NEEDHAM, Mass., (FNN NEWS) — Today, the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) kicked off the bike-a-thon’s 2017 event as more than 6,200 cyclists from 40 states and seven countries crossed the starting line. Participants are riding up to 192 miles with the goal of collectively raising $48 million for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Dana-Farber). If accomplished, the PMC’s 38-year contribution to Dana-Farber will exceed $595 million since 1980. The PMC, which raises more money for charity than any other single athletic event, is Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor, raising more than 52 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue.
During PMC weekend, cyclists ranging in age from 15 to 84 unite with the common mission of raising funds for cancer research and treatment. Designed to cater to all levels of cycling and fundraising abilities, PMC riders choose from 12 routes of varying mileage that run through 46 towns throughout Massachusetts. Many ride in honor of a family member or friend lost to, or being treated for, cancer, as 100 percent of every rider raised dollar goes directly to Dana-Farber. This year, 850 PMC riders and volunteers are cancer survivors or current patients, considered “Living Proof” of the PMC spirit and mission to find a cure.
“Providing funding for cancer research has never been more critical, which is why we’ve set our most ambitious goal to date – to raise $48 million in funding to help the brilliant minds at Dana-Farber continue making breakthroughs in innovative research and treatment,” said Billy Starr, founder and executive director of the PMC. “Every year, I’m blown away by the commitment of our riders, volunteers, sponsors, staff, donors, and we’ve never been more committed than we are this year. Thank you to everyone who has joined us in our journey to helping Dana-Farber one day eradicate cancer.”
“The unrestricted funds from the PMC truly drive discovery at Dana-Farber and help our researchers use the latest technology to conduct cutting edge research that furthers our mission to reduce the burden of cancer,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Dana-Farber, who will be riding the 85-mile route to Bourne, Massachusetts. “I’m proud to ride in my second PMC this year alongside a phenomenal group of cyclists and volunteers. We are extraordinarily grateful for the commitment of everyone in the PMC community. The impact of the PMC goes beyond our institute’s walls to benefit the entire cancer community worldwide.”
One-day routes include rides from Wellesley or Sturbridge to Bourne, Wellesley to Patriot Place and Bourne to Provincetown. Two-day routes include Wellesley or Sturbridge to Provincetown, and Wellesley or Sturbridge to Bourne and back. The average cyclist trains for three months, solicits 40 sponsors, and raises more than $7,000.
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 New Balance and the Red Sox Foundation. Another 200 companies support the event by providing more than $7 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 to a rider, visit www.pmc.org, or call (800) WE-CYCLE. Connect with #PanMass2017 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.