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The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC) raised a record-breaking $35
million for adult and pediatric cancer research and care at Dana-Farber
Cancer Institute through its August cycling event, which is $2 million
more than it raised last year.
The $35 million gift is more than twice the amount ever raised for a
charity by an athletic fundraising event in the country. It is the
single largest contribution made to the Jimmy Fund, representing almost
50 percent of the charity's annual revenue.
"That the PMC exceeded its fundraising goal in this very troubled
economy is a tribute to PMCers' commitment to raising money for cancer
research and care," said Billy Starr, PMC founder and executive
director. "It also shows that the importance of public and corporate
funding for cancer research and care is widely understood."
The check was presented to Dana-Farber President Edward J. Benz, Jr.,
M.D. at a Nov. 6 ceremony attended by 500 PMC cyclists and volunteers.
The contribution represents 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar, a
charity pass-through rate that is nearly unparalleled within the $1.64
billion athletic fundraising event industry. Since its 1980 inception,
the PMC has raised and contributed $239 million to the Jimmy Fund.
"The money the PMC raises is critical to our mission to eradicate
cancer," says Dr. Benz. "It enables us to invest in major new patient
care and research initiatives that could otherwise go unfunded."
In 2008, the PMC attracted 5,232 cycling fundraisers, about 300 more
than last year. Riders came to Massachusetts from 36 states and eight
countries. Each cyclist was required to raise between $1,300 and $4,000
to participate, depending on the chosen route. More than 90 percent of
PMCers raised more money than they were required to, according to Starr.
"Almost one-third of the pack raised twice as much, which is a
testament to the PMC's fundraising culture," Starr said.
Founded in 1980, when 36 cyclists rode across Massachusetts and
raised $10,200 for the Jimmy Fund, the PMC is known today as the "gold
standard" of athletic fundraising events, due to the unprecedented sums
it raises and its consistently efficient charity pass-through rate.
The PMC was among the very first athletic fundraising events in the
nation and it was a pioneer in the way it focused on raising money for
charity. While a handful of walks and rides were held to raise awareness
about a cause, the PMC put fundraising first and continues to do so.
Registrants must back their applications with credit cards to ensure
their contribution commitments are met, whether they ride or not. The
fundraising minimum increases considerably each year, yet the ride's
most sought-after routes "sell out" by the first week in February, just
weeks after registration opens.
This is the second straight year the PMC has been able to contribute
100 percent of every rider-raised dollar to the cause. Presenting
sponsors Boston Red Sox Foundation and Overstock.com, along with 200
other corporate sponsors, underwrite the cost of producing the event and
provide in-kind contributions of goods and services. In addition, 2,800
volunteers work throughout the year and during PMC weekend, fulfilling
many roles that are typically paid positions.
The 30th annual PMC is set for August 1 and 2, 2009. Registration
opens online on January 12th for alumni and January 20th for newcomers.
For more information about the Pan-Mass Challenge, visit www.pmc.org.