The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) was founded in 1980, and it’s an annual bike-a-thon that manages to raise more money for charity than any other single event in the United States. On August 6, the event began and managed to gather a high number of cyclists from across the country and the world.
The main goal of the Pan-Mass Challenge as well as the hopes of those involved is to collectively raise $46 million that would be donated to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research.
During the two-days duration of the PMC, over 6.3003 cyclists from 40 states and seven other countries, with ages varying from 13 to 84, can choose from 12 different routes with different length and difficulty. The longest route has 192 miles. The routes run through 46 towns and are designed to match all levels of cycling and fundraising abilities. Many people decide to participate in the event in order to honor a lost friend of family member or to give hope to those that are currently being treated for cancer. The event also manages to attract more than 600 riders and volunteers who are patients themselves or are cancer survivors.
The Pan-Mass Challenge was founded in 1980 by Billy Starr, who is still the current executive director. In that year, he and 35 other friends got their bikes and rode across Massachusetts. At that time, they managed to raise only $10, 200 but more importantly created a cultural phenomenon. Across the world, athletic fundraising events collectively manage to raise over $4 billion for a variety of programs.
According to Starr:
“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.”
If the event manages to reach its fundraising goal, it will total up to $546 million in contribution to Dana-Farber over the 37-year history of the event. The previous year, PMC managed to raise $45 million.
Dr. J. Benz, the president and CEO of the Dana-Farber Institute, stated that:
“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 of Dana-Farber’s mission and our partner in our work to change the face of cancer.”
The Pan-Mass Challenge is supported by over 200 companies that provide $4 million in goods and services each year. It’s presented by the New Balance and the Red Sox Foundation. The PMC has over 4000 volunteers throughout the year and during the event.
Image source: PMC