In case you missed it, here are Billy Starr’s opening remarks from Thursday’s Check Presentation event at Harvard Medical School. Read on for an announcement about PMC 2009. Check out our earlier posts for more on the donation to The Jimmy Fund.
Billy Starr, Nov. 6, 2008:
I think it is fair to say that the PMC weathered the microburst that collapsed a portion of the main tent at MMA better than Wall Street sustained tsunami that imploded the global economy. Of course, both will, and must prevail. But, even after almost 3 decades of unparalleled growth, the PMC is not immune from economic and philanthropic trends rippling through the country. In reality, the stock market had been in decline for almost a year when we rode in august, yet and our fundraising remained strong, largely on the back of another 6% growth in our ridership. The fall was another story…
Still, we have much to be proud of as well as celebrate in this, our 29th year. The PMC, as has been said by many leads the way in event programming throughout the country. While one can ride, walk, swim and climb for every good cause under the sun, there is none that channels its spirit into a bottom line – not by half – as the PMC. For the second straight year, I am pleased to report that our gift will represent 100% of all rider raised revenue. This is possible through the unflinching support of our presenting sponsors: Red Sox Foundation, Overstock.com – as well as MFS Investment Management and our media sponsor NECN. Stop & Shop & New Balance have also underwritten our 30 Kids Rides with over 5,000 young cyclists participating; that are as big as the PMC weekend itself! The fundraising grew 62% over a year ago. Such incremental growth reminds me of the 80’s when the PMC, under the radar screen at that time, was pushing those kind if annual percentage growth numbers. It is worth noting again that this year’s gift from kids ages 3-15 was bigger than the PMC’s gift to DFCI in 1987!
Balancing our sponsor support is the professional backing of over 2,800 volunteers and 200 companies that allow us to run our year-round program on $3.5m — without them, that number would be closer to $6.5m Lastly, I thank DFCI and Erica Kaitz who thank us by hosting both the HH banquet and tonight’s check presentation celebration.
Briefly, about next year. Next week I will announce a moratorium on growth of all routes leading to MMA in Bourne. That is certainly going to make the goal of growing our gift that much tougher but I believe it is possible. First, I believe that the PMC and the Dana-Farber mission will remain a priority to the public. It has been said that cancer is the great equalizer and it, for sure, does not recognize economic trends. The public understands that as well. Second: I believe there will be continued demand to participate on PMC weekend. I cannot control what individuals will raise but I think the PMC alumni and their friends see the PMC weekend similar to the swans returning to Capistrano – it is simply in your DNA. Third: we believe that both the Kids Rides program and the newly re-branded Sunday Family Ride will continue to grow as events and routes that introduce new riders or ease down the commitment required from the primary routes from alumni riders. And Fourth: this winter we will be introducing a fundraising tool that will allow for viral inclusion of tens of thousands of virtual riders and satellite rides that are not restricted by the physical boundaries of PMC weekend. Anyone who has a bike, or a computer, will now be able to join our mission regardless of mileage, fitness or fundraising minimums. This tool will be the highlight of a new look to the MYPMC page and our website that will better enable you to facilitate our shared mission.
In short: the future is bright. People will always need a place to deposit their passion and facilitate their dreams. We think the PMC will remain one such place. Thanks for your faith, fidelity and good intentions. They reflect the ‘soul’ that permeates this event and will carry it into its fourth decade. Thank you.