Pan-Mass Challenge Looks Forward to PMC 2014 and Celebrates Past Success

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Bill Alfano

Pan-Mass Challenge Looks Forward to PMC 2014 and Celebrates Past Success

On May 9, a sold-out crowd of 600+ PMC Heavy Hitters gathered at the InterContinental Boston to celebrate their 2013 fundraising success. Having raised $39 million last year for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, PMC Heavy Hitters are among the nation’s top fundraisers. They were certainly in the mood for lots of cheer before gearing up to put their fundraising skills to the test to meet (or exceed!) the 2014 PMC goal of $40 million.

Party-goers included Alex and Ani’s Theresa Block, WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes and Mark Lund, PwC’s J.C. LaPierre, Dana-Farber’s Sue Paresky and its president, Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, who spoke at the event about the importance of PMC funding for Dana-Farber research. Entercom’s Phil Zachery, Flying Kite Founder, Leila DeBryune; Blue Hills Bank CEO, Bill Parent; State Senator, Karen Spilka; Rialto/TRADE celebrity chef Jody Adams, and WEEI’s Kevin Graham joined Pan-Mass Challenge Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr and Chairman of the PMC Board, Todd Langton for good food and inspiration.

As an intro to his own remarks, Starr ran a five-minute film compiled from footage taken during the 1981 ride. It was a trip down memory lane for some of the long-time PMCers who rode through water stops that meant one jug of water being poured by one weary volunteer, riding without helmets, and the clingy, Richard Simons style shorts that preceded the padded, more concealing rider shorts that make up today’s rider kits. Starr’s remarks met with cheers when he announced a special PMC Harpoon brew will be served at Mass Maritime Academy on the Saturday of PMC weekend.
Guests were privy to the unveiling of Alex and Ani’s, Charity By Design bike charm bangle, 20% of sales will go to the PMC. While that bangle will be available to the public on June 30th, as a special party favor for PMC Heavy Hitters dinner event goers, Alex and Ani created, donated and passed out a special limited edition (only 600 total) PMC charm bangle.

PMC Heavy Hitters Leila DeBryune, Meredith Beaton Starr (event emcee), J.C. LaPierre and Ali Freeman.

Loie Williams, a nine-year PMC cyclist, received a standing ovation after sharing her story of being treated for pancreatic cancer at Dana-Farber.

Loie Williams shares her inspirational story

Jean Landry, an eight-year PMC rider and a surgical oncology nurse practitioner at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, shared her personal experience of treating, and drawing PMC inspiration from, her patients with gastrointestinal and skin cancers.

Most importantly, among all the cheering for past PMC successes, there was an announcement that generated the largest response from the crowd. This year’s PMC ridership, volunteer registration, corporate sponsor support and fundraising are all up and progressing ahead of schedule. As Starr likes to say, “Up is good!” On Aug. 2 and 3, more than 5,800 cyclists will participate in the 35th annual PMC to raise $40 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber through the Jimmy Fund. To register to ride, volunteer, or support a PMC cyclist, visit

Click here to see the full PMC Heavy Hitter photo gallery. (Photo credits John Deputy)

Post courtesy of Allison and Jackie at Teak Media + Communication