Pan-Mass Challenge & The Appalachian Trail

Published Jul 25, 2013


Pan-Mass Challenge "Closer By the Mile"

The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) is a charity bike-a-thon that runs through 46 towns across the state of Massachusetts. The goal is to raise money for The Jimmy Fund for cancer research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

This year's PMC takes place on Saturday, August 3rd and Sunday, August 4th. Volunteer cyclists are required to raise $500 to $5,000 in order to participate.

Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) rider Bill Finan of Ayer, Massachusetts, has taken part in the PMC for 13 years -- 12 as a rider. He has raised $66,000, with every penny going to fight cancer.

Bill will ride again in 2013, taking the traditional route that was used for the first 15 PMCs: 192-miles from Sturbridge to Provincetown. In order to include more riders -- and raise more money for the Jimmy Fund -- there are now 11 different routes available. Some are one-day rides and some take two days, each with their own mileage and fundraising requirements.

Bill is only one of 5,500 riders from 36 states and eight countries who dedicate months of training and hundreds of hours of fundraising and preparation in order to fight cancer.

When Bill -- or any of the faithful PMC Heavy Hitters (top fundraisers) -- makes his pitch to raise money for his ride, you'll always hear these words:

The PMC donates 100% of every rider-raised dollar to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund.


PMC Rider Bill Finan with his wife, Gail.

PMC riders take nothing from the money they raise to pay their own expenses, it all goes for cancer research.

That's the way Billy Starr, PMC's founder, wanted it. That's one big reason why the Pan-Mass Challenge raised over $37 million in 2012 -- more than any other single event in the U.S.A.


Billy Starr is an avid outdoorsman. After graduating from the University of Denver in 1973, his aspirations included backpacking all over the world.

Billy's mother lost her battle with melanoma, a virulent form of skin cancer, in December, 1974, at the age of 49. Billy and his family lost that fight, but their battle against cancer had just begun.

The Appalachian Trail (AT) was one of Billy's first big adventures. Along the trail, he and three of his friends learned that victory comes through mental fortitude and physical prowess.

From that point on, Billy Starr believed he could achieve anything to which he committed his mind and body.

PMC, led by Billy Starr, has raised more than $375 million for cancer research in the past 33 years.

What will hiking the Appalachian Trail inspire you to achieve?

Click Here for PMC's Mission Statement

Click Here for Bill Finan's PMC Profile

Tags: Tourism and Appalachian Trail

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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