PMC riders celebrate 35 years with record $41 million check presentation to Dana-Farber
November 08, 2014
In a milestone year for the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), the bike-a-thon’s dedicated, determined cyclists have reached new heights in the fight against cancer.
At its annual brunch and check celebration today, the PMC announced a record gift of $41 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and research at Dana-Farber through the Jimmy Fund.
This is the largest sum ever raised by a single athletic fundraising event, and brings the PMC's 35-year Jimmy Fund contribution to $455 million.
The total was raised by 5,500 cyclists who participated in one of the PMC’s twelve routes on Aug. 2 and 3, 2014. The bike-a-thon attracts riders from across the world, 300 of whom are cancer survivors or current patients. Cyclists – Dana-Farber staffers and patients among them – commit to raising between $500 and $5,000. Ninety percent of riders exceed these minimums; one third of them raise more than twice the amount required.
"Our riders are incredibly passionate about riding and finding cures for cancer," says PMC Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr, who presented a ceremonial check to Dana-Farber at the event. "We all share a special camaraderie, built by the shared experiences of training, riding and understanding the impacts of cancer personally or otherwise. It’s this bond that makes our unprecedented achievements in support of cancer research and Dana-Farber so extraordinary."
Over the past three years, the PMC has set new milestones for fundraising, contributing 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the Jimmy Fund. The largest single contributor to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the PMC was started in 1980 when Starr and 35 of his friends rode across Massachusetts and raised $10,200 for cancer research. It is recognized as the pioneering event that connected athleticism to charitable fundraising.
Today, athletic fundraising events annually raise more than $2 billion, funding crucial programs at health and human service organizations nationwide. In addition to the Dana-Farber staff members who ride in the PMC, many others help out as volunteers at the two-day event.
"We are profoundly grateful to the PMC and the riders who, year after year, demonstrate an unparalleled partnership and commitment to our work," says Institute President Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, who has seen both sides of the event as a veteran PMC cyclist. "PMC support has enabled Dana-Farber to make crucial investments in exciting areas of genomics, immunotherapy, chemistry, and patient care. The PMC makes it possible for us to recruit and retain superlative young faculty whose energy and creativity are changing the face of cancer care.
"Today, these investments are paying dividends in increasing knowledge about the biology of cancer, new and improved therapies, and better quality of life for people with cancer at Dana-Farber, and around the world."
The PMC is presented by the Red Sox Foundation and the New Balance Foundation. Another 200 companies support the event by providing more than $4 million in goods and services each year. During PMC weekend and throughout the year, more than 3,000 volunteers donate their time to support the organization.