In the effort to finding a cure for pediatric cancer, Wellesley residents stepped up in a big way in 2011 raising a town record of more than $1 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge.
151 Wellesley residents who rode in the annual PMC bike ride across the state, raised $1,049,131 for Dana Farber's Jimmy Fund.
The Wellesley riders were among 5,169 cyclists which raised a combine $35 million for the cause, said a Dana-Farber press release. Only three other towns raised more than $1 million this year including Boston, Newton and Wayland.
Wellesley’s 2011 fundraising total beat the 2010 total in which 143 riders raised $881,426.
The total raised by the effort in 2011 was $2 million more than 2010 and greater than the Pan Mass fundraising goal of $34 million. The ride, in its 32-year history has contributed $338 million, according to the release.
“PMC riders are committed to the cause and to this event,” Billy Starr, a Wellesley resident who is the PMC founder and executive director said in the release. “Their dedication to raising money for cancer research is unparalleled in the fundraising industry.”
Founded in 1980 when 36 cyclists rode across Massachusetts raising $10,200, the PMC is widely considered one of the most successful athletic fundraising event in the nation.
Cyclists from eight countries and 37 states rode in 2011.
Notable Wellesley riders include Ed Harding of WCVB-TV and Lisa Hughes of WBZ-TV. Other notable figures included seven- time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and Massachusetts Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown.
There were 350 cancer survivors who rode in the race. But, “many rode in support of loved ones being treated for cancer or in memory of those who have been lost to the disease,” said the release.
“PMC money is seed money that enables our scientists to conduct the earliest forms of research,” Dr. Edward J. Benz, Jr., Dana-Farber president said in the release. “The money they raise is critical to our work. It enables us to invest in major new patient care and research initiatives that could otherwise go unfunded.”
The 33rd annual Pan- Massachusetts Challenge is set for Aug. 4 and 5, 2012. Registration opens online on Jan. 10 for PMC alumni and Jan. 17 for newcomers.
For more information about the PMC, which is presented by the Boston Red Sox Foundation and New Balance, visit www.pmc.org.
Derek McLean can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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