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Pan-Mass Challenge announces $47 million milestone gift to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

The pioneer of the a-thon industry raises the bar once again, bringing total funds raised to $547 million

October 20, 2016

2016 PMC check presentation

Pictured from left to right:
Sam Kennedy, president of the Boston Red Sox; Lisa Hughes, WBZ-TV anchor; Josh Bekenstein, co-chairman of Bain Capital and chairman of the Dana-Farber Board of Trustees; Billy Starr, founder and executive director of the Pan-Mass Challenge; Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and chief executive officer of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; David Fialko, managing director for General Catalyst and chairman of the Pan-Mass Challenge Board of Trustees
Photo by 13 Photography

The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) today announced a gift of $47 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at the world-renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor, raising more than 52 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue, the PMC has now brought its fundraising total to more than $547 million since the organization’s inception in 1980.

More than 6,300 cyclists came together on August 6 and 7, 2016, to raise the record gift. Hailing from 40 states and seven countries, riders ages 15 to 84 participated in one of 12 routes ranging in distance from 25 to 192 miles. The cornerstone of the PMC community is the more than 600 riders and volunteers who are cancer survivors or current patients, and are considered "Living Proof" of the PMC mission to find a cure. Cyclists commit to raising between $500 and $7,500, 100 percent of which goes directly to Dana-Farber.

"The PMC has evolved into a seasonal harvest of philanthropy where, through Dana-Farber, the bounty is shared with the world," said Billy Starr, founder and executive director of the PMC. "This $47 million gift for Dana-Farber is a true team effort – from riders, volunteers and our head staff to sponsors, donors, spectators and cheerleaders – everyone has played a part in achieving this incredible milestone."

"I am thrilled that the PMC has reached a record-setting $47 million for research and treatment at Dana-Farber," said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and chief executive officer of Dana-Farber. "We are able to make unprecedented advances, conduct clinical trials, and work on new cancer treatments because of the generosity of the PMC. These funds have a lasting and very tangible impact at Dana-Farber and the whole cancer community."

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 4,500 volunteers donate their time to support the organization.

About the Pan-Mass Challenge

The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) is an annual bike-a-thon that today raised more money for charity than any other single athletic fundraising event in the world. The PMC was founded in 1980 by Billy Starr, who remains the event’s executive director, an annual cyclist, and a fundraiser. The PMC has since raised $547 million for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund. The event donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the cause. The PMC generates more than 52 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and is Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor. The PMC has successfully melded support from committed cyclists, volunteers, corporate sponsors and individual contributors. All are essential to the PMC's goal and model: to attain maximum fundraising efficiency while increasing its annual gift. The PMC’s hope and aspiration is to provide Dana-Farber's doctors and researchers with the necessary resources to discover cures for all cancers. For more information on the Pan-Mass Challenge, log onto

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