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UMass Cancer Walk and Run to be a virtual event in 2020

Online version taking place as scheduled on Sept. 13

UMass Medical School Communications

July 02, 2020

Organizers have announced that the 22nd annual UMass Cancer Walk and Run scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 13, will take place online, with supporters able to participate remotely at locations and for distances of their choosing.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone’s health and safety are top of mind. Even though the economy is being gradually reopened, it may still not be possible or advisable to gather in large groups in September,” said John Hayes, vice chancellor for advancement at UMass Medical School. “Therefore, we thought it was best to make this change and medical school leaders agreed.”

Planning is underway for virtual event programming, including ways that participants can share their experiences online. Details will be available in the coming weeks.

“To all our supporters, we welcome you to join us at ‘your place, your pace,’” said Nanette Duquette, director of community fundraising at UMMS and the lead organizer. “We encourage our teams and individual participants to walk or run in their own towns or neighborhoods, on their treadmills, on favorite paths or trails, or wherever they may be and for whatever distance suits them.”

Fundraising remains the driving force behind the UMass Cancer Walk and Run, which, since its inception in 1999, has raised more than $14 million to support adult and pediatric cancer research and clinical trials of new potentially lifesaving therapies taking place in Central Massachusetts at UMMS.

“I feel like the pandemic has caused an even wider audience of folks who feel this real compulsion to help, and not know how to help. This event is a meaningful way to help,” said Rich Carr, chair of the UMass Cancer Walk and Run volunteer steering committee and president of Carr Financial Group in Worcester, a presenting sponsor of the event. “Granted it’s not part of the pandemic, but cancer is still a disease that will take thousands of lives in Central Massachusetts.”

Participants are encouraged to register and/or start a fundraising team. The first 100 people to start a team will receive a limited-edition reusable cotton face mask with the 2020 UMass Cancer Walk logo. The first 1,000 people to raise $100 on their personal fundraising pages will receive limited-edition T-shirts, also featuring the event logo.

Learn more and follow the UMass Cancer Walk and Run on social media.