Inside Fenway Park on a not-to-chilly November evening, 500 Pan-Massachusetts Challenge cyclists, volunteers, sponsors and friends gathered for a casual celebration of an amazing achievement: a $33 million donation to The Jimmy Fund.
New Balance CEO Rob DeMartini, Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino, PMC Founder & Executive Director Billy Starr, and DFCI President Dr. Ed Benz
In keeping with the theme of the evening, baseball-related treats were served alongside tuna tartar, salmon and a carving station. Mingling over Fenway Franks, beer and Cracker Jacks were the PMC's staunch supporters and riders who have spent at least one August weekend, and for some dozens, riding to raise money for cancer research.
"This event requires commitment," PMC Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr told the crowd. "The cause is just. The experience is better when it is shared than alone. What we are able to distill through our pedaling is a staggering donation that truly enhances the treatment of suffering and provides hope that this dreaded disease will be cured."
The annual PMC check presentation is a celebration of the year's achievements, culminating with the presentation of the donation to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It marks the end of the PMC 2010 season.
Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino kicked off the event by highlighting the Red Sox and Red Sox Foundation's 10-year relationship with the PMC. The Red Sox Foundation and New Balance Foundation were the 2010 PMC presenting sponsors.
"When I first was introduced to the PMC, I had no idea what an extraordinary force and extraordinary community it is. I congratulate you," Lucchino said.
Nice New Balance sneakers, Larry!
Watch Starr, Lucchino and DFCI President Dr. Edward Benz speak at the event:
This year's Pan-Massachusetts Challenge bike-a-thon featured nearly 5,000 riders, 3,000 volunteers and more than 230,000 donors. It's been quite a staggering amount of growth since Starr road 220 miles with 35 friends in 1980 and raised $10,200.
"This event is no better than it was in 1980; there's just a lot more of us," Starr said. "That's what it takes to establish credibility. What we've lost in intimacy, we've gained in the power of the message."
The big check
The 2011 PMC ride is Aug. 6-7. Registration for alumni opens Jan. 11.