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UMass Cancer Walk participants.

Each year, you and thousands of people like you, make the UMass Cancer Walk a success. The money you raise supports adult and pediatric cancer research and care, and clinical trials of new potentially lifesaving therapies taking place right here in Central Massachusetts at UMass Chan Medical School.

Show your support today

2023 UMass Cancer Walk


Sept. 24, 2023


Polar Park, 100 Madison St, Worcester, MA 01608

Schedule of events

8 a.m. – Gates open and walkers are welcome
9 a.m. – Survivor Lap 
9:20 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies
10 a.m. – Walk begins 

Route length

5K (3.1 mile) route for walkers that will begin and end inside Polar Park. Those who prefer a shorter distance can stay inside the park and walk a ¼ mile lap/laps around the warning track (clay perimeter around the baseball field).

View the route map.

Fundraising goal



All participants are required to register to attend the in-person event. You can register as an individual or form a team. We encourage our participants to recruit their family, friends, and colleagues to sign up and be fundraisers. Teams consist of two or more people who are raising money toward the same fundraising goal.

Registration fee

The registration fee is $15 for individual walkers 13 years and older. Children 12 years and younger must register with the promotion code: CHILD. This will waive the registration fee.

Registration deadline

Registration closes at noon on Friday, Sept. 22. Register online.

Anyone who does not pre-register will need to enter through the left door of gate D. Day-of registration will be $20 for everyone 13 years and older.

T-Shirt prize

The FIRST 1,000 individuals to raise $100 on their personal fundraising page (not team totals) will receive an exclusive 2023 tri-blend event T-shirt that will be mailed to you after the walk.

Food, drinks and snacks

Behind the Home Plate concession stand will be open and offer breakfast in the morning and lunch in the afternoon. 

View the lunch and breakfast menus.

In addition, thanks to generous sponsors, free water, snacks and fruit will be available at Polar Park.

Celebrating superheroes

As part of the event, we honor patients, family members, healthcare providers, researchers, and volunteers—and you—with our superhero theme. By raising money and taking part in the walk, you have the “power” to save the lives of cancer patients.

Fun for the whole family 

Walkers of all ages are welcome to take part in the walk. 

After event 

After the event, participants are welcome to join us back in Polar Park and order food and drinks from Behind the Plate concession stand. The L-Jays band will perform after the walk until 1 p.m. Children’s activities will run all day.

Why take part?

Your commitment to raise funds to support the UMass Cancer Walk is vital to the researchers and physician-scientists at our UMass Cancer Center.

Your efforts enable them to focus on critical research, including clinical trials, that have the potential to change the lives of those with cancer. The funds you raise will help us develop groundbreaking cancer therapies and treatments. Your participation provides hope to those who need it most.


Dottie Manning witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of cancer. First, she and her husband Dan Manning Sr. lost their son Danny to the disease in 1994. More devastating loss followed just two years later, when Dan Sr. lost his battle.

It was then that Dottie and family friend Bob Haynes decided it was time to take a stand. Together, they started a large-scale fundraising event to fight cancer, and in 1999 the walk was born. Since then, the UMass Cancer Walk has become the largest, one-day, single-location fundraising event in our area. The effect has been tremendous. Supporters like you have raised more than $16 million.

Polar Park Information


Accessible seating, along with adjacent companion seating, are points of pride at Polar Park. Drop-off points on Madison Street and at the rounded corner of Washington and Ash streets provide some of the best proximity and accessibility in baseball.

Polar Park has seats that pivot to create space for attendees in wheelchairs, while their companions sit in seats next to them. Another feature is at the end of select rows, where an armrest lifts to create more space for someone to enter the row. And every seating category caters to those with special needs.

Guests with disabilities or who use mobility aids will find special accommodations in Sections 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 101 and 202.

Additionally, we have Section 16, Row 20, with extraordinary legroom, dedicated to families with autistic individuals if they prefer this option.

If you require special accommodations or assistance, please contact prior to the event.


Service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, are welcome at Polar Park, provided they are accompanied by the handler, trained to provide a service to the handler and leashed at all times. 

Non-service animals are not allowed at Polar Park.


There is no ATM inside Polar Park.


Polar Park’s official capacity is 9,508 individuals. We do not anticipate the 2023 event to come close to this capacity limit.

Carry-in policy

Outside food and beverages may not be brought into Polar Park. Exceptions will be made where necessary for attendees with food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Bags 5”x9” in size or smaller, parental bags and bags containing medically necessary supplies are permitted in Polar Park.

In addition, the following items are among those not permitted to be brought into Polar Park:

  • Aerosol cans (e.g., mace, pepper spray, hairspray, etc.)
  • Air horns
  • Animals (except service animals or pets on special pet promotional days)
  • Backpacks
  • Bags that are large (beach bags, large purses, duffle bags, suitcases, etc.)
  • Binocular cases
  • Bottles made of glass
  • Cameras with detachable lenses, lenses 6” or longer, and camera cases
  • Cans
  • Carts
  • Coolers
  • Cycles
  • Fireworks
  • Food or drink (with exceptions noted above in this carry-in policy)
  • Glass
  • GoPros or similar recording devices
  • Hard containers
  • Illegal drugs
  • Laptop computers
  • Laser pointers
  • Megaphones/noise amplifiers
  • Noisemakers/horns
  • Poles longer than 6”
  • Recreational equipment (skates, skateboards, etc.)
  • Seats with metal backs and/or zippered compartments
  • Selfie sticks
  • Signs not permitted include those that are: larger than 24” x 24”; impair the view of others; are not in good taste; use profanity, offensive words, or that promote political partisanship
  • Signs are not permitted to be hung by attendees on banners on structures
  • Smoke bombs
  • Tripods
  • Unauthorized solicitation, handbills, giveaways, or sampling (without permission)
  • Video or audio recording equipment for unauthorized commercial purposes
  • Weapons of any kind (in the judgment of Polar Park security personnel)

All bags, clutches and purses are subject to inspection upon entering the venue.


Credit cards are accepted at all fixed concession stands. Cash is accepted at some registers.


Polar Park is located at 100 Madison Street and is accessible from a variety of directions. 

  • From the north: Take Interstate 290 to Exit 14 (Route 122).

  • From the east: Take the Mass Pike (Interstate 90) to Exit 94 (State Route 146) and stay on 146 North (which becomes Quinsigamond Avenue) until it ends at Southbridge Street. Turn right, and find parking near Madison Street, just a couple blocks west of Polar Park.

  • From the west: Take the Mass Pike (Interstate 90) to Exit 90 (Interstate 290) and exit at either Exit 13 (which will soon be renumbered Exit 17) and turn left to enter Kelley Square or use Exit 14 (soon to be renumbered Exit 18) and turn left at Grafton Street (122) onto Winter Street. It’s easier than it sounds.

  • From the south: Take State Route 146 North all the way until Quinsigamond Avenue ends at Southbridge Street. Turn right, and find parking near Madison Street, just a couple blocks west of Polar Park.


Guests are prohibited from using or possessing unmanned aircraft or radio-controlled model aircraft in Polar Park or anywhere on or within the airspace of Polar Park property.

Entering Polar Park

Gate D will be open to pre-registered participants and non-registered participants. 

  • Pre-registered: Please have your QR code ready to be scanned at Gate D (right side lane).
    QR Codes will be emailed to participants by Saturday, Sept. 23. You can screenshot your QR code for check-in purposes.
  • Non-registered: Please check-in at the registration table at Gate D (left side lane).


Guests may not exit and re-enter Polar Park using the same QR Code. However, in the case of an emergency, please ask an event staff or volunteer for assistance.

Code of conduct

The UMass Cancer Walk and Polar Park are committed to providing an enjoyable, safe, family-oriented experience during the event. Those who do not observe our Code of Conduct, as determined by the park and event organizers, will be asked to leave, and where applicable, may incur criminal or civil penalties.

  • Alcohol/drugs
    • The organization reserves the right to deny entrance or escort from Polar Park any guest who:
      • Appears intoxicated or impaired by alcohol, drugs or other controlled substances.
      • Is under the age of 21 and possessing alcoholic beverages.
      • Facilitates underage drinking.
      • Possesses illegal drugs.   
  • Clothing/body art
    • Attendees may not wear obscene, profane or indecent clothing.
    • Attendees must wear a shirt and shoes inside the park 
  • Emergencies
    • The organization reserves the right to remove anyone who fails to comply with any request from staff, volunteers or law enforcement personnel regarding event or park operations or emergency response procedures. 

First aid

For immediate treatment, please see a staff member or volunteer, or visit the UMass Memorial First Aid Room located in the Country Bank Fan Services Center. 


Weapons of any kind, including knives and firearms, are not permitted on Polar Park property. 

Lost and found

Lost and found items should be taken to (and can be retrieved from) the Country Bank Fan Services Center. If you have lost an item at Polar Park, please send an email to and/or

Nursing rooms

Nursing mothers are welcome at the designated Nursing Room located in Polar Park. Please see a staff member for assistance. The Nursing Room can be locked from the inside and is equipped with an electrical outlet, a lounge chair, a side table and a television. 


Downtown Worcester has more than 7,300 spaces within a 5-10 minute walk of Polar Park. Lots and garages owned by the city of Worcester have spaces priced at $6, $10 or $15, depending on proximity to the ballpark. Some of the largest include the McGrath Blvd. lot behind the Worcester Public Library, the Union Station Garage, and the Worcester Common Garage. For a detailed map of parking areas and more information regarding parking and transportation, please visit


Polar Park has ample restrooms on each level, including family and gender-neutral restrooms. 

  • Family restrooms: Family restrooms are designed for attendees with small children, attendees with disabilities, and attendees seeking a gender-neutral facility. All family restrooms are accessible and equipped with baby changing tables. 
  • Gender-neutral restrooms: Polar Park has restrooms designed for attendees with small children, attendees with disabilities, and attendees seeking a gender-neutral facility. In addition to those located throughout the ballpark.


Polar Park and the UMass Cancer Walk seeks to provide a safe, family-friendly environment. Event staff and volunteers will be present to assist attendees. If security is needed, please notify the nearest staff member (blue T-shirts) or volunteer (orange T-shirts) or visit the Country Bank Fan Services Center.

Smoking policy

For the health and comfort of all attendees, smoking is prohibited in Polar Park, including concourses, seating sections, restrooms, suites and group areas. Attendees who smoke may request a stamp from security at Gate D and exit the park to smoke and then return.


Strollers are permitted inside and outside of the park.