If you attend any of the local events in town, odds are you will see Suffield native Amy Reay there along with her service dog, Delancy. What you may not know about Amy, based on her boundless energy and positive attitude, is that she has a condition called Neurofibromatosis or NF. NF is a rare genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow in nerves throughout the body and affects 1 in every 3,000 children born. Reay has the less common NF2 type. Delancy lovingly supports her because NF2 took her hearing when she was thirty-two. The hearing loss was due to nerve damage that resulted from having multiple brain tumors removed.
Reay may have NF, but that does not stop her from supporting the town she loves or constantly helping others in need. One organization most close to her heart is Cupid’s Undie Run. Cupid’s Undie Run is a national charity that, since its inception in 2010, has raised over $21 million. 100% of the profits go toward NF research through The Children’s Tumor Foundation.
Each year Reay and her team ‘Shivering Skivvies” participate in the Boston Cupid’s run, running with a different theme. The race encourages costumes and other props as well as running in your undies along the route. The event explains, “we run in our undies because those affected by NF can’t cover up their tumors. They can’t put on clothes to feel more comfortable, so why should we?” Team Shivering Skivvies theme for the February 2023 run is “Mermaids” with the slogan “Making a Splash Against NF.”
Reay is a fierce competitor when it comes to fundraising for Cupid’s and has ranked among the top fundraising teams for Boston year after year. Last year she came in third place raising over $18,900 and placing 13th in the nation, with only five members on her team.
This year she is upping the ante and looking to build her team. The Boston race is not always possible for those who want to be involved, so the team decided to add local events to their fundraising efforts. Reay explained, “My team and I are excited to expand events and bring in new members on the local level because we understand not everyone is able to get to Boston, nor are they comfortable running in undies. This direction we are taking will allow new members to test drive being a part of us, and it brings all of their friends and family into the loop.”
Currently the team is holding a flower bulb sale through Flower Power with a goal of $1000. Their larger local event is the “Sunday Funday” event to be held Sunday, October 16, from 12:00 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Grill at Copper Hill, Copper Hill Country Club in East Granby.
For $12, participants have a choice of hot dog, hamburger, cheeseburger or grilled chicken with sides and a soft drink. There will be a cash bar, putting contest, photo booth, local farm vendors, crafters and wellness services and children’s activities. The event will also feature live music including performances by Suffield natives Richard McCarty, in a musical duo “She’s with Him,” and Tyler Pettibone.
“Attending Sunday Funday will show many people our dedication to curing Neurofibromatosis but it also provides an event with varied interests that brings a community together for simple enjoyment. We missed so much interaction during the pandemic. I personally cherish a good time spent with others.” Reay explained.
Information on the Sunday Funday event and the flower bulb fundraiser can be found on their team Facebook page “Team Shivering Skivvies at Cupid’s Undie Run” or by contacting Amy at email@example.com. Additionally look for posters around the town. The team also appreciates sharing with family and friends to make this a successful annual event.