The Pan-Mass Challenge
The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC) is a charitable, 2-day bike ride across the state of Massachusetts that raises money for cancer research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund. The ride was the first fundraising bike-a-thon in the country, starting in 1980. Since then, over 42,000 riders and 25,000 support volunteers have made it one of the largest and most successful athletic charitable events in the world. Last year, 99% of the $27M raised was given to the charity (making up 50% of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue) with only 1% used to support the massive event. This year’s ride will take place on August 4th and 5th with 4,800 riders and 2,500 support volunteers along its several routes. There are already 165,000 donors and rider sponsors. This year represents my third time making this cycling trek in my home state.
Now onto the shameless sponsorship request . . .
As readers of this blog know, this type of post is highly unusual for me. I even feel a bit skittish about posting such a request, like I breaking some unwritten blogging rule. I guess I feel like this situation is a bit different – I’d like to think about it as presenting an opportunity. If you’re like me, the charitable donations you make are often driven by an event, request or because it’s the right time of year. While I consider myself a relatively generous donor to many causes, sometimes I still need a kick in the pants to remember to write the check. Of course, each of us has a different capacity and ability to donate to charities and we all have our favorite ones. If giving for cancer care and research are on your list this year and you haven’t had the opportunity to give through another channel, please consider this your kick in the pants. I’d appreciate your support and donation for my ride across Massachusetts this year. Supporting me isn’t what’s important of course. Supporting a worthy cause like cancer care and research and a great organization like the Jimmy Fund is. So, sponsorship of my ride is less important than sponsorship of these organizations and efforts.
And here’s the tear-jerker story to compel you to donate . . .
The PMC is a fun and athletically challenging event (especially as my old legs lose their power), which becomes more emotionally meaningful for me each year I do it – this will be my third year. There’s nothing quite like the experience of reaching back and trying to find the energy to climb a hill 90 miles into the ride when you spot a lone kid on the side of the road holding a sign that says: “because of you, I still have my daddy.” All the pain and weariness of the ride immediately drains from your body and the next mile takes on a whole new meaning – although with the added challenge of struggling to hold back tears.
If you’re interested in donating to Dana Farber and this seems like a reasonable way of doing it, you can do it online at this web page. My PMC Gift ID is: wh0028 if you choose to sponsor me. Of course, you can make the donation directly to Dana Farber if you prefer.
No obligation and donations can be made anonymously, if you prefer. Thanks for even reading this far and if you choose to donate, thanks in advance for your support.