of Western Massachusetts

About Celebration of Hope

The Celebration of Hope of Western Massachusetts was formed in 2011 in Springfield and is a non-profit corporation that is made up entirely of community volunteers who have in some way been affected by cancer.

Board of Directors

Suzanne Balicki

Raffle Chair

Suzanne is a newcomer to the Board of Celebration of Hope but not to volunteer work, specifically fund raising for breast cancer. As a thirteen year survivor, the desire to give back is essential and clearly a cause very near and dear to her heart. Her only sibling Roberta has been a survivor for seven years.

A lifelong resident of Chicopee, she is employed at Elms College as the Bursar. She has a long history with the school, having worked as an Admission Counselor immediately following graduation in the late seventies. After a ten year hiatus she returned on a part time basis while raising her family. Her volunteering began with the Rays of Hope walk while working with her daughter who was the Co-chair of Entertainment. When her daughter stepped down to relocate to the Boston area for employment, Suzanne then became the Co-Chair and remained so for 8 years while serving on the Rays of Hope Steering Committee as well.

In addition, she served on the committee at the Springfield Country Club for their golf tournaments to benefit breast cancer. She continues to work in whatever capacity is needed at various events, striving to offer support and encouragement to others.

Fran Carlucci

Vice President/Resource Chair

Francesca Carlucci is a Physician’s Assistant and has been employed at the Urology Group of Western NE for the past 11 years. She is a graduate of Springfield College. Fran has a special interest in working with patients with prostate, bladder and kidney cancer. She is a member of the MAPPA, AUA, and NCCPA.

Fran is the mother of 2 grown children. Among her many interests are live music, theater, photography and cooking. She recently relocated to Western MA after 30 years in Vermont. This is her 2nd year on the Celebration of Hope Board and looks forward to serving in her new position as the Vice President.

Kim Clemons

Clerk of Organization/2014 Face of COH

Kimberly Clemons is a life-long resident of Springfield and has been employed at Baystate Medical Center in the Pain Management Center since 2006. She has two awesome children and is the proud grandmother of incredible young granddaughter. Kim unfortunately experienced cancer when she found the first lump in her breast in October of 2011 which led to surgery, chemo therapy and then radiation. It was a very long road and she overcame many obstacles along the way and is now healthy and here!

Exactly one year to the day while in remission, she found another lump which lead to another surgery but she was very lucky, no chemo or radiation this time. She is now in remission again and says she will fight it over & over if it ever comes back. Inspired by this medical journey, she created the Big People Little Wheels Race which started in 2013 where adults race on tricycles, big wheels, skateboards, etc., anything with little wheels. It is a fundraiser she started with a few friends and raised almost $4,000.00 her first year that was donated to The Rays of Hope.

This year she is going to split the proceeds of this popular event with the Celebration of Hope as well as the Rays of Hope! Kim is also the 2014 Face for the Celebration of Hope which she says is a huge honor. She is committed to and loves helping anyone going through what she has gone through and hopes to help in finding a way to eradicate this awful thing we call CANCER!

Angela Dell'Aera-Jachym

Event Venue Liaison

Angela is a lifetime resident of Springfield. She graduated from Western New England College with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She has been employed at USI Insurance in West Springfield for the past eleven years. Angela is an active member of Holy Cross Parish in Springfield, and serves as Event Venue Liaison on the Celebration of Hope Board.

Angela’s devotion to raising awareness of cancer began in 2009 when her dear sister, Rosa Dell’Aera-Smith, was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer at the age of 44. Angela and Rosa were both founding members of the Celebration of Hope formed in 2011.  Sadly Rosa passed away in 2014 after courageously fighting her disease for over 5 years.  Serving on the Celebration of Hope Board, Angela is committed to raise awareness of ways in which people can prevent cancer.  Just as importantly, she strives to give people with cancer and their families, courage, faith, hope and support.  Keeping her sister’s wishes alive to continue the mission of the Pink Mass and Celebration of Hope; touching lives of anyone affected by cancer.

In addition she has been Captain and Co-Captain of her sister’s team for the Rays of Hope which has raised over $30,000 since 2009.   

Angela is a devoted wife, mother, daughter and sister. She enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering for her daughter’s school and church, gardening and reading.

Loretta Gaffney

Honorary Chair

Loretta has resigned due to some health issues but will remain as an Honorary Chair.  We thank her for her help in creating this charity and her dedication to it's cause.  She has been truly instrumental in obtaining sponsorships for our various events.  Her expertise will be very much missed and we hope she continues to get stronger!  Thank you again Loretta!!

Loretta Gaffney is a founding member of the Celebration of Hope, a cause she believes in because of familial cancer, especially the deaths of her father and husband.

A graduate of Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing and American International College, she is both a registered nurse and certified teacher.

Always a volunteer, she hopes Celebration of Hope earnings will help with the treatment and care of those with cancer.

A devoted mother of 6 children and 13 grandchildren, they are her special joy.

Terry Hegarty

Media Chair/Co-Chair Pink Mass

Terry is a lifelong resident of Springfield, is a founding member of the Celebration of Hope of Western Massachusetts Committee and serves on the committee as the Media Chair. Terence has worked as a journalist since 1998 and has spent most of that time doing television and print reporting for the Diocese of Springfield’s Catholic Communications Office which produces the television programs "Real to Reel" and "The Chalice of Salvation."

He is a lifelong parishioner of Holy Name Parish in Springfield where he has volunteered in a variety of capacities. He is the proud father of five and the husband of Monique Hegarty, his high school sweetheart.

Terence’s mother died from breast cancer when he was 24-years-old. He is committed to supporting agencies that help in the battle against cancer and those that promote cancer prevention and healthy living.

Kim Lee

Treasurer

Kimberly A. Lee is employed by Peoples Bank as the Branch Manager of the Sumner Avenue Office. Kim holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Elms College in Chicopee, MA and is a 2012 graduate of the Springfield Leadership Institute.

Kim serves as Treasurer of the Celebration of Hope Board of Directorsand is a member of the East Forest Park Business Association. Kim belongs to the Springfield Rotary, is a member of the East Forest Park Civic Association, and is a Springfield Public Schools Read Aloud volunteer.

Kim’s inspiration in life is her mom, a cancer survivor who has taught Kim perseverance and unconditional love and who encompasses all that she hopes to be. Kim and her husband Joe reside in Hampden with their two children.

John McMordie

Event Co-Chair/Operations

John, the father of 3 daughters, is a native of Western MA and though his career has taken him to many different countries, his roots have always remained in this area.  Being fairly new to the fundraising world, he knows his sales experience will be extremely valuable in helping to seek the needs of this charity.  Seeing the positive results of what is being done, he is proud to be part of Celebration of Hope. 

He has also been involved with Rays of Hope for the past 3 years as the Entertainment Co-Chair and has found his volunteering experiences in the charity world to be very rewarding.  

John loves cooking and can be found in the grocery store scouting the latest bargain, cooking a gourmet meal, taking care of his garden, or at the bowling alley practicing to become the next superstar!  Because of his culinary love, John has stepped very comfortably into the role as the Kitchen/Food Chair and with his creativity for fundraising ideas he will also help with much of the event planning as well.

Neil Phillips

Legal Advisor/Co-Chair Media

Neil brings to the Celebration of Hope his legal expertise and his camaraderie of legal colleagues. He has been a partner of Dunn & Phillips, PC since 1988 which is located in Springfield, MA. Prior to that he completed his Juris Doctorate at WNEC School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1979.

Neil has been a crucial part in soliciting help to complete our non-profit status. He believes strongly in the mission statement since having been touched within his immediate family with cancer. He shares the passion of this community volunteer based committee and offers many ideas for it's growth.

Rick Rheault

Event Co-Chair/Operations

Rick Rheault joined the board in 2016. After spending 27 years in the insurance industry, Rick has spent the last 17 years in the credit card processing industry with clients throughout the country.

Rick resides in Westhampton and is the father of two grown daughters and the grandfather of two grandsons. His hobbies include gardening, raising chickens and enjoying professional football games.

He has served on several boards over the last decade and enjoys sharing his business knowledge and fundraising ideas to assist the board and executive directors in achieving their missions.

Joyce Stavros

Ticket Sales Chair

Joyce Stavros is a lifelong Springfield resident having raised 3 children here. Joyce earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Education and Care from the University Without Walls at UMass. She worked as a preschool teacher for fifteen years prior to obtaining her  position as Assistant Director for the YMCA of Greater Springfield’s, Wilbraham Early Learning Center, and then to her current position as Director.

For more than ten years, Joyce has been a volunteer with the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. Along with being captain of the “Just 'Cause” Rays of Hope team she has also walked on a Relay for Life team in Belchertown.

Many close friends and family have been afflicted with cancer; this, her passion for helping others and her commitment to living a healthy life style have brought her to the Celebration of Hope.

Eileen Sullivan

Pink Mass Co-Chair

Eileen has been a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph for forty-eight years. She has a Master’s degree in education from Lesley College, Cambridge, MA.

Eileen was an elementary educator, Assistant Dean of Students and Vocation Education Coordinator for the Sisters of St. Joseph before she began her ministry as a Pastoral Minister more than 22 years ago.

For the past 16 years, Eileen has been the Pastoral Outreach Minister for St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield. In addition to serving on the Celebration of Hope Board of Directors, She presently serves on the Advisory Board for the Open Pantry, the Mason Wright board of the Diocese of Springfield and the St. Thomas More Society.

Eileen’s two sisters, friends, and many people she encounters in her Ministry have battled cancer and many are survivors. It is because of their faith, hope and courage that she believes so strongly in the mission of the Pink Mass and the Celebration of Hope of Western Mass.

Barb Turcotte

President/Entertainment Chair/Operations/Web Interim

Barb Turcotte brings with her valuable organizational and leadership skills.  She is presently employed by Baystate Health Foundation where she worked for 17 of her 37 years prior to her retirement from Baystate and has now returned to the same department as a per diem employee.  She has served on the Steering Committee for Rays of Hope for the past 16 years and has worn many hats.  Her current responsibility is Entertainment Chair as well as Stage Manager at the Walk-a-thon which entails organizing over 50 various entertainers who perform on stage and along the walk routes. With Rays of Hope as the benefactor she has organized many successful sell out events as well. 

She also served as an Ambassador to the City of Springfield for about five years, created and facilitated a social group with over 125 members for ten years called Just ‘Cause, was a Domestic Violence Advocate for approximately eight years and also participated in the Read-A-Loud Program through the Springfield School System for approximately six years. In addition she has also organized and facilitated several singing and comedy contests at the former O’Brien’s Corner. She feels that giving back feeds her soul while creating a fun atmosphere for people to enjoy and is dedicated to helping others who are struggling.  Her work experience as well as her accomplished volunteer services will be a valuable addition. She believes together we can and do make a difference!

Celebration of Hope Video