Pan-Mass Challenge announces record-setting $45 million gift to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, bringing 36-year fundraising total to a half-billion dollars

November 14, 2015

2015 Pan-Mass Challenge check presentation

The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) today announced a gift of $45 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, bringing the PMC’s 36-year fundraising total to a half-billion dollars raised since the organization’s inception in 1980. The PMC is Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor, raising more than 50 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and the $500 million fundraising total is the largest sum ever raised by a single athletic fundraising event.

The record gift was raised by 6,000 cyclists, including Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who participated in one of the PMC’s twelve routes on August 1 and 2, 2015, ranging from Sturbridge to Provincetown, Babson to Bourne and Babson to Patriot Place, among others. The 2015 PMC attracted riders and volunteers from 41 states and five countries, 600 of whom are cancer survivors or current patients, all considered "Living Proof" of the PMC mission to find a cure. Cyclists commit to raising between $500 and $5,000, 100 percent of which go directly to Dana-Farber.

"Each year, the PMC community impresses us tenfold with their passion, tenacity and ability to rally others in support of such an important cause," said PMC Founder and Executive Director, Billy Starr. "When I started the PMC 36-years ago, a half-billion dollars generated by a bike-a-thon was unimaginable. It is truly remarkable. All riders, volunteers, sponsors and donors have a lot to be proud of regarding moving cancer research and treatment forward significantly – and faster than would have been possible without their efforts."

"We are astounded by the PMC’s unparalleled support and ability to continuously raise the bar with each and every ride weekend," said Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, president and chief executive officer, Dana-Farber. "The PMC makes it possible, through their generous donations, for Dana-Farber to push the envelope in developing cutting-edge research and providing the most specialized patient care. These investments can be seen coming to life every day in the halls at Dana-Farber. The PMC has made and will continue to make a lasting, and very tangible, impact for our hospital and the cancer community worldwide."

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 $4 billion, funding crucial programs at health and human service organizations nationwide.

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 4,000 volunteers donate their time to support the organization. To make a financial contribution, visit, or call (800) WE-CYCLE.

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