Once a PMC Heavy Hitter, Always a PMC Heavy Hitter

Bill Alfano's picture
Bill Alfano

Once a PMC Heavy Hitter, Always a PMC Heavy Hitter

A quarter of a century is how long Bill Snapper, 53, of Holliston, Mass. has been riding in and raising money for the Pan-Mass Challenge. He first achieved Heavy Hitter status in 1998 and has since continued to be a top fundraiser for the annual bike-a-thon, to date raising nearly $163,900 for the cause. 

In the last 25 years, Bill has been fortunate to have received support from a number of individuals, seeking donations for the PMC via personalized email, snail mail and making in-person connections.  

Last summer was the first year Bill also rode as a Living Proof cyclist, a cancer survivor. The veteran PMC cyclist and Pedal Partner volunteer, a program which matches young cancer patients with teams of PMC cyclists, says becoming an unexpected patient at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a place he had supported through the PMC for years, was a surreal experience. 

Bill was diagnosed with cancer in 2012. At the same time, his brother, Howard Snapper, an Atlanta, GA resident, also received the very same diagnosis. 

“My brother and I are two of the lucky ones,” says Bill. “Our cancers were caught early and both were contained and treatable. Now, we are both moving forward and will not let cancer define us.” 

The brothers battled side by side in different zip codes, both undergoing surgery and receiving treatment.  This August, the Snapper brothers will ride side by side for the second time in the annual bike-a-thon. They will take on the 190-mile PMC route from Sturbridge to Provincetown in celebration of their health and wellness.  

“The PMC has been part of my life for more than 25 years as I have served as a rider, fundraiser and volunteer for the cause,” says Bill. “Becoming a patient of Dana-Farber and seeing first-hand what it’s like to be on the beneficiary side of treatment only strengthened my commitment to the annual bike-a-thon and its mission, to help put an end to cancer in our lifetime. The fact that my brother is now also part of the PMC family makes it even more meaningful.”   

To achieve PMC Heavy Hitter status for the 35th annual Pan-Mass Challenge, set for Aug. 2 and 3, 2014, riders must raise at least $6,900.  

Heavy Hitter registration is now open. Alumni registration opens on January 9th and open registration opens on January 15th.

From left to right:  Bill Snapper, Bill’s niece, Ava Snapper, and Bill’s brother, Howard Snapper, connect at the Franklin water stop. Ava and her mother flew in from Atlanta to surprise Howard along the PMC route. 

Post courtesy of Teak Media + Communication