Connecticut's contingent to this year's Pan-Mass Challenge bicycle race will include several from area towns

Published on Wednesday, 24 July 2019 19:39
Written by Adam Hushin

@AHushinNBH

More than 6,700 riders, including 245 from Connecticut, will pedal up to 192 miles in the Pan-Mass Challenge with the goal of raising $60 million for cancer research and patient care at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The 40th PMC will take place on Aug. 3-4, and includes 12 potential routes.

The routes pass through 47 Massachusetts towns and range from 25 to 192 miles, designed to cater to all levels of cycling and fundraising ability.

Participating cyclists will come from 43 states and 12 countries to ride, with a range in age from 13 to 88. More than 950 riders and volunteers are cancer survivors or current patients themselves.

Several local riders will be participating in this year’s PMC, including riders from Berlin, Southington and Farmington.

Sean Paquette of Berlin is riding in his first-ever PMC in honor of his wife, Jenny, who is a breast cancer survivor and continues to receive treatment at Dana-Farber.

“It’s very important to me and to us to continue funding research,” Paquette said.

Paquette has always been an avid cyclist, who usually rides around 60 miles a week, but has never done a near-200-mile ride. The PMC will be his first, he said.

Paquette has ridden in other charity cycling events before, but this one is special.

“Dana-Farber has a soft spot in my heart,” Paquette said.

Rich Crowe of Kensington will be participating in his 10th straight PMC this year. It will be Crowe’s ninth ride since his wife, Sandy, died of complications from leukemia.

“Each year is an emotional event for me and my family,” Crowe said.

The event is also one that inspires Crowe. The passion from other riders and volunteers is life-changing, he said.

“The people involved with this particular event are absolutely incredible,” Crowe said. “Truly are making a difference.”

This year, Crowe will be surpassing $250,000 total raised over his 10 years participating, and he has no plans of stopping.

“Hopefully, God-willing, I’ll be able to do it for many years to come,” Crowe said.

Participants are required to raise between $600 and $8,500, depending on their chosen route, though the average cyclist raises more than $8,825.

If the PMC reaches its 2019 fundraising goal of $60 million, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, a cancer survivor and PMC rider, has committed to donate an additional $1 million to the cause.

All of the money raised goes directly to Dana-Farber through its fundraising arm, the Jimmy Fund. In fact, the PMC is the institute’s largest single contributor, accounting for more than 55 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue, PMC organizers said.

In 2018, the PMC donated $56 million to Dana-Farber. In total, the PMC has donated more than $654 million to Dana-Farber over 39 years.

To make a financial contribution to a rider from your town or become a virtual rider, visit www.pmc.org , or call 1-800-WE-CYCLE.

Adam Hushin can be reached at 860-801-5046 or at ahushin@centralctcommunications.com.



Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin, General News, Southington Herald on Wednesday, 24 July 2019 19:39. Updated: Wednesday, 24 July 2019 19:42.