To know someone who has been affected by cancer is a scary and heart-wrenching experience for an adult, let alone a child. By starting a Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) Kids Ride in your area, you can provide children, ages 2 to 15, with the opportunity to join the PMC mission.
PMC Kids Rides are spokes in the wheel for the PMC. The PMC is an annual bike-a-thon that raises money to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund. From a short obstacle course for tykes on tricycles to a 26-mile trek, PMC Kids Rides vary in course, mileage and set-up. Some have music, games and food. Others have silent auctions, character appearances and face painting. All PMC Kids Rides offer a way for children to participate as young philanthropists by actively working to help others and engaging in exercise.
The PMC is looking for volunteer coordinators to start PMC Kids Rides in Mattapoisett. PMC Kids Rides can be held in a school parking lot, a park, or anywhere there are safe roads. A PMC staff member will be there to support coordinators throughout the planning process with regard to logistics, signage, rider recruitment, promotion and fundraising. Coordinators are able to choose the date of their ride and make their own event a fun and unique experience for families, volunteers and supporters alike. They can involve local businesses to provide food and entertainment and to help spread the PMC’s mission by word-of-mouth and through social media.
“Planning a PMC Kids Ride has proven to be such a rewarding experience for all those involved,” says Denise Singleton, coordinator of the PMC Westwood Kids Ride. “With so many families in town affected by cancer in some way, I realized that there is a real need for people to come together and show their support. The PMC is an amazing organization and I feel good knowing that I am playing an important role by providing an outlet where kids can feel empowered when they might otherwise feel helpless.”
The original PMC Kids Ride sprouted as a grassroots effort in 1998 when 13 children rode around their Medfield neighborhood 25 times and raised $1,600 for the PMC. During the past 14 years, PMC Kids Rides have continued to form throughout New England and beyond as parents and children invite neighbors with tricycles, training wheels and two-wheelers to get involved. Since the program’s inception, young cyclists have raised more than $5.5 million. This year’s goal is to raise $900,000.
Cyclists of varying experience levels can ride as individuals or as part of a team. Many cyclists ride in honor of a family member or friend who is fighting or has lost his or her life to cancer. Help children in your town honor loved ones and make an impact in the community by starting a PMC Kids Ride.
For more information about the PMC Kids Rides program, to start a ride in your area, or participate in an existing ride, visit www.kids.pmc.org or call Justine Darmanian at 781-449-5300 for spring 2014 rides.