On Friday, Nov. 11, beautiful photographs from PMC 2011 lit up the score board and Jumbotron creating a brilliant halo over the field at Fenway Park. As images of orange and blue jerseys, gleaming bikes, and smiling faces of accomplished riders illuminated the park, 600 PMC riders, volunteers and supporters gathered inside the EMC club for dinner and drinks and to hear speakers announce the sum raised for cancer research by 5,100 committed cyclists.
Inside, the conversations were not about which players should leave or those who should stay; instead PMCers spoke of the progress of a pedal partner, a teammate who is cancer free, and the PMC experiences over the years.
Sheldon Rothman‘s 83rd birthday was on the same day as the PMC check presentation. “This was my best birthday yet,” he said. “I’m sharing it with my second family, the PMC.” Rothman is the PMC’s oldest two-day rider.
Melinda Mann toasted her 20th PMC ride. This year she broke the $300,000 fundraising mark.
Several PMC teams celebrated their combined efforts to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars this year. Team Forza-G, Team Year Up and Team Pedal 2 the Mettle all brought their own oversized checks to the event.
The check presentation marks the end of a tremendously successful 2011 PMC season where 5,169 riders, 3,000 volunteers and thousands of donors and sponsors took another significant step forward to funding cancer care and funding new research. The $35 million gift matches the PMC’s largest donation ever to DFCI.
PMC Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr’s joy and enthusiasm about the sum raised was equaled only by his dedication to the PMC and his commitment to raise even more next year. “PMCers are a unique group who rise to the challenge. Every year, they set higher fundraising goals for themselves,” Starr said.
As Lisa Scherber, a PMCer and the director of Family and Patient Services at Dana-Farber/ Children’s Hospital, described the sounds of the PMC that make the “real riders” (riders who consider themselves cyclists) and the “imposters” (riders who can only be dragged onto their bikes for the PMC) come together, nods, smirks, and clapping swept through the crowd, as both new and life-long riders acknowledged the unique spirit of the PMC.
Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino thanked riders and volunteers and reaffirmed the Red Sox Foundation’s commitment as a presenting sponsor of the PMC.
Finally, Dr. Ed Benz, Dana-Farber president, explained how much the PMC truly means to Dana-Farber. Because of drastic federal funding cuts, Benz said the PMC gift is not simply an addition to the budget each year; it is vital to finding the cure for cancer.
Before wrapping up Benz adjusted his now famous description of the PMC. He said, “When they write the book on how cancer was conquered, at this rate the PMC won’t just be chapter one, it will be the whole damn book.”