Man standing in hallway with Mass General Cancer Center written above the doorframe

Community Fundraising

Hosting a 3rd Party Event to Benefit Cooley Dickinson Hospital

Community Fundraising

Are you interested in hosting a special event or fundraiser to benefit Cooley Dickinson? We are so grateful for the many special events that are hosted by Cooley supporters throughout our community, like you!

Here are just a sampling of fundraising ideas:

  • Walk/Run
  • Golf Tournament
  • Gala
  • Dinner Party
  • Bake Sale
  • Jewelry Sale
  • Art Show
  • And Many More!

Take the first step and download our third party event form or contact our development office at 413-582-2255.


Frank Marchand: Sweetening the Chemo Deal

On August 30, 2023, Frank Marchand, a plumber by profession and a raconteur by dint of personality, put on a one-man motivational talk at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls called “I Can Die Happy Now.” Frank chose to donate the proceeds of his sold-out performance to buy treats for patients undergoing chemo therapy at the Mass General Cancer Center (MGCC) at Cooley Dickinson.

There is, of course, a backstory. Nearly eight years ago, at the age of 60, Whately resident Frank Marchand was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Like so many people who receive a terminal diagnosis, Frank struggled mightily to come to terms with this news. Paradoxically, facing his mortality has led Frank to “really appreciate the beauty of the earth and the people around me” and to be more vividly and consciously alive than ever.

Man sitting in a hospital waiting room chair facing the camera
Frank Marchand

While there’s no cure for Frank’s cancer, chemotherapy treatments at MCGG at Cooley Dickinson have been keeping him alive. “Alive” is an apt term for Frank on multiple levels. Since receiving his diagnosis, Frank has barely missed a day of work. He fits his busy work schedule around his chemo treatments. He’s also become a local celebrity, having been featured in an NPR radio interview, where he shared his sharp, often humor-infused insights about life and mortality.

When he’s at his bi-weekly chemo treatments at Cooley, Frank is his personable, engaging self. “On a given day, I usually know 30% of the people. I call them my hellmates, and because I’ve been coming here for years, I let people know they’re not alone in this.’”

Given how grueling treatment can be, Frank has literally committed to “sweeten” the experience. Part of his inspiration came after the death of his seventh-grade chemistry teacher, whom he connected with in the chemo room. His teacher’s family asked for donations to the hospital in lieu of flowers. Because it was around Halloween, Frank bought all sorts of treats and candies, which he distributed in his teacher’s honor.

“Those treats were a major hit,” notes Frank. “The hospital offers healthy snacks, which are great. But sometimes, especially during hard times, you want to have another choice.” Frank reminisced about a poignant moment with his elderly mother the day before she died, following major digestive issues. “She was finally comfortable and what she wanted more than anything in the world was a soft serve twist ice cream cone. She had been a lifelong diabetic and told to stay away from sweets that she loved and longed for. You should have seen her face when she put that cone to her lips and, guilt-free, enjoyed the taste she had dreamt about. With my donation, I want my hellmates to be able to choose to have that kind of experience.”