RUMFORD — For the fourth year in a row, Connie Venskus of Rumford is doing the Jimmy Fund Walk virtually, an event she has been a part of since 2011.

Connie Venskus of Rumford. Submitted photo

Venskus, who turned 76 Tuesday, will do the 26.2-mile walk Sunday, Oct. 1, all within 2 miles of her home in the Virginia section of Rumford, the same area where she has been training.

Once again, Venskus will be fundraising in support of research and patient care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Over the past 12 years, she has raised a total of $18,820 for the Jimmy Fund, attaining pacesetter status with at least $1,500 a year. She raised $3,200 in last year’s event.

She said, “I feel very blessed to be able to do this again, especially at my age! Being so close to raising so much money in just 12 years so far is incredible. Much of the funds raised have come from family and friends, many of them from right here in our little River Valley area. “

Venskus elaborated on why she is so passionate about this effort. “I have many people I know and loved who have been touched in one way or another by cancer. I also know some who have benefited directly from the research and/or compassionate care provided by Dana Farber. Being able to do this in my own small way to be part of the solution has brought me great joy. When I walk, especially on the day of the Jimmy Fun Walk, I think of and pray for those who are going through this fight and for those who have lost the battle.”

Last year, Venskus finished in 7 hours, 2 minutes, a few minutes slower than the previous year. “We had great weather last year, cool and sunny even when the sun rose. Hoping for the same this year, but with the kind of summer we have had weatherwise, I have mentally prepared myself for any possibility!”


She noted, “Some people have called it a race when I talk to them about it and I tell them it is not a race. But in a way it is. It is a race against myself. It is a way to spur myself on as I walk and get it done.”

Typically, Venskus said her walk includes going to Adley’s from Prospect Avenue and back and do some loops onto Front Street and Crescent Avenue. Also out on Prospect Avenue and around Sunnyside Terrace. Then on to (U.S.) Route 2, from Sunnyside Terrace up to Royal Avenue, with several loops around the River Valley Crossing parking lot.

She said she uses an app on her iPhone to track her miles.

Venskus would also welcome people to walk with her during her marathon walk, “as long as they like walking pretty fast. I usually don’t make a plan of which direction I head out first. It. Is kind of just do it! I am never more than a couple miles from home, so if someone wanted to join me I guess they would have to find me! By the way, I do plan on starting at 3 a.m., which is one of the benefits of doing the walk here because if I were in Boston, they would not allow us to start before 5:30!”

In 2021, Venskus received an email from the Jimmy Fund Walk staff congratulating her for being in the top 250 fundraisers.

At that time, she was quoted as saying, “All your donations have not only contributed to the very important research for a cure and for the care of cancer patients, but also to the much less important effect of putting this old lady from Rumford into a somewhat ‘elite’ group of ‘athletes.'”

If people would like to donate, the link is:

Venskus said people can more easily go to the Jimmy Fund Walk website and put her name is and donate that way. Another way is they can send her a Facebook message (Constance Venskus) to get her address and mail a donation to her.

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