PMC Kids Ride…As Long As It Takes

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Photo by Christos Nikolis

Eager kids line up for the start of the 2019 PMC Kids Ride. The big fundraising event took place virtually in 2020.

The Suffield PMC Kids Ride presented by PeoplesBank will be back in 2021, bigger and better than ever. It has been an incredible nine-year run for this terrific event, and we have received overwhelmingly generous support from so many wonderful people in Suffield. While it certainly was not the PMC year we hoped for back in January, that support still allowed us to make a 2020 donation of $25,098 to the Pan Mass Challenge, 100 percent of which will benefit The Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber Cancer Institute. That brings the total nine-year donation to $342,377.

When we launched this event in 2012, our hope was to attract 50 riders and raise $5,000 for this important cause in year one. We ended that day with 69 riders and a donation by year’s end of $11,400, and it has taken off from there. For nine consecutive years, our donation has increased, reaching $66,000 in 2019. None of that would have been possible without the support of this great town that we are all lucky to call home.

Sponsors, led by PeoplesBank, line up to support us every year. We hold a raffle/auction annually with wonderful items donated by businesses and individuals across Suffield. On the day of our event, we feed hundreds of riders, families and volunteers, with all food and drink donated. Every town and civic group, Suffield Schools, Suffield Police, Fire and Ambulance and all youth sports leagues generously offer their help every year. No one turns us away, and that is what it takes to make the first Saturday in May so wonderful each year.

As the years passed, other events have been added to make this a 12-month-a-year effort. Our annual Pasta Dinner allows us to gather to celebrate our accomplishments and get a fundraising head start for the next year. Rock The Ride, a terrific concert at the Suffield VFW, has been held twice, and we hope to be back in 2021. Bikes are collected and refurbished to donate to those in need, with a few sold, all proceeds to PMC.

On their own, young riders have held dine-in nights at restaurants, held bake sales and walked dogs to raise money. At the suggestion of a then four-year-old rider, a can/bottle drive was launched. Thousands of dollars have been raised just in the area, and that effort continues at all times, nickel by nickel.

We welcome new fundraising ideas, as we can turn just about anything into money for The Jimmy Fund. We are proud to be a part of the $750 million raised by PMC for The Jimmy Fund over the last 41 years.

While fundraising and cancer awareness is the main goal, the people, the relationships, the kind words and gestures, big and small, are the most heartwarming aspects of the last nine years. Friendships created and cemented, people coming together for a greater cause, with passion, commitment and love are what makes all of this so enjoyable. Our goal was to make all of this fun and with your help, we believe we have done so.

We expect to hold the 2021 Kids Ride on Saturday, May 8 and sincerely hope to get back to all other events that were postponed this year.

In the meantime, please accept our most heartfelt gratitude for all that so many have done to help us. None of this would have been possible without you. Stay well and be safe.

With questions or offers to help in anyway, email cnikolis@cox.net. To donate, go to kids.pmc.org/suffield.

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