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UMass Cancer Walk and Run chosen as best local fundraiser event by WBJ readers

The 2021 event raised more than $700,000 for cancer research and clinical trials

By Colleen Locke

UMass Chan Medical School Communications

January 10, 2022

The Worcester Business Journal announced on Jan. 10, that its readers have chosen the UMass Cancer Walk and Run as the best nonprofit fundraiser event in Central Massachusetts. Since 1999, 100 percent of money donated has supported adult and pediatric cancer research and clinical trials at UMass Chan Medical School.

Team Jean Luis was one of several new teams in 2021.

The 2021 event held at Polar Park raised more than $700,000 for cancer research and clinical trials. More than 3,000 participants attended the in-person event while others chose to join virtually.

“The UMass Cancer Walk and Run is important to people for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s a day of remembrance, and for others, it’s a day to recognize those currently in treatment as well as the many survivors who have benefitted from advances in treatment,” said Julie Bowditch, manager of the UMass Cancer Walk and community fundraising in the Office of Advancement. “All participants are united in their quest for the best outcomes for those impacted by cancer.”

Some teams were made up of two or three people; Team Olivia Strong, a new team supporting 11-year-old Olivia LaMountain in her acute lymphoblastic leukemia diagnosis, had more than 125 team members.

“People liked being at the heart of the city,” said Jonathan M. Gerber, MD, the Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair in Cancer Research, professor of medicine, chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Medicine and medical director of the UMass Cancer Center. “Our UMass Chan cancer research teams found it very meaningful to walk the 5K route through and with the community that we serve.”

This is the first time that the UMass Cancer Walk and Run has received a WBJ Best of Business award. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette named the walk and run Best Fundraising Event in 2021 and 2020.

The 24th annual UMass Cancer Walk and Run will be held at Polar Park in the fall of 2022.

Related stories on UMassMed News:
Annual UMass Cancer Walk and Run surpasses fundraising goal
UMass Cancer Walk and Run returns Sunday, Oct. 17, at Polar Park
New location, date announced for 2021 UMass Cancer Walk and Run