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PMC Donates Largest Gift Ever to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: $63 Million

By: Pan-Mass Challenge

Oct 19, 2019 8:20:28 PM

The Pan-Mass Challenge today announced the largest financial gift ever given to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The record-breaking $63 million check exceeds this year’s $60 million goal and brings the PMC’s 40-year fundraising total to $717 million. 

The PMC is the nation’s most successful single-event athletic fundraiser and donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar to Dana-Farber, a world leader in adult and pediatric cancer treatment and research. The dollars contributed by the PMC account for more than 55 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and enable Dana-Farber’s world-class physicians to continue leading advancements in cancer research and treatment.

Two generous gifts – and one spirited challenge – from dedicated philanthropists helped to accelerate PMC fundraising efforts this year. The PMC initially had its sights set on a $58 million fundraising goal for 2019 – $2 million more than last year’s $56 million donation. In May, former Overstock.com CEO and PMC rider Patrick Byrne challenged the organization to up the ante and increase its goal to $60 million, pledging to personally donate $1 million if achieved.

Over the summer, the Levin family, who were inspired by the commitment and fundraising efforts of the entire PMC community, honored the organization’s 40 years of funding cancer research and treatment with an additional $2 million donation. Fred Levin and his daughter-in-law Terri Levin are former Dana-Farber patients, both cancer-free today thanks to the treatment they received in Boston. Their hope is that their donation to the PMC helps to fund advancements in targeted, minimally invasive procedures based on an individual’s genomes.

Financial Impact on Cancer Survival and Treatment

When the PMC began 40 years ago, there were fewer than five million cancer survivors in the world. Today there are more than 15.5 million, thanks to advancements made possible by the tremendous efforts of everyday people who cycle and fundraise through the ride each year. Recently, PMC funding has provided Dana-Farber with the necessary resources to:

  • Play a leadership role in the development of 41 percent of cancer drugs recently approved by the FDA
  • Uncover new techniques for targeting cancer-causing mutations through precision medicine
  • Successfully identify biomarkers in melanoma that allow for personalized immunotherapy treatments.

“I am extremely grateful for the generous support received from the Pan-Mass Challenge community over the last 40 years and am truly honored to cycle alongside dedicated riders, volunteers and supporters each August,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO of Dana-Farber. “Raising $63 million in one year is an incredible feat, and this record-breaking gift will make an immense impact on our work in the fight against cancer.”

PMC Ride Weekend 2019

More than 6,800 riders and 4,000 volunteers participated in the 40th PMC on August 3 and 4, 2019, pedaling up to 192 miles across 47 towns and 360 miles of infrastructure in Central and Eastern Massachusetts with the common goal of raising critical funding for cancer research and treatment. Designed to cater to all levels of cycling and fundraising abilities, the PMC offers 12 routes of varying distance, ranging from 25 to 192 miles. Many ride in honor of a family member or friend lost to, or being treated for, cancer, while more than 960 riders and volunteers have battled cancer themselves, considered “Living Proof” of the PMC spirit. In addition, more than 150 participants are Dana-Farber employees, many of whom fundraise to support their own research initiatives and clinical trials.

“I cannot think of a better way to commemorate our milestone 40th ride than with our largest gift ever to Dana-Farber,” said PMC founder and executive director Billy Starr. “I’m incredibly proud of the role the PMC has played in furthering advancements in cancer research and treatment over the last four decades – it is thanks to the drive and commitment of our entire community of riders, volunteers, sponsors and donors that we have been able to give more than $717 million to Dana-Farber since 1980, making a truly unparalleled impact in the fight against cancer.”

“A-Thon” Industry Pioneer and Innovator

What began as a grassroots effort, when Starr and 35 of his friends rode across Massachusetts and raised $10,200 for cancer research in 1980, is now the single most successful athletic fundraising event in the world, shattering fundraising goals year after year despite declining trends in the industry. Starr is widely recognized as a pioneer of the $5 billion athletic fundraising industry, having consulted on similar events around the country. The PMC has also earned accolades for its effective fundraising tactics, such as encouraging riders to take advantage of Fidelity Donor Advised Funds, engaging with Facebook to pilot a new peer-to-peer Fundraising API and cultivating strategic partnerships that allow organizers to maintain an impressive 100 percent pass-through rate.

The PMC is presented by the Red Sox Foundation and New Balance. In addition, more than 200 corporate sponsors support the event by providing $7 million in essential funds, products and services each year. The 41stPMC will be held on August 1 and 2, 2020. To learn more about the impact PMC funding has made, and continues to make, on the life-saving work done at Dana-Farber, visit PMC.org/photos-video and check out the PMC Impact video series.

For more information or to make a financial contribution to a rider, visit www.pmc.org, or call (800) WE-CYCLE. Connect with #PMC2020 on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

About the Pan-Mass Challenge

The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) is a bike-a-thon that today raises more money for charity than any other single athletic fundraising event in the world. The 41st PMC will take place on August 1 and 2, 2020. The PMC was founded in 1980 by Billy Starr, who remains the event’s executive director, an annual cyclist and a fundraiser. The PMC has since raised $717 million for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund. The event donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the cause, generating more than 55 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue as Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor. The PMC has successfully melded support from committed cyclists, volunteers, corporate sponsors and individual contributors, all of which are essential to the PMC's goal and model: to attain maximum fundraising efficiency while increasing its annual gift. The PMC’s hope and aspiration is to provide Dana-Farber's doctors and researchers with the necessary resources to discover cures for all cancers. For more information on the Pan-Mass Challenge, visit www.pmc.org.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world’s leading centers of cancer research and treatment. It is ranked in the top 5 of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals for both adult and pediatric cancer care. Dana-Farber’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement, and advocacy.  We provide the latest in cancer for adults through Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Care and for children through Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber is dedicated to a unique and equal balance between cancer research and care, translating the results of discovery into new treatments for patients locally and around the world.  

About The Jimmy Fund

The Jimmy Fund, established in Boston in 1948, is comprised of community-based fundraising events and other programs that, solely and directly, benefit Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s lifesaving mission to provide compassionate patient care and groundbreaking cancer research for children and adults. The Jimmy Fund is an official charity of the Boston Red Sox, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge, and the Variety Children's Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide. Follow the Jimmy Fund on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @TheJimmyFund.

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