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Color run in Agawam to benefit Griffin’s Friends Cancer Fund

Date: 9/14/2023

AGAWAM — On Sept. 16, Griffin’s Friends, a group of volunteers dedicated to providing support to children with cancer, will host its first-ever Color for the Kids Fun Run-Walk at Agawam High School.

This event benefits Griffin’s Friends Children’s Cancer Fund at Baystate Health Foundation. It’s a two-mile color-filled course open for all ages starting at 11 a.m., with registration and check-in at 10 a.m. at the high school, 760 Cooper St., Agawam.

Participants will run or walk the 2-mile course while wearing a commemorative white t-shirt and protective sunglasses. Along the course, volunteers will pelt the walkers and runners with coloring, giving each shirt a unique design.

Volunteer Charlie Casartello said, “This is a unique recreational activity. Our goal is to have a lot of fun and to offer an event that involves patients, siblings, families, runners, walkers, and the whole Griffin’s Friends community.” He went on to say, “In doing this, we want to provide help and support to patients and their families. This event fits squarely in the Griffin’s Friends mission of bringing moments of joy to courageous kids.”

The cost is $25 for students and $35 for adults, including the shirt and sunglasses. Participants and non-runners are invited to stay after the race to enjoy music, food and entertainment. The event will also feature a geoscience display from Jim and Maria Sansalone, in memory of their son William, who was a patient at Baystate Children’s Hospital who was fond of rocks and gemstones.

Jim Blain, the principal of Agawam High School, has been involved with Griffin’s Friends for 13 years. He said he gladly jumped on board and wanted Agawam students to help lead this project and learn the values associated with volunteerism and charity work.

“Griffin’s Friends is an amazing group of people that simply like to make a positive difference for families and students in need,” said Blain. “We feel that Sept. 16 will be a great day to raise money for children and their families, have fun, and show everyone the spirit and generosity of the city of Agawam.”

Founded in 1994, Griffin’s Friends is named after Griffin D. Kelleher, who died from cancer after just 14 months of life. Since then, the Kelleher family has honored his memory by helping other families battling childhood cancer. For 25 years, Griffin’s Friends has been helping the families of children receiving cancer care at Baystate Children’s Hospital. They established the Griffin’s Friends Children’s Cancer Fund at Baystate Health Foundation Inc., which is funded by donations from fundraising activities organized by Griffin’s Friends volunteers.

“I give credit to our entire steering committee for developing this event idea and reaching out to Principal Jim Blain and the Agawam student body,” said Griffin’s Friends committee member Jim Kelleher.

To register for the run-walk, visit