Spreading the PMC’s Mission through Tire Tracks and Song

Bill Alfano's picture
Bill Alfano

Spreading the PMC’s Mission through Tire Tracks and Song

Four years ago, the Woolf children, of North Easton, Mass., lost their beloved grandfather, Alan Goldring, who was fighting cancer.  They are looking to bring their bicycles, vocals, drums, keyboards and electric and bass guitars to a PMC Kids Ride to raise money and awareness for cancer research and treatment as their father, Greg, cycles in the adult ride, in Alan’s honor.  

Alan was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 1990 and fought the disease valiantly for 20 years. As a South African resident, he did not have access to treatments available at the world renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. A successful entrepreneur with a generous spirit, his cancer experience motivated him to found the South African Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help fund research and cures for cancer. 

As a tribute to their late grandfather, Ashleigh, 13, Gabriel, 11, Claudia, 9, and Vanessa, 7, formed “The Exploders,” a rock band whose mission is to play at and spread awareness for charitable events.  The quartet hopes to bring their music to the PMC Kids Rides, 37 mini bike-a-thons set to take place this spring, summer and fall that involve children, ages 2 to15, in the PMC mission.  The band plays contemporary pop and rock music, including hits from the Beatles and Taylor Swift, for approximately 30 minutes and features keyboards, an electric guitar, a bass guitar and drums and all siblings either singing lead or backup vocals. If you are a Kids Ride Coordinator and are interested in having The Exploders perform at your ride please email Justine.

Their father, Greg, who will be riding in his sixth PMC this year, began riding in the annual bike-a-thon as a way to take control over a disease that made him feel powerless. Having lost several friends and family members to cancer, he joined Team New Balance, a group of 25 PMC cyclists representing employees and friends of the company from Sharon, Mass.  

“When I turned 40, I realized the devastating effect that cancer has on society,” says Greg. “Not being in the medical field, I needed an outlet that would provide me with the opportunity to make a difference for those battling or lost to the disease. The PMC has given me a way to fight back and help prevent other cancer diagnoses in the future.” 

Greg will be among more than 5,500 cyclists who will ride up to 190 miles in the 35th annual event during the first weekend in August, with the collective goal of raising $40 million. Greg’s personal goal is to become a PMC Heavy Hitter, a cyclist who raises $6,900 or more. To date, he has raised nearly $25,000 for the cause. 

Following in their father’s tracks, the Woolf children rode for the first time last summer in the PMC Foxboro Kids Ride. They intend to return to the mini bike-a-thon this August and will use their wheels and instruments to raise awareness and money for the PMC in their grandfather’s honor.  

“Our kids are big supporters of the Pan-Mass Challenge and PMC Kids Rides Program,” says Greg. “For years, they have been there cheering me on during the adult ride. Now, they are taking the PMC and its mission into their own hands as PMC Kids Rides participants and musicians.”  

For more information about the PMC Kids Rides program, to start a ride in your area, or participate in an existing ride, visit www.kids.pmc.org or call Justine Darmanian at (781)449-5300 ext. 300. Applications to new PMC Kids Rides in 2014 will be accepted through March 15.  

To register to ride in the 35th annual Pan-Mass Challenge, which is set for Aug. 2 and 3, or to support Greg Woolf or another PMC cyclist, visit www.pmc.org

The Woolf children hope to use their bicycles and instruments to raise awareness and money for cancer research and treatment. From Left to Right: Claudia, 9, on electric guitar; Ashleigh, 13, on keyboard; Vanessa, 7, on bass guitar; and Gabriel, 11, on drums.

Post courtesy of Allison at Teak Media + Communication