To our faithful participants in the Purple Ribbon Run:
From the time of the first Purple Ribbon Run at Bow High School in the Fall of 2003, to the last 15 years of races, many wonderful people have gathered, worked and run to support the Cadorette Thymoma Research Fund at Massachusetts General Hospital as well as the Michelle L. Cadorette Scholarship Fund. Your contributions of time, energy and donations have assured that research will go on. We were sad to watch as runners crossed the finish line of our final Purple Ribbon Run on Mother’s Day 2018. Your dedication has been so very much appreciated.
Through race registration and generous donations from Michelle’s friends, family, colleagues, and graduated students over the years, contributions were made to the MGH Cadorette Fund for Thymoma Research. They helped support genetic testing and established a tissue bank for more extensive research at MGH as researchers worked toward a cure. The Michelle L. Cadorette Scholarship Fund at Bow High School also benefited from race proceeds.
Judy & Edmund Cadorette
If you wish to make donations to the MGH Cadorette Fund in the future, checks may be made out to:
MGH Cadorette Fund for Thymoma Research
and mailed to: Mass General Development Office
125 Nashua Street, Suite 540
Boston, MA 02114-1101
About Purple Ribbon Events
by Michelle Cadorette
In the fall of 2003, one of the athletes on the Cross Country Team that I coached at Bow High School needed an idea to pursue for his Senior Project, a graduation requirement encompassing reading, writing, research, proposal documentation, community outreach, public presentation and service. One of my colleagues and dearest friends, Lily Woo, told the student, Geoff MacDonald, about my diagnosis of Malignant Thymoma. She also told him that at Trinity High School, where she andI first taught together, students and teachers had worn purple "awareness" ribbons to help raise money for Thymoma research at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
Soon after their conversation, Geoff asked my permission to organize a road race that would raise money to be donated to the Michelle Cadorette Fund for Malignant Thymoma Research at MGH. Geoff's race, called "Run Around the Town", included over 70 participants and was a great success.
With help from Dyrace Maxfield, our friend and coach at Bow High School, Geoff measured a course, advertised the race and prepared thoroughly for the big day. He raised over $2,000—the start of a tradition that continues today.
In the Spring of 2005, senior track and field athlete Kara Dugas used Geoff's idea as a model and organized another road race that, despite rainy weather, drew over 100 runners and raised nearly $3,000 for the hospital's research. Participants wore Purple Ribbon Run T-shirts with sponsors' names. There was a huge registration tent and free merchandise for participants.
In the fall of 2005, cross country star Gretchen Andrus organized a run on local cross country trails. She, too, with the help of local merchants and donors, provided great refreshments and prizes for runners and volunteers alike. Chris Naime, a Bow teacher and an athlete in his own right, was instrumental in organizing the computerized timing for the finish line. This Purple Ribbon Run also drew a crowd and raised thousands more to be added to the growing fund.
Linking the Purple Ribbon Run to the Walt Disney Marathon was the idea of senior athlete Casey Bessette. She decided to raise awareness and collect pledges before going to Florida to race in her first official marathon! It was amazing and inspiring to follow her training regimen throughout the months of summer and fall, and even more incredible to be able to stand on the roadside in Orlando on Sunday January 8, 2006, to cheer as Casey (and her Mom and Dad) ran past. Her efforts raised over $4,000.
In the fall of 2006, senior harrier Kevin Bosse took up the challenge of the Purple Ribbon Run. Kevin made some changes to the course, the T-shirt and the overall organization of the race. Nearly 100 participants raced on a bright sunny day, resulting once again in donations to MGH's research.
In May of 2007, senior athlete Taylor Phelps hosted a Purple Ribbon event at Bow High School with the goal of raising money for and awareness about thymoma. Succeeding on both counts, she planned a walk as well as relay events for families and kids. The balloon toss was a real crowd pleaser. There were refreshments, prizes, and of course lots of fun.
November 18th of 2007 saw another Purple Ribbon Race. Friends, family, members of the Bow community and local runners gathered at Bow High School for a 5K race/walk. This event, organized by senior Beth Penney, drew a crowd of close to 100 people and raised over $1,000 for the Thymoma Fund.
In the fall of 2008, Bow High School Varsity Track and Field coach Dyrace Maxfield, BHS Assistant Principal Gay Longnecker, Teachers Lily Woo and Chris Naimie, BHS School Resource Officer Margaret Lougee and I took up the mantle of the Purple Ribbon 5K Run/Walk. The success of that race continued on Sunday, October 18, 2009. Over 100 participants raised nearly $4,600 for the MGH Fund.
The spring of 2011 brought many changes to our annual event, now the "Purple Ribbon Mother's Day Run". Elite runner and race organizer John Mortimer stepped in to help re-structure the race, and Tom Raffio, President and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental provided some substantial funding. There was a 5K run, a 2 mile walk, official'chip-times', on-line registration, events for kids, and (as always) great food and prizes. In a 'nod' to Mother's Day every female runner received a gerbera daisy! It was a true community event, with volunteers and participants from near and far. There were close to 200 runners and walkers, including athletes, friends, family, students, teachers, staff, and alumni. Together we raised enough money to support the Fund with $6,000.
In 2012, the Mother's Day tradition continued. We were so lucky to have great weather and over 250 participants! Many Bow High School faculty, staff and students volun- teered their time and energy to make this run the most successful one yet. We were thrilled that this year's event netted over $10,000 for the Fund at Mass. General.
On Mother’s Day 2013, not only did we once again welcome a large and enthusiastic crowd to Bow High School, but we also were thrilled to have representatives from “Be The Match”, the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry. In just 2 hours, 29 people registered to be donors and to, potentially, save a life. The Boston-based retailer “b Positive Project” joined us as well, selling t-shirts and sweatshirts and donating a portion of its proceeds to our cause. Bow alum Lauren Percy sang the National Anthem, the skies cleared, and the runners and walkers had some impressive performances. Volunteers, community members, friends, families, students and even a few pets made this year’s event really special – and together we raised over $11,000 for malignant thymoma research.
I continue to be honored and humbled by the students who began the proud tradition of the "Purple Ribbon". I'm so grateful for the hundreds of sponsors, donors, colleagues, family members and friends who continue to support the Fund's goals with such generosity. Because of their support the Fund has made possible the establishment of a Thymoma Tissue Bank (the only one in the country) at MGH to study thymoma. The fund now also supports genetic testing for research purposes.
At the Purple Ribbon Run on May 2012 curiosity was piqued as a large group of folks appeared at the registration desk all wearing t-shirts with the same text – “The Incredibills”. As we approached them inquisitively they shared their story about a family member named “Bill”. He had been diagnosed with malignant thymoma and undergone surgery along with other treatments. At least 3 generations of the Connors family, as well as their dogs, accompanied him to the race. What a tremendous support! Since then Bill has had some ups and downs, but is responding to treatment very well. His story appears on this web site. As my 4 year term on the MGH Cancer Center Patient and Family Advisory Council has come to an end, Bill has been selected to serve. He will have so much to offer this wonderful group.
Additional Fundraising Events
The Don White Concert for a Cure
~ Thymoma Benefit ~
March 15, 2014
More than 300 of our family and friends joined us for a heartwarming and hilarious evening with the incomparable folk singer and comedian Don White at the beautiful Norwood Theatre. We were treated to an unforgettable performance, along with a terrific raffle of over 100 donations and a silent auction filled with trips, professional athletes’ signed sports jerseys, NBA, MLB and MLS tickets and artwork! All proceeds benefited The MGH Cadorette Fund for Thymoma Research.
This night of love and laughter surpassed our expectations. Don had the crowd holding their sides, and their hearts, as he performed his original songs and recited excerpts from his memoir. The entire theatre was filled with positive energy and hope!
Thanks to the generosity of so many ticket holders and donors we were able to raise over $25,000 to go directly to the fund Michelle and her parents created.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the incredibly generous friends and family members who donated their auction items, time and talents to make the Don White Concert for a Cure - Thymoma Benefit a success!
by: Christa Kelleher
Sister of Bill Connors
The 3rd Annual St. Anselm College Purple Ribbon Lacrosse Challenge
was held on Sunday, October 5, 2014 at 10 a.m.
St. Anselm College
Through this lacrosse challenge event, the St. Anselm men's lacrosse program supported the Purple Ribbon cause. Michelle was a 1991 Graduate of St. Anselm College. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mothers' Day flowers
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Lacrosse Challenge 2012