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Local residents to take part in Pan Mass Challenge

Date: 5/29/2014

GREATER SPRINGFIELD – On Aug. 2 and 3, residents from East Longmeadow, Longmeadow,  Hampden and Wilbraham will participate in the 35th annual Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), the largest single athletic fundraising event in the country. They will be among 5,800 cyclists who will ride with the collective goal of raising $40 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund.

Riders from East Longmeadow are: Michael Cavanaugh, Paul Cicco, Andrew Ede, Matt Flanagan, Steven Grande, Laura Grant, Doug Gray, Peter Grocott, Bill Laplante, Robert Lupacchino, Dale Varney, Louis White and Robert Zemba.

Longmeadow participants are: Jared and Jonathan Besse, Fred Cuda, Joseph Dorison, Jeff and Scott Grodsky, Jonathan Jasak, Ann and Jack Keiser, Corbin Kinne, Kathleen Kraez, Nathan Larkin, Mary Ellen and Timothy Mckenna, Michael Paysnick, Lani Silva and Tony Wood.

Wilbraham riders are: Jim Jones, Mark and Susan Kent, Tom Mahan, Sara Melikian, Michael Patrakis, Jeffrey Smith, Dave Streeter and Kevin Varney.

Hampden is represented by Edward Moses.

During PMC weekend, individual cyclists unite to become one extended family. The camaraderie shared by thousands of cyclists, spectators and volunteers, is one reason cyclists from 36 states and five countries return to Massachusetts each August to participate in the PMC.

Cyclists range in age from 13 to 90. Some are seasoned tri-athletes while others are weekend warriors having trained for this event alone. Many participants ride in honor of a family member or friend lost to, or being treated for, cancer. All share a passion and desire to one day find a cure for the disease.

The average cyclist trains for three months, solicits 40 sponsors, and raises more than $6,500. Doctors ride alongside their patients; grandparents ride with their grandchildren; and others show support from the sidelines in the form of donations and cheers. More than 300 riders are cancer survivors or current patients.

“The PMC is the gold standard of athletic fundraising events,” Billy Starr, Pan-Mass Challenge founder and executive director, said. “PMCers are as committed to raising money for cancer research as they are to pedaling the miles.”

No other single athletic event raises or contributes more money to charity than the PMC. Since 1980, the PMC has raised more than $414 million.  In 2013, the PMC was Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor and the event raises more than 50 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue. More than 230,000 individual contributions were made to last year’s PMC fundraising campaign, allowing the PMC to contribute 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the Jimmy Fund.

The PMC is a fully supported bike-a-thon – with food and water stops, mechanical and medical assistance, luggage transportation, and lodging – that runs through 46 towns across Massachusetts.

Cyclists choose from 12 routes of varying mileage designed to cater to all levels of cycling strength and time availability. There are six two-day routes that range from 132 to 190 miles and six one-day rides that range from 25 to 111 miles. In 2014, cyclists are required to raise between $500 and $4,300 to ride in the PMC. This commitment to the fundraising portion of the PMC is a testament to riders’ dedication to the cause and their belief in the PMC mission.

The PMC is presented by the Red Sox Foundation and the New Balance Foundation. To become a virtual rider, or make a financial contribution to a rider from your town, visit, or call 800-WE-CYCLE (800-932-9259). Connect with #PMC2014 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.