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Food trucks and live music set for 2019 UMass Cancer Walk finish

Firefly's food truck.jpg
Firefly's is one of several food trucks that will be at the first-ever UMass Cancer Walk after party

August 2019

When the thousands of participants expected at this year’s UMass Cancer Walk and Run cross the finish line they will find the campus quad transformed into a festival of food, fun and hope.

“It’s such an uplifting day, that many people have said to us they don’t want it to end at the finish line,” said Beth Whitney, manager of the walk. “We heard them, and this year we’ll keep the celebration going.”

The 2019 UMass Cancer Walk and Run is set for Sunday, Sept. 22. All proceeds from the event support adult and pediatric cancer research and care, and clinical trials of new potentially lifesaving cancer therapies at UMass.

When walkers hit the road this year, the transformation will begin. Food trucks and carts will roll in to serve up lunch and desserts. Local food favorites will include FireFly’s BBQ, Bertucci’s, Shishkaberry and Froze-Zone, among others. All participating food vendors will donate 10 percent of their proceeds that day to the UMass Cancer Walk and Run.

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The rock band Aquanett, which bills itself as New England’s “most authentic” 1980’s tribute band, will belt out big-hair hits from noon until 2 p.m. Oversized versions of the games Jenga, chess and Connect 4 will be spread around the quad along with the perennial favorite, cornhole.

Also new this year, everyone who attends the event will be able to participate in the raffle. In years past, the raffle was open only to cancer survivors and the tickets were free. This year, survivors will still participate at no charge, but the raffle will be open to anyone who wants to buy tickets.

“For more than 20 years this event has been a celebration of hope and determination, to fund the research and provide support for the people and families who confront the disease,” said Richard Carr, chairperson of the event steering committee. “That’s certainly worth a party.”

Since its inception, the UMass Cancer Walk and Run has raised more than $14 million. More than 8,000 people walked or ran last year, and the event won the Worcester Magazine Best of Worcester 2019 Award for a regional fundraising event.

This first-ever after party will begin as walkers return from the course and will end at 3 p.m. Event organizers strongly suggest that participants have cash on hand for both the food trucks and THE raffle.