BOSTON (Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006, 8 p.m.) — The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, the most successful athletic fundraising event in the nation, tonight contributed $26 million to cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The gift brings the PMC’s 27-year total contribution to more than $171 million. This record-setting sum is the largest gift ever made to the Jimmy Fund.
The $26 million is more than twice the amount ever raised or donated to a charity by an athletic fundraising event anywhere in the United States, and it represents 99 cents of every rider-raised dollar, a charity pass-through rate that is so high it is unparalleled within the $1 billion athletic fundraising event industry.
Raised by nearly 4,300 cyclists who rode up to 192 miles in the 27th annual PMC in August, the $26 million gift is $3 million more than the PMC contributed to the Jimmy Fund in 2005. PMC Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr presented the check to Dana-Farber President Edward J. Benz Jr., M.D., at the Harvard Medical School Convention Center during a ceremony attended by 500 PMC cyclists, volunteers, and supporters.
“PMC riders are driven by the cause and they take pride in the fact that the progress made at Dana-Farber is directly tied to their fundraising efforts,” says Starr, attributing the exceptional fundraising achievement to organizational factors that include the PMC’s business model and its unique culture in which the competition is not for cycling speed but for the sum each rider raises for cancer research.
“While many initially join the PMC for the athletic challenge and because of event’s reputation,” Starr notes, “people stay involved and raise so much because they become a part of the PMC family, reaping the personal and spiritual benefits of participating in something greater than themselves.” The PMC has a 71.5 percent rider retention rate, with cyclists coming to Massachusetts from 36 states and six countries to participate.
“From new clinical trials that test exciting new therapies to support groups and programs that help young patients re-enter school, the PMC is critical to everything we do at Dana-Farber,” says Dr. Benz. Dana-Farber is recognized by the National Cancer Institute as one of the world’s leaders in cancer research and care. Dr. Benz joined the PMC team this summer as a first-year cyclist and now says he is hooked. “PMCers’ remarkable fundraising results are driven by their passion, which I saw firsthand this summer as a freshman cyclist. I was absolutely energized by their commitment to our cause.” The PMC is annually Dana-Farber’s largest contributor.
The PMC is presented by the Boston Red Sox Foundation and Overstock.com. NECN is the PMC’s media sponsor. The 2007 PMC is scheduled for Aug. 4 and 5. Registration will open in January 2007. For more information about the PMC, visit pmc.org or call (800) WE-CYCLE.