Brookline, Hollis residents to ride in Pan-Mass Challenge

NEEDHAM, Mass. – On Aug. 6-7, 11 residents of Brookline and Hollis will participate in the Pan-Mass Challenge, the largest single athletic fundraising event in the country.

They will be among 6,500 cyclists who will ride with the collective goal of raising $46 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Participants from Hollis and Brookline are Joseph Kifer, Robin Gavin, Annabelle Eliopoulos, Charles Musson, James Hillsgrove, Katherine Jansen, Mark Burke, Martha Leonard, Sandra Barlow, Steve Roche and Thomas Dufresne.

During PMC weekend, individual cyclists unite to become one extended family. The camaraderie shared by thousands of cyclists, spectators and volunteers, is one reason riders from more than 40 states and seven countries will return to Massachusetts this August to participate in the PMC, choosing from 12 routes of varying mileage that run through 46 towns.

These cyclists, who are anywhere between 13 and 84 years old, range from seasoned triathletes to weekend warriors who trained for this event alone, and everything in between. Many riders participate in the PMC to honor a family member or friend lost to, or being treated for, cancer.

The average cyclist trains for three months, solicits 40 sponsors and raises more than $8,000. Doctors ride alongside their patients; grandparents ride with their grandchildren; and others show support from the sidelines in the form of donations and well wishes. More than 600 riders and volunteers are cancer survivors or current patients, considered "living proof" of the PMC mission to find a cure.

"Each year, the PMC is proud to welcome riders and volunteers with unique backgrounds and experiences from all over the country and all over the world into our family. This is what makes ride weekend such an impactful and inspiring event," said Billy Starr, founder and executive director of the PMC.

"In 2016, we are honored to have more than 6,500 cyclists joining us to ride for a cure and help surpass this year’s $46 million fundraising goal."

No other single athletic event raises or contributes more money to charity than the PMC. Since 1980, the PMC has raised more than a half-billion dollars for Dana-Farber through the Jimmy Fund, its fundraising arm. In fact, the PMC is Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor, raising more than 58 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue.

The PMC is presented by the Red Sox Foundation and New Balance.

To make a financial contribution to a rider from your town or become a virtual rider, visit www.pmc.org or call 1-800-932-9253.