Wallingford — For the fifth consecutive year, employee-owners at the New England office of Burns & McDonnell will join together as “Team Courage” in an joint effort to raise much needed funds in the fight against cancer. The group of twenty co-workers will participate in the Pan Mass Challenge, a two day annual bike-a-thon spanning 190 miles from Sturbridge to Provincetown, MA. Collinsville resident Rob Young has been a leader in this effort since the beginning and he has a goal to pedal his way towards an individual goal of $6,500 this year.
Founded in 1980 when 36 cyclists rode across Massachusetts and raised $10,200 for the Jimmy Fund, the PMC is known today as the “gold standard” of athletic fundraising events, due to the unprecedented sums it raises in one weekend. Their collective goal is to raise $36 million this year for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund and bring the organization's 33-year fundraising total to more than $374 million.
Each of the twenty riders on Burns & McDonnell’s “Team Courage” has a reason that is motivating them to participate. For Rob Young it is because he, like many others, has friends and family that have been touched by cancer.
“My father had been diagnosed with cancer when I was just eleven years old. I watched for ten years as he battled through radical chemo and radiation, thinking he was “cured” only to have the cancer return and take his life when I was twenty-two years old. My father passed away sixteen years ago and not a day goes by that I do not think about the day he was first diagnosed...”
“Pancreatic cancer took my uncle last year, and two years ago my friends eighteen month old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Cancer hits too many people too often, and this is my way of making a real difference. This is my fourth year riding and I am brought to tears seeing the people out on the ride supporting us.”
The past four years, riders of “Team Courage” have motivated and challenged themselves and their co-workers to get involved and increase Burns & McDonnell’s participation and fundraising. This year, for the first time, Team Courage” has adopted Ethan Bairos as their Pedal Partner. The Pedal Partner Program has offered an inspiring opportunity for members of the team to connect with Ethan, a courageous 7 year old boy battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Ethan is currently receiving treatment for the disease at Boston’s Children’s Hospital.
Riding in honor of Ethan, and everyone else who is battling cancer, “Team Courage” has set an overall 2012 team fundraising goal of $140,000, which is well above the previous year’s goal of $75,000; a goal which was achieved in excess of over $12,000.
The funds raised are part of an overall effort by more than 8,500 participants and volunteers who contributed to this year’s goal of the Pan Mass Challenge to raise over $36 million, 100 percent of which benefits cancer research via the Jimmy Fund. To help contribute to “Team Courage’s” fundraising goal, please visit http://www.pmc.org/profile/TC0147.