PMC 2013: A Year in Review

Bill Alfano's picture
Bill Alfano

PMC 2013: A Year in Review

Thank you for making the 34th annual Pan-Mass Challenge the most successful PMC yet. In 2013, more than 5,500 cyclists representing 38 states and five countries rode one of 11 routes over one or two days through 46 towns and cities in Massachusetts. Together, you helped to raise a record-setting $39 million which brought the PMC’s 34-year Jimmy Fund contribution to $414 million, supporting adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As the year comes to an end, we’d like to take a look back at #PMC2013. Below are a few highlights from this year. 

New Rider Orientations

Registration for PMC 2013 began in January. All first-year PMC riders were encouraged to attend new rider orientations that took place at PMC headquarters. Sessions included a PMC weekend overview, advice on what to pack and carry, tips for training and nutrition, fundraising management instructions as well as a lesson on how gift processing works. 

Heavy Hitter Dinner

In April, 550 of the PMC’s top fundraisers in 2012 were honored during the PMC’s Heavy Hitter dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel. During the event, the late Erica Kaitz, a 21-year member of the PMC family, cancer patient and patient advocate, shared her story of battling myxoid leiomysarcoma (LMS), a rare orphan cancer, and how PMC funds help current and future patients. Erica succumbed to the disease on December 7, 2013.  Other speakers at the event included Erica’s husband Rick Kaitz, George Demetri, MD, Erica’s doctor, a six-year PMC rider, and Dr. Edward J. Benz, Jr., president of Dana-Farber and eight-year PMC cyclist.  

PMC Kids Rides

Thirty eight PMC Kids Rides took place throughout New England and beyond this spring, summer and fall. In 2013, they collectively generated $779,206 for the PMC, bringing the overall 16-year PMC Kids Rides total to more than $5.5 million. PMC Kids Rides are spokes in the wheel for the annual bike-a-thon as they give kids the same opportunity as adults to fight back against cancer. 

PMC Pedal Partner Party

In May, PMC Pedal Partners, pediatric cancer patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, gathered at Fenway Park with their families to meet the teams of PMC cyclists who would ride in the August event in their honor. During the event, Helen Montie, 16, of Lincoln, Mass., a first-time PMC cyclist, cancer survivor and former Pedal Partner, shared her story of how she beat acute lymphoblastic leukemia after more than two years of chemotherapy at the Jimmy Fund Clinic.  

PMC at Fenway Park

In late June, PMC cyclists and cancer survivors took over Fenway Park during a pre-game ceremony to celebrate the 34th annual PMC and the Red Sox Foundation’s 11th year as the event’s presenting sponsor. Cyclists rode their bicycles around the warning track. The Jimmy Fund logo was unveiled on the green monster. PMC Kids Rides veteran Reilly Harring, 15, sang the national anthem. “Play Ball!” was announced by PMC Team 9 Pedal Partner Ryan Keleher, 10, and Jaclyn Laplante, 11, who last year lost her thirteen-year-old sister to cancer. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by the lateErica Kaitz and her husband Rick Kaitz, both PMC veterans.  

Closer by the Mile

In July, Massachusetts-based author Ken Brack promoted his new book Closer by the Mile which captures the mission and passion behind the wheels of the PMC. Inspired by the faces and stories of volunteers, riders, and PMC Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr, Brack delves deep into the 34-year history of the organization. Brack was not paid to write Closer by the Mile; his goal was to pay tribute to the dedication of Billy and the PMC to conquer cancer. The author has committed 75 percent of the profits from this book to go back to the organization.  

PMC Weekend

PMC weekend began Friday, Aug. 2 with the PMC’s Opening Ceremonies hosted by local funnyman Lenny Clarke, known for his Boston accent and roles in Rescue Me, Are You There, Chelsea?, and Something About Mary. Over the following two days, more than 5,500 cyclists, representing 38 states and five countries, alongside 3,300 volunteers and thousands of supporters came together for one unifying mission: to raise money to help fund cures for cancer. As red, yellow and orange PMC jerseys and neon poster’s lined the streets, the sounds of cowbells and cheer filled the air. Being a part of the PMC mission was an emotional and a spiritual experience for all, sharing hugs, laughs and tears along the route.   

PMC Night at the Revolution 

In October, New England’s home soccer team hosted the inaugural PMC Night at the Revolution. The event took place during the team’s season finale. During the event, PMC cyclists were honored at Gillette Stadium for their participation in the 34th annual bike-a-thon. PMCers and Revolution fans alike were entered to win prizes, including soccer gear signed by Revolution players, and enjoyed a special visit by the RevGirls and Slyde the Fox, the Revolution’s mascot.  

PMC Night at the Bruins

This fall, the Boston Bruins Foundation hosted PMC Night at the Bruins during which the foundation presented the PMC with a $178,000 check. The NHL team’s charitable arm began riding in and raising money for the PMC after a handful of Bruins alumni lost loved ones to different types of cancer and were looking for a way to make a positive impact in the cancer fighting community. Team Boston Bruins, a growing PMC team made up of Bruins alumni, friends and fans, ride in the event year after year wearing matching cycling jerseys that mirror the team’s official NHL jerseys. To date, Team Boston Bruins has raised more than $1.5 million. The Boston Bruins Foundation has supported the PMC for the last consecutive eight years.  

PMC Check Presentation

On November 3, more than 600 PMC riders, volunteers and supporters celebrated the 34th annual PMC at Legal Harborside in Boston. During the event, the PMC presented a record-setting $39 million check to Dr. Benz. The sum was raised by 5,533 cyclists who rode in the 34th annual PMC. The PMC raises and contributes more money to charity than any other “a-thon” in the country. It is also among the most efficient as 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar goes directly to the Jimmy Fund.   

An Evening at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

This month, a diverse group of nearly 200 PMC riders and volunteers gathered at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for a tour of the institution in which the annual bike-a-thon has supported for the last 34 years. As they walked the halls of Dana-Farber, they saw first-hand where doctors and scientists from around the world make advancements in cancer research and treatment. One of the most inspiring and memorable parts of the tour was walking across the PMC Bridge where 34 years of PMC history are documented in the form of photographs, jerseys and quotes. Dr. Benz and Billy Starr were onsite to thank PMCers for their unparalleled dedication and support. Dr. James E. Bradner, a stem cell transplant and hematology specialist at Dana-Farber, spoke about a new chemistry lab to be built at the institution that will help to advance targeted therapies and developing drugs at Dana-Farber that would not be possible without the unrestricted funds raised by the PMC.  

Just a reminder, registration for the 35th annual Pan-Mass Challenge, set for Aug. 2 and 3, 2014, begins in January. For a list of specific dates that apply, please see below:  

January 3: Registration opens for PMC Heavy Hitters  

January 9: Registration opens for PMC Alumni  

January 15: Registration opens for the general public  

For more information, visit 

Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!

Post courtesy of Teak Media + Communication