Flames of Hope ready to light up State House


The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation will celebrate its 12th annual Flames of Hope: A Celebration of Life Weekend on Sept. 30 through Oct. 1.

This year they have added some exciting new features for attendees.

“If it’s been a while since you last attended Flames of Hope, you will definitely want to be there this year,” said Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation Executive Director Maria Gemma in a telephone interview.

The Flames of Hope Weekend begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday with the Passport to Survivorship Expo, at the Omni Providence Hotel. This is a free healthy living event open to all people interested in learning ways to improve their well-being. At 3 p.m., the festivities move outdoors to Station Park, renamed Celebration Village, for an evening of remembrance, reflection, music, food and fun activities.

At sundown, thousands will watch the coveted Illuminations of Life Ceremony on the State House steps as the State Ballet of Rhode Island reveals an inspiring story of hope through beautiful choreography, followed by the emotional display of 150 torchbearers processing to the Providence River Basin to light the largest WaterFire of the season.

“Being a torchbearer is very healing for whoever is carrying. Whether it is a cancer survivor or a loved one carrying the torch – it is very healing,” said Gemma.

New this year will be a tattoo artist inking pink ribbon tattoos, a visit from the Bruins Zamboni, free S’mores and games by Camp Cody, and zip-lining. In addition, Montreal Rhapsody Orchestra will perform on the main stage.

Also new this year will be Paint the Town Pink, which will be run by Cranston’s very own Paint the Town Studios, LLC, on Oaklawn Avenue. There will be two seatings in the “Paint the Town Pink” Pavilion, one at 4 p.m. and the other at 8:30 p.m. For $25, guests can enjoy painting a picture of the RI State House lit in pink and one class of wine or non-alcoholic beverage.

“The paint and wine concept is very popular right now, and it can be very relaxing – even meditative to spend some time being creative,” said Gemma.

Although the Flames of Hope event is free, there are ticketed events within Celebration Village on Saturday, including the VIP Pink Party that features music, a buffet and two drink tickets and a Food and Wine Tasting, featuring some of Rhode Island’s top restaurants. In addition, guests at the Food and Wine Tasting will see vegetarian chef and cookbook author of the hilarious Toss Your Own Salad, Eddie McNamara do a cooking demonstration and meet with Eddie afterwards. Tickets for the events can be purchased through the Gloria Gemma website gloriagemma.org, and discounts are available for multiple event purchases.

The weekend comes to an end on Sunday with the Gloria Gemma Run-Walk Series. The series includes three races; the Kids Fun Run for children ages 5-11, the Pink Pump Palooza which is a 50-yard dash run in high heels by men and women, followed by the Gloria Gemma 5K.

Registration can be done online or at the event beginning at 8 a.m. on race day.

“The Gloria Gemma Run-Walk Series is the largest fundraiser held by the Foundation, and proceeds raised go directly towards the free programs and support services the foundation offers to people affected by cancer. We are very excited about this year’s Flames of Hope, and we appreciate the support of our sponsors and the community,” said Gemma.

For more information, contact info@gloriagemma.org or call 861-4376. Individuals can register at gloriagemma.org.

Established in 2004, the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation is a private nonprofit committed to celebrating the lives of those touched by breast cancer, in the greater Rhode Island area.


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