On August 2 and 3, three residents from Alexandria will ride in the 29th annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC), the nations pioneer charity bike-a-thon that raises more money than any other athletic fundraising event in the country. They will be among the more than 5,500 cyclists who will ride with the collective goal of raising $34 million for lifesaving cancer research and treatment for adult and pediatric cancer patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund.
PMC riders are between 15 and 85 years of age, come in all sizes, and are of different athletic abilities. Many riders are seasoned cyclists or tri-athletes, while others are PMC weekend warriors, having trained for this event alone. PMC cyclists are unified in the most important ways they are driven to raise money for cancer research and they love the PMC.
The PMC is all about heart and soul. Doctors ride along side their patients; friends and family members ride in honor of loved ones lost to, or battling, cancer. Nearly 300 cancer survivors will ride to give back and give thanks for being given a second chance.
During PMC weekend, individual cyclists become part of one family. The camaraderie shared by 5,500 cyclists, 2,600 volunteers, and thousands of supporters is one of the reasons cyclists from 35 states and eight countries return to ride in the PMC each August. Cancer has made an impact on nearly everyone, says Billy Starr, PMC founder and executive director. The PMC offers an opportunity to fight back and make a difference in the battle against this devastating disease.
No other athletic event raises or contributes more money to charity than the PMC. Since 1980, the PMC has raised more than $204 million for cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund. Last year, the PMC gave 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the Jimmy Fund, a rate of fundraising that is nearly unequaled within the more than $1 billion athletic fundraising event industry. The PMC generates more than 50 percent of the Jimmy Funds annual revenue and is Dana-Farbers largest single contributor.
The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge is a fully supported bike-a-thon with food and water stops, mechanical and medical assistance, luggage transportation, and lodging that runs through 46 cities and towns across Massachusetts. Two-day rides include the original 192-mile Sturbridge to Provincetown route; 180-mile Sturbridge-Bourne-Wellesley route; 163-mile Wellesley-Bourne-Provincetown route; or the 153-mile Wellesley-Bourne-Wellesley route. One-day riders cycle the 110-mile Sturbridge-Bourne route, the 84-mile Wellesley-Bourne route, or the 47-mile Wellesley-Wellesley Sunday loop. Cyclists are required to raise between $1,300 and $4,000 to ride in the PMC, depending on the chosen route, yet the average PMC cyclist raises more than $6,000. This commitment to the fundraising portion of the PMC journey is a testament to riders dedication to the cause and their belief in the PMC mission.
The PMC is sponsored by the Boston Red Sox and Overstock.com. To become a virtual rider, or make a financial contribution to a rider from your town, visit www.pmc.org, or call (800) WE-CYCLE. Checks can be made payable to PMC, 77 Fourth Ave., Needham, Mass. 02494.
August 2-3, 2008
Riders from Alexandria, VA
*To make a donation to a rider, visit www.pmc.org and enter their egift ID.