Yankee Homecoming is an annual celebration for the city of Newburyport, Mass., and one of the longest running community events benefitting Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. Now in its 74th year, the Newburyport community has generously raised over $125,000 in support of Dana-Farber’s mission to defy cancer. Yankee Homecoming brings community members together to appreciate the heritage and beauty of their city and is one of the top fundraisers in Newburyport each summer. The celebration concludes with volunteers walking the streets with Jimmy Fund banners and canisters during the Grand Parade, originally known as the Jimmy Day Parade, to collect small donations from residents and friends of the community that add up to make a huge difference in the lives of Dana-Farber patients and their families.
Paul Bushey was the General Chair for the 2022 Yankee Homecoming celebration, which took place Saturday, July 31 through Sunday, August 7. He worked with the board to plan the event, gather volunteers, and recruit participants for the various events throughout the week. When asked what his advice would be for individuals thinking about starting their own event for the Jimmy Fund he shared: “If you are already involved in a local community celebration, make raising money for the Jimmy Fund a part of the mission of your event. It can be as simple as setting up an info booth and asking your participants to donate. Reach out to the Jimmy Fund team so that you and your community can make a difference.”
The Yankee Homecoming board recognizes the hard work and dedication required to pull off a community-wide event of this scale, but they rely on the support and expertise of community members and spread the word via platforms such as social media, the local newspaper, and their event website to make sure that there is strong awareness for the event. Many Yankee Homecoming events across New England are no longer possible due to limited participation and support, but the people and businesses of Newburyport are actively engaged thanks to the dedicated board working to keep alive such annual traditions as the Grand Parade, which has been taking place since the event was founded in 1958, while adding new activities that keep this celebration relevant as the community grows and evolves.
Raquel Morales, associate director of the Jimmy Fund’s event fundraising team, was invited to attend Olde Fashioned Day to thank the Newburyport community and the Yankee Homecoming board for their longstanding dedication and support of Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund. “It’s amazing to see how the Yankee Homecoming board works together to make this celebration so successful year after year,” shared Raquel. “Thank you to everyone who makes Yankee Homecoming possible and to the residents of Newburyport for remembering that ‘we’re all Jimmy’ and together, we can defy cancer!”
Help support these efforts by joining The Dana-Farber Campaign, our ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. As a community, we have the power to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future—in Boston and around the world. Together, we can defy cancer at every turn. Learn more about The Dana-Farber Campaign and how you can get involved at DefyCancer.org.