WESTWOOD, Mass. – This spring, the Westwood Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) Kids Ride will be one of 37 PMC Kids Rides throughout New England and beyond. In 2013, the PMC Kids Rides program attracted nearly 4,700 cyclists, ages 2 to 15, who rode between one and 26 miles in mini bike-a-thons to raise money for cancer care and research.
The PMC Kids Rides are spokes in the PMC wheel, joining the more than 5,800 adult PMC cyclists in their mission to fund adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund. The PMC is a two-day, 190-mile bike-a-thon held the first weekend of every August. Since 1980, the PMC has raised $414 million for the Jimmy Fund.
PMC Kids Rides offer a way for children to become part of the PMC mission, involving young people in volunteerism and fundraising in a safe and athletic way. Since the first ride in 1998, The PMC Kids Rides program has raised more than $5.5 million.
To provide the young cyclists with an additional push, the PMC recognizes cyclists in the Kids Rides program who raise $250 or more. Riders who meet this goal are honored as Heavy Hitters and receive an official PMC sack pack and certificate to acknowledge their fundraising achievements.
The Westwood PMC Kids Ride expects 500 children, ages 3 to 15, to ride in three routes around the Martha Jones School in Westwood. The event was started by Westwood residents Denise Singleton and Krista Hobson as a way to provide local families the opportunity to help in the fight against cancer. Both women knew first-hand the devastating affect a cancer diagnosis can have on a family and wanted to empower children to join in the PMC mission.
The entire Singleton family helps to plan the event and volunteers during the Westwood PMC Kids Ride and the PMC. Hobson’s four young children ride and raise money for the mini bike-a-thon and her husband, Chris, is a veteran PMC cyclist. The Westwood PMC Kids Ride will hold a celebration after the ride, which will include a raffle for Heavy Hitters, as well as a guest appearance by PMC Founder and Executive Director Billy Starr. The ride hopes to raise $65,000, which will bring the event’s seven year PMC contribution to more than $300,000.
The Westwood PMC Kids Ride will be held on Sunday, June 8, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., at Martha Jones School located at 80 Martha Jones Road in Westwood. There is a $10 registration fee and a $25 fundraising minimum. PMC Kids Rides are sponsored by the Yawkey Foundation. Contributions can be made payable to the Pan-Mass Challenge. To register, visit http://kids.pmc.org. For more information, email Denise Singleton at DALE33A@aol.com or call 800-WE-CYCLE.