Media Contact: Keith O’Connor, Keith.O’Connor@baystatehealth.org, 413-794-7656
SPRINGFIELD – Helping to create miracles for sick kids – whether they suffer from common childhood afflictions such as asthma and broken bones, or are fighting bigger challenges such as birth defects or cancer – is as easy as a walk in the park.
On Saturday, June 23, Six Flags New England in Agawam will open its park gates to hundreds of guests who will don their walking shoes to help raise funds in support of Baystate Children’s Hospital as part of “Walk for Miracles.”
Six Flags New England is joining forces with Walk for Miracles, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals ® initiative, to raise funds for patient care programs at Baystate Children’s Hospital. This year’s Walk is also presented by Hasbro, Inc.
“Six Flags New England is thrilled to be the sponsor of this incredible walk that benefits our local community,” said John Winkler, Six Flags New England’s park president. “We are proud of our commitment to our philanthropic work and look forward to a Goliath-sized turnout for this year’s event.”
Registration for Walk for Miracles at Six Flags New England begins at 7:30 a.m. followed by step off at 8:30 a.m. – a family-friendly stroll of about 1.5 miles inside the popular amusement park. Following the Walk, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., there will be a special celebration including music and entertainment, as well as a medal ceremony for the Baystate Children’s Hospital “Miracle Kids.”
Registration fee is $10 for all walkers and includes participation in the Walk, a light breakfast snack and a 2012 Walk for Miracles t-shirt, while supplies last. Registration fees do not count toward a person or team’s fundraising goal. Once registered online, participants will have the opportunity to create their own personal webpage to help them with their fundraising efforts.
Individuals who raise $50 or more, whether online or offline, will receive free admission to enjoy a day of fun at Six Flags New England on June 23. Walkers who do not raise $50 are also welcome to enjoy the park at 50 percent off general admission.
All proceeds from Walk for Miracles remain local and support pediatric needs throughout Baystate Health, including equipment, outreach programs and services at Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, and Baystate Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice.
Local youngsters are serving as ambassadors at each walk throughout the country. Libby Kulas, 13, of Southwick, who was diagnosed in Jan. 2011 with medulloblastoma – the most common malignant brain tumor in children and young adults – is Walk Ambassador for the Six Flags New England event.
Following the successful removal of her tumor, Kulas began a six-week-long intense radiation regimen to the brain and spine, followed by a six-month course of chemotherapy. Today, Kulas is surviving her cancer after her year-long battle with the disease, and has begun her own survivorship campaign called “Lib Strong.”
To honor Kulas, this year’s Walk Ambassador, visit helpmakemiracles.org/event/walkformiracles/.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals ® raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals in the United States and Canada. Hospitals like Baystate Children’s Hospital use the money where it is needed the most. When a donation is given, it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals ® has raised more than $4 billion which has been used to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of CMN’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.
To register for the walk, visit helpmakemiracles.org/event/walkformiracles/. Also, for more information on Baystate Children’s Hospital, visit baystatehealth.org/bch.