July 6, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame softball head coach Deanna Gumpf will help raise funds and awareness to help battle cancer by participating in the 2012 Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, an annual two-day bike-a-thon that runs through 46 towns across Massachusetts. The Pan-Mass Challenge is a pioneer of the athletic fundraising industry and raises more money for charity than any other single event in the country.
The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge raises has partnered with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and since its founding in 1980, the PMC has successfully melded support from committed cyclists, volunteers, corporate sponsors and individual contributors. All are essential to the PMC's goal and model: to attain maximum fundraising efficiency while increasing its annual gift. Its hope and aspiration is to provide Dana-Farber's doctors and researchers the necessary resources to discover cures for all cancers.
No strangers to helping fight cancer, Gumpf and the Irish program recently donated a check for $25,355.62 to South Bend Memorial Children's Hospital pediatric hematology and oncology clinic which was made possible through Notre Dame's efforts during this past season's NFCA StrikeOut Cancer initiative. The Irish raised more money than any other school in the nation for the second straight year.
The efforts to help fight cancer came about when Gumpf's daughter, Tatum, was diagnosed with leukemia in the summer of 2010. Tatum is now on her way to a full recovery.
"Since Tatum was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, I have wanted to do something special to honor her courage, strength, determination and fight," Gumpf said. "She amazes me every day. Tatum doesn't know how to back down from any challenge, and I wholeheartedly believe that is the reason why she has done so well over the past two years fighting this horrible disease.
"So many times I have felt helpless, especially during her most difficult days. It's so important for me to ride the PMC to show her how much her courage has influenced me."
Friends and fans of the Irish program are welcome to donate to Gumpf's efforts by visiting http://www.pmc.org/profile/DG0180.
Since 1980, PMC has since raised $270 million for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund. The PMC is a model of fundraising efficiency. In 2009, for third consecutive year, the PMC donated 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the cause.
The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge generates more than half of the Jimmy Fund's annual revenue and it is Dana-Farber's single largest contributor. Over 250,000 individual contributions were made to last year's fundraising campaign.
The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge runs through 46 towns across Massachusetts. More than 5,000 cyclists are expected to ride this year. Cyclists choose from 10 routes of varying mileage designed to cater to all levels of cycling strength and time availability. Two-day rides include the original 190-mile Sturbridge to Provincetown route; 180-mile Sturbridge-Bourne-Wellesley route; 163-mile Wellesley-Bourne-Provincetown route; the 153-mile Wellesley-Bourne-Wellesley route; the 157-mile Sturbridge-Bourne-Wellesley-Wellesley and the 131-mile Wellesley-Bourne-Wellesley-Wellesley.
The 33st annual PMC will be held Aug. 4-5. It will begin on Aug. 3 with an opening ceremony that will be televised live on CBS.
Cyclists will travel from 36 states and eight countries to ride in the 2012 PMC. More than 300 riders will be cancer survivors or current patients. Many PMC participants ride in honor of a family member or friend fighting the disease.
During PMC weekend and throughout the year, 3,000 volunteers donate their time and 200 corporations provide in-kind donations of products or services.
The PMC was founded in 1980 by Billy Starr, who remains the event's executive director, an annual cyclist and a fundraiser. It is presented by the Red Sox Foundation.