride, the five mile Five for Fighting Ride, or the ten-mile Westwood Strong ride, depending on their age and ability. Amazingly, the ride, which saw a huge range of kids on all kinds of mountain bikes, BMX bikes, bikes with training wheels and even one young man on a scooter, was crash-free - despite a bunched starting line.
The Pan-Mass Challenge is a test of endurance and commitment. In August, more than 6,000 cyclists will ride 192 miles from Sturbridge to Provincetown over two days. But the PMC is more than just one weekend. Months before the annual PMC, hundreds of kids and adult volunteers gathered in Middleboro for the Cranberry Country PMC Kids Ride. The riders may be smaller and the course is a whole lot shorter but the goal is just as big. “To help people that are sick,” explained one of the pint-sized participants.
Wearing pink shirts, tutus, headbands, shorts and socks, participants ran up King Philip Street as bubbles were blown in their direction and they were pelted with clouds of colored dust. It was the inaugural Color for a Cure 5K on Sunday morning in memory of Kimberly Cibotti, who died in June 2018 after battling an aggressive form of breast cancer. The event was organized by her 13-year-old daughter, Ava, and family friend, Dana Brokemeir.
Friends and family of a volunteer Westerly firefighter, who passed away almost two weeks ago, gathered in his honor for "One Last Ride." Chris Lombardo, 23, passed away suddenly after fighting a battle with cancer. The community came together Saturday for a Jeep ride. At the event, more than 90 vehicles took part, including fire trucks and local and state police.
The 6th annual Jason Forget Memorial Jimmy Fund Golf Tournament, which took place on June 14 at Triggs Memorial Golf Course, raised $12,800, and the proceeds from the event were again donated to the Jimmy Fund golf program. The tournament, which again saw 144 golfers compete in a best-ball format and has raised a total of $70,100 in its six years of existence, is held to honor the life of Jason Forget, a 1999 graduate of Woonsocket High who lost his life to cancer at the age of 27 in 2008.
Business and philanthropic leaders came together to raise more than $2.3 million for cancer research and care. Guests were treated to a musical performance by singer, songwriter and actor Josh Groban.
This past Saturday we hosted the 15th Bedford PMC Kids Ride at JGMS. The event was wonderful in many ways: watching little ones navigate the obstacle course on “Wally’s Way” and seeing so many children (and adults!) head off through the balloon arch on scooters, tricycles, and bikes in support of such an important cause. It was especially meaningful to celebrate last year’s pedal partner, Stella Downey, who recently had her 1-year cancer free appointment. She and her twin brother Thomas spent hours on the obstacle course, much to the delight of their parents, family, and friends.
Keeping in mind the tragic loss of Jeffrey Vinick at age 19 this tournament --The Jeffrey Vinick Memorial Tournament which has now ended its long run, has generated almost $12 million dollars for the Jimmy Fund. I met and became friends with Jim and Harriet Vinick when we were classmates at Classical High School in Springfield. Jim was determined to do something to honor Jeffrey’s memory and that determination led from the Jeffrey Vinick Locker Room at the Basketball Hall of Fame to this golf tournament.
It was a moment now 18-year-old Jordan Leandre, will never forget: his childhood hero, David Ortiz, pushed his wheelchair onto the field on Opening Day 2006. “I feel like words don’t do it justice in a way,” Leandre said. He met Big Papi in the midst of a scary time at four years old, when he was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma in his right leg. “He called my dad to check in on me when I was going into surgery, I believe that was 2005. He didn’t need to do that but he’s such a genuine human being. He genuinely cared about how I was doing, so I thought that was awesome,” he explained. When he heard the news his forever hero may be in trouble, he said it was gut-wrenching. “My heart sunk. I’m freaking out wondering where he got shot, if he got hit in a vital organ, if he’s going to make it. I’m actually tearing up at this point. I thought I was going to lose my favorite player of all time.”