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December 5, 2009
Pan-Massachusetts Challenge gives $30.4 million to the Jimmy Fund

Gift brings 30-year total contribution to $270 million

Pan Mass Challenge logo

The 2009 Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC) has contributed $30,384,200 to adult and pediatric cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its August cycling event.

This PMC fundraising gift is the single largest contribution made to the Jimmy Fund in 2009, representing 50 percent of the charity's annual revenue. The funds raised by the 4,937 cyclists of the 2009 PMC brings the organization's 30-year total Jimmy Fund gift to exactly $270 million.

The organization had set the fundraising goal at $30 million."Exceeding our fundraising goal in this troubled economy is a tribute to PMC riders' commitment to raising money for cancer research and care," said Billy Starr, PMC founder and executive director. "It also shows that people understand the necessity of funding research for this deadly disease."

    Pan Mass Challenge check held by Billy Starr, PMC executive director, Dana-Farber President Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, and Gordon Prichett, Chairman of the PMC Board of Directors

Billy Starr, PMC executive director, Dana-Farber President Edward J. Benz Jr., MD, and Gordon Prichett, Chairman of the PMC Board of Directors

The ceremonial check was presented to Dana-Farber President Edward J. Benz Jr., MD, at a reception attended by some 800 PMC cyclists and volunteers. The contribution represents 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar, a charity pass-through rate that is nearly unparalleled within the $3 billion athletic fundraising event industry.

This is possible due to presenting sponsors the Boston Red Sox Foundation and who, along with 200 other corporate sponsors, underwrite the cost of producing the event and provide in-kind contributions of goods and services. In addition, 3,000 volunteers work throughout the year and during PMC weekend, fulfilling many roles that are typically paid positions.

"The money the PMC raises is critical to our work. It enables us to invest in major new patient care and research initiatives that could otherwise go unfunded," Dr. Benz said. "In this economy, when non-profit organizations are seeing a decrease in private, corporate and federal funding, we are extremely appreciative of the PMC's extraordinary support."

Dana-Farber is one of the top cancer research and treatment institutes in the country. The PMC is among Dana-Farber's largest funders.

In 2009, the PMC attracted 4,937 cycling fundraisers from 36 states and eight countries. Each cyclist was required to raise a minimum of between $1,000 and $4,200 to participate, depending on the route chosen. Routes ranged from 47 to 190 miles over one or two days. More than 90 percent of PMC riders raised more than their respective fundraising minimum, according to Starr.

Founded in 1980 when 36 cyclists rode across Massachusetts and raised $10,200 for the Jimmy Fund, the PMC is known today as the "gold standard" of athletic fundraising events, due to the unprecedented sums it raises and its consistently efficient charity pass-through rate. In 30 years, 61,606 cyclists have ridden in the PMC and 36,269 people have volunteered to make the PMC such a successful and well-supported event.

The PMC was among the very first athletic fundraising events in the nation and it was a pioneer in the way it focused on raising money for charity. While a handful of walks and rides were held to raise awareness about a cause, the PMC had always put fundraising first.

The 31th annual PMC is set for August 7 and 8, 2010. Registration opens online on January 12 for alumni and January 19 for newcomers. For more information about the Pan-Mass Challenge visit

Media contact

Jackie Herskovitz
(617) 269-7171

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