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History

The Jimmy Fund started in 1948 when the Variety Club of New England (now the Variety Children's Charity of New England) and the Boston Braves baseball team joined forces to help a 12-year-old cancer patient dubbed "Jimmy." On a national radio broadcast, millions heard the boy visit with his heroes from the Braves as they stood by his hospital bed. Contributions poured in from people everywhere, launching an effort that continues to bring hope to thousands of children and adults facing cancer throughout the world.

Join this more than 50-year tradition of support by making a gift to the Jimmy Fund.

Milestones in the history of the Jimmy Fund

1948

The Jimmy Fund is launched with the help of the Variety Club of New England (now the Variety Children's Charity of New England). The club organizes a radio broadcast from the bedside of a young cancer patient dubbed Jimmy as he is visited by members of the Boston Braves baseball team. Contributions pour in to buy Jimmy a television set so he can watch the Braves play.

1949

The Jimmy Fund/Variety Children's Charity Theater Program begins.

1953

Boston Red Sox owners Tom and Jean Yawkey adopt the Jimmy Fund as the team's official charity when the Braves move to Milwaukee. The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association also names the Jimmy Fund as its official charity.

1967

The 1967 Boston Red Sox "Impossible Dream Team" votes to give the Jimmy Fund a share of its winnings from the World Series.

1977

The first Jimmy Fund council, the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston, is established. Learn more

1980

The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, the cross-state bicycle ride that has grown into the Jimmy Fund's single largest fundraising event, is founded.

1983

The first annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl® ice cream extravaganza is held on the Boston Common. Jimmy Fund Golf is officially organized.

1989

The Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk begins with help from Boston Marathon organizers, the Boston Athletic Association.

1991

Stop & Shop teams up with the Boston Red Sox to raise $1 million through the Triple Winner Game, a scratch card game that Stop & Shop customers can play by contributing $1 to the Jimmy Fund.

1998

The Jimmy Fund celebrates 50 years of progress in the fight against cancer. Just in time for the celebration, Einar Gustafson, the original "Jimmy," who gave the charity its name, returns to Dana-Farber. A symbol of hope for thousands of children and adults in their fight against cancer, "Jimmy" attended numerous events, becoming a faithful supporter of the Jimmy Fund until his death at age 65 in January 2001.

2000

Joining Stop & Shop in supporting the Jimmy Fund through cause marketing are Jiffy Lube (1997), Taco Bell (1999), Dunkin' Donuts (1999), Hyundai Motor America (2000), and Burger King Restaurants (2000).

2002

The inaugural WEEI Jimmy Fund Radiothon raises more than $325,000. In 2003, NESN joins the event and turns it into a radio-telethon.

2005

The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge leads the nation in dollars raised by an athletic fundraising event by presenting $23 million to the Jimmy Fund.

2008

The 7th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon reaches new heights when people from all 50 states and around the world pledge more than $4.8 million. The 29th annual Pan Massachusetts Challenge generates $35 million in support of cancer research and care at Dana-Farber, more than twice the amount ever raised for a charity by an athletic fundraising event in the country.

Today

The efforts of hundreds of thousands of dedicated Jimmy Fund supporters continue to allow Dana-Farber to make remarkable progress in the fight against cancer. Please join us today.