The Suffield Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) Kids Ride, sponsored by the First National Bank of Suffield, will be one of over 30 PMC Kids Rides throughout New England and beyond. In 2017, the PMC Kids Rides program attracted approximately 4,100 young cyclists between the ages of 2 and 15, who rode between one and 26 miles in mini-bike-a-thons. They raised more than $850,000 for cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The PMC Kids Rides are spokes in the PMC wheel, joining the more than 6,000 adult PMC cyclists in their mission to fund adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The PMC is a two-day, 190-mile bike-a-thon held the first weekend of every August. Since 1980, the PMC has raised $598 Million for Dana-Farber. 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 $7.2 Million.
To provide the young cyclists with an additional push, the PMC recognizes cyclists in the Kids Rides program who go above and beyond with their fundraising. Riders who raise $250 or more will be honored as a PMC Kids Heavy Hitter, and riders who raise over $750 will be honored as a PMC Kids Breakaway Fundraiser. Both PMC Kids Heavy Hitters and Breakaway Fundraisers will be recognized with a special PMC item and certificate to distinguish their achievement.
The Suffield PMC Kids Ride has a goal of 250 riders in 2018. Kids ages 3-16 are welcome to ride at the Suffield Middle School parking lot circle (younger children) and on Hill Street up to Russell Avenue (older kids) before turning around and heading back. The Suffield PMC Kids Ride was started by 9-year PMC rider Chris Nikolis and his wife Denise in 2012 and remains the only PMC Kids Ride in Connecticut. The Suffield PMC Kids Ride will hold a celebration after the ride, which will include lunch for all riders and their families, live music, a playground, and a terrific raffle and auction. The Suffield PMC Kids Ride hopes to raise $60,000 in 2018, which would bring the total raised to over $250,000 in 7 years.
The Suffield PMC Kids Ride will be held on May 12 at 10 a.m. at the McAlister Intermediate School on Mountain Road. There is a $15 per rider 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.