Shriners Hospital holds annual walkathon - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Shriners Hospital holds annual walkathon

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There were plenty of smiles and activities on Saturday at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield.

It was all part of the hospital's annual walkathon and barbecue, which is held for its patients, friends, staff and supporters.

The walking part of the walkathon started at 10 a.m. on Saturday, as participants made their way through Van Horn Park and back to the hospital.

Organizers said the event came about several years ago as a way to market the hospital.

This year's goodwill ambassador was Mary Reed,  a former Shriners patient. She said the hospital makes a huge difference in many people's lives.

"They just have a great mentality that I can do anything," said Reed. "My parents always told me that as well, but Shriners really helped to make that happen. It's a very family-like environment."

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