A Glenwood Springs tradition dating back 10 years comes to an end Saturday with the final Rally the Valley in support of patient services at Valley View Hospital’s Calaway-Young Cancer Center.
But the future of funding integrative therapies, family support and other cancer patient services that the event has supported since the Cancer Center opened is bright.
In addition to bringing Rally the Valley to a close, the Valley View Foundation this year is launching a new $8 million endowment, which will fill that funding need going forward, VVH Chief Community Relations Officer Stacey Gavrell said.
“We are sunsetting the event after an incredible run,” she said. “But this year really marks two milestones; the 10-year anniversary of the Cancer Center and the launch of this new endowment.”
The Cancer Center opened on Sept. 12, 2012, and Rally the Valley began that same year in support of the various cancer patient support services that are offered.
The new endowment was created with a $2 million anonymous gift in honor of Dr. Stephen Mayer, one of the medical oncologists at the Cancer Center. Donors will have the opportunity to contribute to the endowment, with a goal of $8 million, Gavrell said.
“It’s the runway to continue to be able to fund these important programs, and affirms that we still have a priority to support cancer patients in our community,” she said.
For the past decade, Rally the Valley has served to raise money in support of the integrated therapies such as massage and acupuncture, family support and survivorship programs, overnight lodging for family, emergency assistance and other services that insurance doesn’t cover.
The final Rally the Valley takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Two Rivers Park, 740 Devereux Road, in Glenwood Springs.
There will be DJ music, yoga, a 1-mile “Peyton’s Parade” walk, children’s activities, food trucks, giveaways, a “River of Love and Remembrance” for loved ones lost to cancer, and survivor speakers.
The river float that was part of the event in 2019 and again last year is not happening this year, Gavrell said.
Instead, there will be more activities in the park in an effort to bring people together in celebration of the Cancer Center anniversary.
“We really wanted to make this year’s event more inclusive, so as many people who want to join us can,” Gavrell said.
There is no cost to register for the event this year, but registration is still requested at vvh.org, she said.
“The intention is to have as many people as possible come together to celebrate cancer survivors and their caregivers,” she said.
Rally the Valley began in Sayre Park in 2012, and moved to Two Rivers Park in 2019 with the addition of the river float.
“We had it rain or shine every year, and each time I get chills,” Gavrell said. “It’s just a really phenomenal day, and we want Saturday to be the biggest and best we’ve ever done to send it off on a high note.”
On Thursday, the Coal Ridge High School National Honor Society (NHS) students were set to present a $1,000 check to Rally the Valley at halftime of the varsity football game.
NHS sponsor Bobbi Jo Wiescamp said the group has been fundraising for the past six months through bake sales and also sponsors the “Kick a Fieldgoal” competition at the home football games for fundraising.
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or email@example.com.