Pan-Mass Challenge Founder Billy Starr honored with President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award

NEEDHAM, Mass. — Pan-Mass Challenge Founder and Executive Director, Billy Starr, has been recognized with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition’s 2014 Community Leadership Award. The award is given annually to individuals or organizations who improve the lives of others within their community by providing or enhancing opportunities to engage in sports, physical activities, fitness or nutrition-related programs.

Billy Starr founded and leads the Pan-Mass Challenge, the most successful athletic fundraising event in the world. Since its 1980 inception, the PMC has raised $414 million for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) through the Jimmy Fund. Starr was the pioneer of what is now a $2.5 billion athletic fundraising industry. Today, the PMC is the model of fundraising efficiently, annually contributing 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar to charity.  

Starr has built a unique organization that performs at a level of proficiency rarely found in either the corporate or nonprofit worlds. In 2013, the organization raised and contributed $39 million, representing more than 50 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue. The event is the hospital’s single largest contributor. In 2014, more than 5,800 cyclists will travel from 38 states and five countries to ride with the goal of raising $40 million for DFCI. Their goal is to bring the PMC’s 35-year Jimmy Fund gift to more than $454 million. Starr has ridden in and fundraised for the PMC each of its 34 years and will do so again this summer.

“Billy Starr has worked to consistently promote the importance of physical activity, sports and good nutrition throughout the community,” says Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. “Because of his efforts and contributions, his community can embrace a healthier and more active lifestyle. Together we are all working to make our nation a healthier one.”

This year, the President’s Council presented the Community Leadership Award to 44 recipients across the country for making sports, physical activity, fitness, and nutrition-related programs available in their communities. Starr was the only award recipient from Massachusetts.

“I’m honored and grateful to be recognized by President Obama with this prestigious honor” says PMC Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr. “I am humbled to stand with so many other fine recipients of this award who have had a monumental impact on our nation and am proud to be counted among them. It has been my life’s work to support patient care and cancer research at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Pan-Mass Challenge continues to work toward our ultimate goal – a world without cancer.”

The 35th annual PMC is Aug. 2 and 3. To register to ride, volunteer, or support a PMC cyclist, visit www.pmc.org.

About the Pan-Mass Challenge

The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) is an annual bike-a-thon that today raises more money for charity than any other single athletic fundraising event in the world. The PMC was founded in 1980 by Billy Starr, who remains the event’s executive director, an annual cyclist, and a fundraiser. The PMC has since raised $414 million for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) through the Jimmy Fund. In 2013, the PMC gave a record gift of $39 million.  The PMC pioneered the $2.5 billion athletic fundraising industry and is today a model of fundraising efficiency. The event donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the cause. In 2013, the PMC generated more than 50 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and was Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor. More than 230,000 individual contributions were made to last year’s event. In 2014, PMC cyclists will ride with the goal of raising $40 million for DFCI.

About the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

The President’s Council educates, engages and empowers all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition. PCFSN is a committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Through its partnerships with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, PCFSN promotes programs and initiatives that motivate people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to lead active, healthy lifestyles. For more information about the Council, visit www.fitness.gov and follow us on Twitter @FitnessGov.

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