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Oct. cancer walk in memory of Mile Tree teacher

Date: 9/7/2010

Sept. 6, 2010

By Chris Maza

Reminder Assistant Editor

WILBRAHAM -- Almost a year to the day after her death, friends and family have found a way to honor the life of Joyce Robinson.

Robinson, a kindergarten teacher in the Hampden-Wilbraham school system for 30 years before she retired in 2007, passed away last year from pancreatic cancer on Oct. 3, 2009.

"Joyce died on her 65th birthday," Marcia Rintoul said. "She was a beloved kindergarten teacher for years and years."

Rintoul is part of a group that organized the first annual Joyce Robinson Memorial Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk, which is scheduled for Oct. 2.

"We put this together for two reasons," Rintoul said. "First, we wanted to honor her. Second, we wanted to raise money for pancreatic cancer research."

According to the Web site for the Lustgarten Foundation, a charity that raises money for pancreatic cancer that is helping walk organizers put it all together, pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Almost all cases of pancreatic cancer involve people 55 years old or older.

The Lustgarten Foundation donates 100 percent of what they raise directly to cancer research.

"They have kind of walked us through all of the organization for the walk," Rintoul said.

According to Rintoul, walk organizers are hoping for a large turnout because of how closely tied to the community Robinson and her family are.

"We're hoping for lots of people," Rintoul said. "Joyce has two sons and now six grandchildren, all of whom live in Wilbraham. She was very well known and very well loved."

Registration for the walk begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Mile Tree Elementary School at 621 Main St. with the walk following at 10 a.m. According to Rintoul, the walk consists of three separate routes walkers can chose from a one-mile walk, a three-mile walk and a five-mile walk. All three routes start from Mile Tree and head toward the center of town.

Those wishing to sign up for the walk or sponsor a walker may do so by going to, clicking on the "Get Involved" tab, then selecting the Wilbraham walk from the list.

Companies interested in corporate sponsorship of the walk are also encouraged to contact walk organizers. Sponsorship opportunities range from being a $500 family/kids activity sponsor -- which includes a clickable corporate logo on the Lustgarten Web site linked to sponsoring businesses' Web site and a logo on the walk t-shirts -- to a $1,500 trail sponsor, which includes product sampling opportunities at the event, six walker registrations and the corporate name listed on the Lustgarten Foundation's Annual Report.

Anyone with questions about the event may contact Patricia O'Connor at 265-3336 or

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