About Celebration of Hope

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


Our Board of Directors:

Barb Turcotte

Barb is the current Celebration of Hope President and brings with her valuable organizational and leadership skills. She is employed at Baystate Health Foundation and though she has worked in the Fundraising Division for the past thirteen years she has been employed by Baystate for thirty-three. She presently serves on the Steering Committee for Rays of Hope and wears a range of hats while Chairing and Co-Chairing various sub committees within that charity. With Rays of Hope as the benefactor she organizes two very successful sell out events a year as well. She also served as an Ambassador to the City of Springfield for about five years, created and facilitated a social group with 125 people 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 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 valuable in leading the way to a successful celebration all while adhering to the mission statement. She believes together we can and do make a difference!

Angela Dell'Aera-Jachym

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 TD Insurance in West Springfield for the past eight years. Angela is an active member of Holy Cross Parish in Springfield, and serves as Vice President on the Celebration of Hope Committee.

Angela’s devotion to raising awareness of cancer began in 2009 when her dear sister, Rosa, was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. She has been co-captain of her sister’s team for the Rays of Hope, (Rosa’s roses of Hope) for the past three years raising over $22,000.00.

Serving on the Celebration of Hope Committee she is committed to raise awareness of ways in which people can prevent cancer. Just as importantly, she strives to and give people with cancer and their families, courage, hope and support.

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

Kim Lee

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 Directors. In addition to this, Kim also serves as the Treasurer for the 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 Springfield with their two beloved children.

Yesenia Rivera-Caraballo

Yesenia is a recent graduate of Springfield College. She is an employee at Baystate Medical Center where she works as a Staff Assistant in the anesthesiology department.

Yesenia serves as the clerk to the Celebration of Hope Board of Directors. She enjoys working first hand to raise money to fulfill the group’s mission. Yesenia is a singer, painter, and a philanthropist in her own right. She plans to get a PhD in Social Work and work to heal the anguish of the human spirit amongst people who may have lost hope.


Terry Hegarty

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’s board of directors. 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.

Jennifer Klock Rossmiller

Jennifer Rossmiller is a lifetime resident of Springfield. She is a Training Consultant at MassMutual, an active member of School Centered Decision Making for Springfield Public Schools, and serves on the Celebration of Hope Board of Directors.

A cancer survivor, Jennifer is devoted to the mission of the Celebration of Hope, and incorporates the "Live Rejoice Hope" mantra into every aspect of her life.

Jennifer is a mother of two small children, a voracious reader, and an amateur photographer. Credit for the "Celebration of Hope" logo goes to her, and features a photograph of her son.


Gary Berte

Gary is one of the original founding members of the Pink Mass and Celebration of Hope of W. MA (COH) due to his on-going battle with multiple tumors. Currently he receives medical treatments for bladder cancer at the Urology Group of Western New England in Springfield as well as in Boston. His story is powerful because his tumors were discovered during a routine medical checkup and cancer screening. That saved his life!

He is a strong advocate for routine cancer screenings. He feels that men as a group are notoriously neglectful in scheduling routine screening and then following through. He also feels due to its grass roots organization, the COH plays an important role in getting a vital message delivered to our community. Many cancers as with his, know no financial boundaries, racial boundaries or gender boundaries.

Gary holds a doctorate degree from UMass Amherst and is a full-time professor of Criminal Justice at Springfield College. He also serves as Vice President of the Forest Park Business Association and having been affected by this disease, he feels that he has much personally and educationally to offer to COH.

Pam Samra

Pam is a life-long resident of Wilbraham, Ma, has been an insurance executive for 27 years with experience in all lines of coverage, including property, casualty, life health and personal lines. Most recently she served as president of a personal lines wholesaler specializing in high value homeowners, yachts, art collections and aviation coverage. She holds the Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter, (CPCU) and Registered Professional Liability Underwriter,(RPLU )designations.

Pam has served as a member of many fund raising committees throughout her life, and brings a particular energy and vigor to the Celebration of Hope. Her longtime personal and business contacts offer many new potential contributors to our cause. She sincerely hopes and believes that this disease can be vanquished within her lifetime and to that end asks for the support of all those she meets to participate in accomplishing this goal.

Jennifer DeMaio

Jennifer DeMaio has lived in Western Mass her entire life. She spent several years in marketing and advertising before finding her true calling in fundraising. Jenn has been at Baystate Health Foundation for five years playing an instrumental roll in the hospital’s largest capital campaign and implementing a Grateful Patient program. Prior to that, she held several positions in the fundraising department at the Williston Northampton School.

Jenn has several friends and family members that have battled cancer. This has inspired her to draw on her fundraising experience to join in the fight for a cure. In addition to serving on the Celebration of Hope Board, she also serves on the Rays of Hope Steering Committee. Jenn is the proud mother of two boys and remains devoted and active in their school, sports and extra-curricular activities.

Joyce Stavros

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

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.

Neil Phillips

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.