Meagan Bebenek Foundation Announces it’s 23rd Annual 5km Walk & Hospital HUG

Meagan's HUG

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Meagan Bebenek Foundation (MBF) announces the 23rd annual signature walk and HUG on Saturday, May 11, 2024. The charity is also pleased to announce a new corporate partnership with The Holmes Group, featuring Sherry Holmes as an official Meagan Bebenek Foundation ambassador.

Also new this year, Meagan Bebenek Foundation will kick off the annual 5km walk to The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) at Hotel X, the foundation’s official hotel partner for Meagan’s HUG 2024. The walk will lead hundreds of participants through the city, arriving at SickKids where walkers will encircle the hospital and form the only human hug of its kind in the world – all to raise awareness and funds for paediatric brain tumour research. 

This Mother’s Day weekend, we come together to spread a message of hope and unity,” said Denise Bebenek, Founder, Meagan Bebenek Foundation. “Meagan Bebenek Foundation has achieved remarkable milestones in paediatric healthcare increasing survival rates for children and young people facing brain tumours. Our collective efforts, from ground-breaking research to new fellowship programs, and meaningful collaborations such as our new partnership with The Holmes Group, highlight the journey of progress and success, as we continue to make an impact on the lives of children and families globally.”

About Meagan’s HUG 2024 Event

This family-friendly event starts at Hotel X (111 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3) and welcomes people of all ages and abilities to join the 5km walk to SickKids (555 University Ave) where participants will encircle and embrace the hospital in a demonstration of support sharing a message of hope with all who need it.

The stage is relocating to Elizabeth Street and will be below the newly constructed Meagan Marie Bebenek Bridge and feature a performance by Max Keys, a remarkable 9-year-old pianist and vocalist from Toronto. Check-in opens at Hotel X at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, with activities that include crafts, face painting, and snacks.

MBF Heroes will lead the way at 10:30 a.m. to mark the official start of the 5km walk. Families, groups, and organizations are invited to create teams to fundraise and participate in honour of loved ones impacted by brain tumours.

Paid parking will be available at the CNE, across from the BMO field (access via Princes’ Gates Blvd). Complimentary bus shuttles will take participants from SickKids back to CNE parking following the HUG. This year, Meagan’s HUG 2024 event partners include Encore Canada as the official technology partner providing AV and staging, and FreshCo., the official food partner providing snacks and beverages in the food tent.

Meagan’s HUG is driven by a vision of a world where no children and their families suffer from brain tumours. Founded in 2001 by Denise Bebenek as a way to address the lack of funding for paediatric brain tumour research and spread a message of hope after she lost her five-year-old daughter to an inoperable brain tumour, Meagan’s HUG leads many programs year-round to raise awareness and funds for ground-breaking research and life-saving treatments and therapies for children affected by brain tumours. From the annual walk on the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend that culminates with thousands of participants joining hands to encircle the Hospital for Sick Children in the only human hug of its kind in the world, to its school program, international Neuro-oncology Fellowship and more, Meagan’s HUG is just getting started.

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