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Walk for Joy Steps Up for its Tenth Year

On Sunday, September 24, five Catholic High Schools in the Portland metro area came together once again to walk the streets of Portland to support children with cancer. In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, students from La Salle North Catholic, Jesuit High School, St. Mary’s Academy, Central Catholic, and Valley Catholic teamed up to help raise funds for JoyRx.

A New Approach

This year, things looked a little different. In previous years, students have walked from a designated meeting point in southeast Portland to Sellwood River Park, culminating in an inter-school mass and showcase of JoyRx.

But this year, the students wanted to walk together in a show of unity and end with a celebration. So, in 2023, they met at Cathedral Park in North Portland, hosting their Mass and a welcome from JoyRx before the walk. Then, the students traveled with family and friends to the University of Portland. They celebrated with activities at the University of Portland’s Pru Pitch.

Pru Pitch Field was a flurry of Joy on Sunday! Sizzle Pie and Flying Pie donated pizzas, and Heavenly Donuts donated donut holes for the post-walk celebration. Students from each school organized an activity during the festival, including skeet ball, frisbee toss, friendship bracelets, and temporary tattoos. Students hung out with their friends and had a fun afternoon, enjoying the food and the games.

The emphasis was less on cross-school rivalry and more on community and school unity — how students, family members, and the larger Portland area can come together to help support children in need.

A Successful Walk

Together, the students have raised over $35,000! This is over halfway towards their goal of $60,000 — and helps fund customized programs through JoyRx Music, JoyRx Mentorship, and JoyRx Nature.

While it was a rainy Sunday in true Portland fashion, spirits were high as the students decked out in purple and showed up in a big way to help seriously ill children. The students’ passion for this cause is always inspiring, especially since many have been personally impacted by pediatric cancer.

Last year, the schools introduced a new community hero award to outstanding student leaders from each school. Named the Paul Hogan Community Award in honor of former Jesuit High School principal and former JoyRx Board Member, this award highlights the inspiring and steadfast work of the students from each school who make a fundamental difference in the lives of their peers and JoyRx-served children.

Walk for Joy is still taking donations to help spread awareness and build critical funds for JoyRx programs. If you’d like to support them in meeting their fundraising goal, visit their fundraising page today.

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For children facing cancer and other serious illnesses, Joy is more than a feeling. It’s a necessity.

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