NEEDHAM, Mass., Aug. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) kicked off its 2016 ride weekend, as cyclists from across the United States and abroad, mounted their bikes to ride up to 192 miles in the hopes of collectively raising $46 million for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. If accomplished, this fundraising goal will bring the PMC's 37 year contribution to Dana-Farber to more than $546 million in total. The PMC, which raises more money for charity than any other single athletic event, is Dana-Farber's largest single contributor, raising more than 58 percent of the Jimmy Fund's annual revenue.
During PMC weekend, cyclists from 40 states and seven countries, ranging from ages 13 to 84, become one extended family, choosing from 12 different routes of varying mileage that run through 46 towns designed to cater to all levels of cycling and fundraising abilities. 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. The PMC is an especially memorable experience for more than 600 riders and volunteers who are cancer survivors or current patients, considered "Living Proof" of the PMC spirit and mission to find a cure.
"Every year, we are blown away by the commitment the riders and volunteers make to the PMC in the hopes of one day eradicating cancer," said Billy Starr, founder and executive director of the PMC. "New faces become familiar ones, strangers become family, and it's this special and unique camaraderie that makes the PMC such an emotional and unforgettable experience year after year. Here's to another year in the books, to reaching another fundraising milestone, and to another step taken toward helping Dana-Farber find a cure."
"We are deeply grateful to the PMC for its unwavering support every year. Unrestricted funds are essential to the Institute and to receive more than half a billion from such a passionate group, is truly transformational," said Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, president and chief executive officer, Dana-Farber. "Thanks to the PMC, we have been able to achieve incredible breakthroughs in cancer research, from clinical trials that test drugs that go on to receive FDA approval, to new treatments and specialized patient care. The PMC is undoubtedly a cornerstone in Dana-Farber's mission and our partner in our work to change the face of cancer."
The average cyclist trains for three months, solicits 40 sponsors, and raises more than $6,500. One-day routes include riding 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.
Boston City Mayor Marty Walsh will be sharing remarks at Opening Ceremonies on Sunday, August 7, as riders participating in the one-day, 25-mile route from Wellesley to Patriot Place line up to ride. As a childhood cancer survivor and PMC alumni, Mayor Walsh will also be leading the countdown indicating the start for riders. Among those starting their ride in Wellesley throughout the weekend is Laurie Glimcher, M.D., incoming president and chief executive officer at Dana-Farber, who will be riding the 85-mile route to Bourne, MA.
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 $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 to a rider, visit www.pmc.org, or call (800) WE-CYCLE. Connect with #PMC2016 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
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 $500 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 58 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 www.pmc.org.
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SOURCE Pan-Mass Challenge