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Pan-Massachusetts Challenge drew 5,450 cyclists to ride for $36 million!

The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC), the nation’s most successful athletic fundraising event, drew 5,450 cyclists from 36 states and nine countries to Massachusetts this past weekend. Undeterred by the heat, the cyclists rode up to 190 miles over one or two days with the goal of raising $36 million for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The fundraising goal was set at an all-time high. The final sum raised will be announced in November, as money is still coming in and donations will be accepted until October 1, 2012. If the fundraising goal is met, the PMC’s 33-year gift to the Jimmy Fund will total $374 million.

“The PMC is unique in terms of the money our riders raise each year,” said Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr. “This group is passionate and committed. If any organization can reach this goal, it is the PMC.” The PMC typically draws up to 240,000 donors.

PMC weekend was emotionally moving. More than 3,000 volunteers cared for the needs of the riders, from preparing and serving food, filling water bottles, and providing massages, to offering medical and mechanical care, transporting luggage and cleaning up after riders traveled through the water stops. The camaraderie shared by cyclists, volunteers, and supporters was inspiring. Doctors at Dana-Farber joined their patients as teammates and rode together with a unified goal. About 320 of the PMC’s cyclists are cancer survivors or current patients. Thousands of riders have lost loved ones to the disease. Still more rode in honor of those in treatment.

U.S. Senators John Kerry (MA-D) and Scott Brown (MA-R) and U.S. Army Chief of Staff (retired) General George Casey were among the 5,450 cyclists who rode.

Senator John Kerry, PMC Founder and Executive Director, Billy Starr, and Senator Scott Brown

“PMC weekend was a great success,” Starr said. “We are grateful to all who rode, volunteered and provided financial support.” Misting tents and volunteers holding hoses and passing out water provided some relief from the humidity.

Connecting athleticism to charitable fundraising was a new idea in 1980 when Starr and 35 of his friends rode across Massachusetts and raised $10,200 for cancer research. Today, athletic events annually raise more than $5 billion, funding crucial programs at health and human service organizations. The PMC leads the pack and is the most efficient. The PMC annually contributes 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the Jimmy Fund.

Cyclists chose between 11 routes that ranged from 25 miles to 190 miles. Each committed to raising between $500 and $4,300 to be part of the PMC team. Typically, ninety percent of all PMCers exceed the minimum fundraising contribution and one-third raise more than twice the amount required.

The PMC was presented by the Red Sox Foundation and the New Balance Foundation. Another 200 companies supported the event through donations of goods, services and money. The PMC is nationally recognized as a model in fundraising efficiency; it generates 52 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and it is Dana-Farber’s largest contributor. “The PMC has made what we do at Dana-Farber possible,” said Edward J. Benz Jr., MD, president of Dana-Farber. For more information about the PMC, visit pmc.org.

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#PMCRideFinds: Ride, Find, Share

There are only two more weekends before THE weekend you’ve been anticipating, the 33rd annual PMC. As you venture out on your remaining training rides, show the PMC what you see during each ride.

The PMC launched its first ever, #PMCRideFinds campaign, a Twitter hashtag campaign that will offer people a glimpse into what PMC riders experience during their training rides. During your ride, take photos of things you find interesting, locations you visit, and even people you meet along the way. Then, upload these photos to Facebook and Twitter with the #PMCRideFinds hashtag. The goal is to have #PMCRideFinds become a trending topic on Twitter leading up to PMC weekend to raise awareness about the PMC and its mission. Riders are also encouraged to include a link to their PMC profile page so people who see your tweet can easily make donations to your ride.

#PMCRideFinds is a unique campaign in which PMCers are utilizing social media to tell a story beyond fundraising letters, emails, bake sales, etc. Your training rides are taking you to places your car will never be able to. And what better way to memorialize these moments than to take a photo and share it with others? By photographing the distances you travel from your hometown, the beautiful scenery you uncover on your early morning rides, and the new people you meet on your bike, you can help to share your story and journey to non-cyclists.

For those with an Instagram and a Pinterest account, you can post the photos on these sites, with the #PMCRideFinds hashtag to expand your reach beyond the PMC community. Be sure to follow the PMC’s Pinterest account so we can pin your photos to the #PMCRideFinds board.

When posting photos to your social media networks, don’t forget to write a brief description about what your photograph is, or how you came upon the scenery, etc. Also, if you’re a PMCer who sees a post of another PMCer’s #PMCRideFinds photos, please share and retweet to your followers, in hopes to create a viral campaign that will inspire fellow cyclists and potential donors while raising awareness, days before the 33rd annual PMC event.

If you have any questions, contact Lilian Ma at lilian@teakmedia.com.

Best of luck on your remaining training rides!

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Bobby Valentine receives his first PMC Jersey

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine will ride in his first PMC on Aug. 4.

Today, PMC Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr and New Balance CEO and 6-year PMC rider Rob DeMartini presented Valentine with his PMC jersey and welcomed him to the team.

New Balance and the Boston Red Sox are co-presenting sponsors of the 33rd annual Pan-Mass Challenge.

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PMC Sunday Route to go through Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Hundreds of cyclists will ride through Patriot Place, the gateway to Gillette Stadium, during this summer’s Pan-Massachusetts Challenge.

The new finish line and waterstop at Patriot Place represent the partnership between the New England Patriots and the Pan-Mass Challenge. The Patriots have sponsored a 125-member team in the PMC for the last four years

The newest of the 11 PMC routes – a 25-mile, Sunday ride that starts at Babson College in Wellesley – will finish at Patriot Place. The site will also serve as a waterstop for cyclists who ride Sunday’s 50-mile loop and those who will ride the two-day route that finishes at Babson College in Wellesley.

The PMC is the nation’s most successful athletic fundraising event, annually raising more money for charity than any other. Since its 1980 inception, the PMC has raised and contributed $338 million to cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“The new, world class finish line and waterstop will make the ride more exciting and user-friendly for those who ride our 25- and 50-mile Sunday routes and for Babson College finishers,” says PMC Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr. “We are grateful to the New England Patriots for extending their hospitality and are excited to further strengthen our relationship with the team.”

Riders will enter Patriot Place through Putnam Parkway, a private entrance to the stadium grounds.

“Patriot Place is a great location for friends and family to gather and cheer on PMC riders,” says Brian Earley, general manager of Patriot Place. “It is a lively and fun atmosphere with plenty of parking and many attractions. Patriot Place is a great fit for the PMC and we are happy to support the event and its fundraising efforts for Dana-Farber.”

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The official PMC 2012 Rider Jersey

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Mayor Setti Warren Welcomes Newton PMCers to City Hall

More than 80 PMCers from Newton and Newton mayor and fellow PMC rider Setti Warren got together for a PMC kick-off celebration at Newton City Hall yesterday.

Joining Warren to honor Newton riders were PMC Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr, Vicki Kennedy, wife of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, and Dr. Lee Nadler, senior vice president of Experimental Medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The event was held for Newton residents at Newton City Hall as a way to express gratitude to PMC supporters and participants.

Last year, 192 Newton residents raised more than $1.2 million for the PMC. This year will be Mayor Warren’s third PMC and Dr. Nadler’s 13th PMC. They are two of the 160 Newton residents already registered to ride in 2012.

Billy Starr, Vicki Kennedy, Setti Warren, and Dr. Lee Nadler

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Bobby Valentine sports PMC Jersey on ESPN

Check out Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine sporting a PMC jersey and riding his bike in this ESPN clip.

Here’s screen shot:

 

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