Hollis residents to ride in 34th Pan-Mass Challenge

Friday, June 28, 2013

Special to the Journal

Several Hollis residents will participate in the 34th annual Pan-Mass Challenge, the nation’s first charity bike-a-thon, which raises more money than any other athletic fundraising event in the country.

They will be among 5,500 cyclists who will ride from Aug. 3-4 with the goal of raising $38 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund.

PMC riders range in age from 13-88. Some are seasoned tri-athletes, while others are weekend warriors having trained for this event alone.

Many PMC participants ride in honor of a family member or friend lost to, or being treated for, cancer. All share a passion and desire to one day find a cure for the disease.

The average PMC cyclist trains for three months, solicits 40 sponsors and raises more than $6,000.

Doctors ride alongside their patients, grandparents ride with their grandchildren and others show support from the sidelines in the form of donations and cheers. More than 300 riders are cancer survivors or current patients.

“It’s a powerful and emotional weekend for everyone involved,” said Billy Starr, Pan-Mass Challenge founder and executive director. “From the cyclists to volunteers, staff and family and friends along the route, the PMC unifies 10,000 people for one weekend to make a difference and raise funds to eradicate cancer.”

Cyclists from 36 states and eight countries return to Massachusetts each August to participate in the PMC.

Since 1980, the PMC has raised $375 million for adult and pediatric cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The PMC gives 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund, a rate of fundraising that is nearly unequaled within the $3 billion athletic fundraising event industry.

In 2012, the PMC raised $37 million, accounting for more than 50 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue. More than 230,000 individual contributions were made to last year’s PMC fundraising campaign.

The PMC is a fully supported bike-a-thon, with food and water stops, mechanical and medical assistance, luggage transportation and lodging, and it runs through 46 towns across Massachusetts. Cyclists choose from 11 routes of varying mileage designed to cater to all levels of cycling strength and time availability.

There are six two-day routes that range from 153-190 miles and five one-day rides that range from 25-110 miles.

In 2013, cyclists are required to raise between $500 and $4,300 to ride in the PMC. This commitment to the fundraising portion of the PMC is a testament to riders’ dedication to the cause and their belief in the PMC mission.

To become a virtual rider or to make a financial contribution to a rider from your town, visit or call 1-800-932-9253. Checks can be made payable to PMC, 77 Fourth Ave., Needham, MA 02494.

Hollis residents participating, and their eGiftID are:

Mark Burke, MB0399; Thomas Dufresne, TD0099; Andy Eliopoulos, AE0014; Annabelle Eliopoulos, AE0049; James Hillsgrove, JH0281; Katherine Jansen, KJ0038; Charles Musson, CM0263; Steve Piper, SP0143; Richard Wholey, RW0097.

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