2009 Pan-Mass Challenge – The Italian Job
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 50,000 riders and 30,000 support volunteers have made it one of the largest and most successful athletic charitable events in the world, raising $240M for cancer research. Last year, 100% of the $35M raised was given to the charity (making up 50% of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue) made up of donations from 240,000 supporters (more information from my blog post about last year’s ride here). This year’s ride will take place on August 1st and 2nd with 5,500 riders and 2,800 support volunteers along its several routes. This year represents my sixth time participating in this great event, although this time it’s gonna be a little different.
Last year, a new route was created. Instead of crossing Massachusetts, riders upped the ante by crossing Italy (yeah, the country) to put in their charitable miles. The route is, obviously, a little longer at 360+ miles versus the 180 mile Massachusetts route, but it’s also six days of riding instead of just two. This year, I’m going to attempt to ride the Italian route.
The ride starts on July 26. The last two days are coordinated with the Massachusetts routes and take place on August 1st and 2nd. We start on the Adriatic in the town of Fano, ride through the regions of Le Marche, Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany and end on the Mediterranean in the town of Albinia. I’m thinkin’ a swim in the Med might be called for.
I can’t imagine why you’d want to read it, but I posted my shameless sponsorship request on this blog a couple of years ago. If you’re dying to read begging brought to an embarrassing level, you can find it here. For those of you interested in the short version, let’s just say that cancer is really, really bad and that we all need to do everything possible to eradicate it from the face of the planet. This is a tough year for everyone financially. Charities are feeling it big time. If you can’t afford it, don’t sweat it. Do what you can when you can. If you can swing it – donations don’t have to be large – this is a cause you may want to consider.
While I think of myself as a generous donor to many causes, sometimes I need a kick in the pants to remind myself to write a check. If you’re like me, please feel free to treat this as your ass-kickin’. While I’d appreciate your support and donation for my ride across Italy this year, supporting me isn’t what’s important. If you’re financially able, 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.
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 or click on the PMC logo to the left. My PMC Gift ID is: wh0028 if you choose to sponsor me (click on “Sponsor one Rider with one donation”). Of course, you can make the donation directly to Dana Farber or to PMC.
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.