This Saturday’s 4 p.m. Red Sox vs. LA Dodgers game at Fenway Park will start off differently than any other game this year. As the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge’s presenting sponsor for the seventh year, the Red Sox will honor 31 cancer survivors and Pan-Mass Challenge cyclists for the 31st Pan-Massachusetts Challenge.
The annual PMC Day at Fenway event will honor cancer survivors who have survived or are currently being treated for cancer and will this year ride in the PMC and raise money for cancer research and treatment. These 31 cancer survivors – made up of cyclists as young as seven years-old – have been selected to take part in PMC Day at Fenway will have the one-of-a-kind experience or riding their bikes around the warning track at Fenway Park during the pre-game celebration.
On Aug. 7 and 8, those same cyclists will join thousands of others in the 31st annual PMC.
Prior to the game, starting pitcher, Clay Buchholz, will sign autographs for PMCers. Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino, his wife Stacey, Red Sox wives Jacque Francona, Tiffany Ortiz and Sue Farrell, who will be riding the PMC with Team 9, will lead the on-field pre-game event with PMC Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr. Team 9 is the PMC team that consists of Red Sox wives, management, and staff of the Red Sox. The team is named for Ted Williams who was legendary in his love for the Jimmy Fund.
The first pitch will be thrown by Charles Larsen, 66, a native New Englander who now resides in Johns Island, South Carolina. Larsen is a 30-year PMC veteran, who has raised an astounding $2,381,058 in his years of riding. In 1981, Larsen began his PMC career riding in honor of his son, David Larsen, who was diagnosed with cancer of the parotid gland, an extremely rare cancer in children. Since David’s recovery, Larsen has continued his fundraising, riding for his 30th year and is now one of the top three all-time fundraisers of the PMC.
The National Anthem will be sung by Pauline Wells, Cambridge Police Sergeant Detective, 45, of Milton, and a four-time Pan-Massachusetts Challenge cyclist. Wells, who lost both parents to cancer, will be accompanied by the Cambridge Police Honor Guard. Her mother, Marie, lost her battle with endometrial cancer in 1992, and her father, Hugh, died of leukemia in 2001. Wells will be riding the two-day, Wellesley to Provincetown route, in her fifth Pan-Mass Challenge and has raised more than $39,000 for the cause.
PMC Team 9’s Pedal Partner, Hannah Lowe, 6, of Lowell, Mass., will announce, “Play Ball!” during the pre-game ceremony. Lowe, is currently being treated at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.
This game will truly be a memorable experience for both the 31 cancer survivors as well as the audience. It is a way for the PMC and the Red Sox to honor all of the riders, volunteers, and supporters who participate and donate to the PMC year after year.