This year’s Pink and Denim Day was celebrated on October 21st with Mayor Sarno and pink-clad city employees gathered on the front steps of City Hall for a press conference and proclamation presentation, declaring October “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” Mayor Sarno also presented the Rays of Hope with a donation of $9,800 which was generously raised by the employees of the City of Springfield and School Department. Also joining the City of Springfield were officials from Baystate Health and the Rays of Hope. City Councilor Kateri Walsh was also in attendance.
Mayor Sarno said, “We all have family, friends and loved ones who have battled this challenge. My administration is proud to stand with those families and Baystate Medical Center in continuing to support the efforts in raising funds to cure and beat this medical challenge. I am extremely proud of the support shown by our city and grateful to all our employees for their generosity. I want to give a special shout out to Roger L. Putnam Technical Vocational Academy and Principal George Johnson for submitting a $2,500 donation – thank you! A big thank you to Baystate Health’s Rays of Hope chairs Al and Jackie Rodriguez for your tremendous support of this worthy cause. Also, many thanks to my staff members Communications Director William Baker and Constituent Services Director Molly Shea, and Assistant Human Resources Director Caitlyn Julius for their organizing efforts.”
Thirteen years ago, City Hall’s Pink and Denim Day was started under the Sarno Administration by former Chief of Staff Denise R. Jordan. “This year’s nearly $10,000 raised was the most ever too!” City Hall’s own Al Rodriguez, along with his wife Jackie Rodriguez were the Rays of Hope Chairs for 2020-2021. Mayor Sarno’s former Chief of Staff Denise Jordan also served as Chairwoman for the Rays Hope in 2018-2019.
Rays of Hope – A Walk Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer was founded in 1994 by Springfield native, Lucy Giuggio, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of thirty-eight. Each year, over 25,000 women, men, teenagers and children participate in Rays of Hope. Over 500 volunteers work to make the Rays of Hope Walk & Run a success and over 500 teams are organized by individuals, businesses, schools, organizations, clubs, churches and synagogues. Over 40 local businesses and individuals sign on as Pink Partners each year holding outside fundraising events to support its mission. This year, Rays of Hope adapted their annual Walk, and in its place, held a drive-through Parade of Hope event for residents and supporters to show their Pink Spirit.