In honor of the 30th anniversary Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, the PMC blog will take you on a ride through history. Today we continue 30 years in 30 weeks with a look back at the PMC in 1993. We’ll coast through the event’s history, featuring a new year each week, as we lead up to the 30th annual ride on Aug. 1 and 2.
Check out past 30 Years in 30 weeks posts here.
Send your PMC story to Stephanie@teakmedia.com
30 years in 30 weeks
Miracles can happen.
That was the message of the 1993 Pan-Massachusetts Challenge Heavy Hitter t-shirt. The annual t-shirt honored the event’s top fundraisers and also captured a memory of the annual ride.
The 1993 Pan-Massachusetts Challenge kicked off with an opening ceremony that featured the late Senator Paul Tsongas, a miracle himself for his relentless battle against repeated bouts of cancer to return to politics and even make a presidential run in 1992.
The three-time cancer survivor and Lowell native offered up words of wisdom and encouragement to PMCers. And he even pledged to ride, which he did in 1995. He lost his life to cancer in 1997 at age 55.
That year was the 14th annual PMC and the event was a true testament to what can happen when people are committed to finding the money to help make a difference.
Ridership was just over 1,300 people, or about 100 people fewer than had ridden in 1992. But fundraising increased by $400,000 and the PMC exceeded the $2 million mark for the first time. Miracles can happen.
The fundraising success can be attributed to the 402 Heavy Hitters who each raised $1,800 or more and brought annual Jimmy Fund contribution to $2.3 million.
In 1980, only 50 percent of childhood leukemia sufferers survived. By 1993, two out three children with leukemia beat the disease and half of all patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute left the hospital cancer free.
Billy Starr reminded riders in 1993 about the important work they did every August and all year long:
“By now, the rigors of this event but a memory, you can sit back and appreciate the valuable role you play in the battle against cancer,” Starr wrote in the 1993 Check Presentation ceremony booklet. “With every turn of your wheel you provide necessary support to Dana-Farber’s patients and staff. And with every PMC you help bring Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund closer to a cure for a disease that affects millions of people each year.”
Miracles can happen.
PMC 1993 facts
190 total miles