Pedal for Positivity: An Interview with Bill Alfano, Director of Marketing and Sponsorship, Pan-Mass Challenge

Are you ready to pedal for positivity? Today marks the official launch of the Bike Charm Bangle and we’re excited to share an interview with Bill Alfano, Director of Marketing and Sponsorship of Pan-Mass Challenge, with our wonderful fans. Bill discusses the history of Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) and how the Bike Charm Bangle will help raise funds for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

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How was Pan-Mass Challenge born and what is its mission?

The Pan-Mass Challenge raises money for life-saving cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through an annual bike-a-thon that crosses the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Established by Billy Starr in 1980 and under his direction, the PMC has grown considerably and consistently from its modest beginnings into an event that draws 5,500 cyclists from 36 states and eight countries. Today, the Pan-Mass Challenge raises more money than any other athletic fundraising event in the country. The PMC generates half of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and it is Dana-Farber‘s single largest contributor. Over the past 34 years, PMC cyclists have ridden to raise and contribute $414 million to cancer research.

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How did the relationship between Pan-Mass Challenge and Alex and Ani/Charity by Design begin?

It all began with a meeting at URI a few years ago. When I started at PMC, I knew it would be a great fit based on what we stand for and the who, what and why behind the Alex and Ani. That quickly grew into meetings with Meredith Starr, David Hellman, Sarah Mercurio Hall, and members of the Charity by Design team, such as Nicki Maher, Dee Fraser, Theresa Block, Lauren Bettencourt, and Catalina Gomez. The enthusiasm that PMC showed to be part of Charity by Design was matched only by Charity By Design’s enthusiasm to include the PMC.

What was the process of designing the Bike Charm Bangle like?

It was an easy choice! Riding bikes is not only a metaphor for a tool to raise funds in the fight against cancer, it is the vehicle we use to do so. The three words associated with the charm are wellness, movement, and spirit, perfectly describing its powerful qualities to initiate change.

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The bangle features a 3D bike charm. What is the significance?

Since we are the country’s original and most successful charity bika-a-thon, a bike charm is the perfect symbol. We feel like it represents our mission and purpose and will serve as a conversation piece about the PMC.

What do you hope the Bike bangle will do for Pan-Mass Challenge and cancer research/treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute?

We hope it will help raise lifesaving funds for DFCI and create awareness for the ride, mission and DFCI as a whole. Together, we can all help make a difference!

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Want to help the Pan-Mass Challenge in the fight against cancer? Through December 2015, 20% of proceeds received by Alex and Ani from selling the Bike Charm Bangle, with a minimum donation of $25,000, will be donated to Pan-Mass Challenge, an annual bike-a-thon organized to help raise money for life-saving cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Shop the Bike Charm Bangle.

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This post was written by Brendon Cunha