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Griffin's Friends

Class of 2024

    It all began in 1994 with a mission: 'Bringing Moments of Joy to Courageous Kids'. This was the vision of Jim Kelleher and his family, inspired by their own experiences with their son, Griffin D. Kelleher.


    Griffin’s Friends is a volunteer group committed to supporting children battling cancer. The legacy of Griffin lives on through this unique organization, which offers support to children undergoing cancer treatment and their families.


    The 'Griffin’s Friends Children’s Cancer Fund' was established at Baystate Health Foundation, Inc. This fund is sustained by donations from fundraising activities organized by volunteers from Griffin’s Friends.


    The group has realized that small acts of kindness can greatly alleviate the burdens faced by children and families during their most challenging times. Griffin’s Friends' initiatives bring numerous expressions of hope and support each year, including holiday parties, trips to stage shows and sports events, summer picnics, in-hospital and outpatient entertainment, and massage therapy. These efforts not only supplement medical treatment but also encourage relaxation and coping.


    Griffin’s Friends' fundraising journey began in 1994 with 15 runners participating in the Boston Marathon. This initiative grew remarkably, featuring over 100 runners taking part in the annual 'Marathon Challenge' in Boston every April. Known for their 'Sea of Blue' singlets, Griffin’s Friends runners were a staple at the Marathon Challenge and still are at various races throughout the race season. While the Marathon Challenge was the primary event, Griffin’s Friends runners also participate in races throughout the year, supporting various causes.


    The weekly training sessions have fostered a close-knit community of runners who not only participate in races across Western Massachusetts for various causes but have also grown into a supportive running community. Griffin’s Friends has welcomed many into the running community who might never have considered running if not for the inspiration and camaraderie found within Griffin’s Friends."

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