Burns & McDonnell Gears Up for 2017 Pan-Mass Challenge and Raises More Than $220,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
BOSTON, MA With nearly $1.5 million raised in support of the fight against cancer since 2008, Burns & McDonnell's Team Courage Coneheads will join 6,200 people to pedal up to 192 miles from Sturbridge, Massachusetts, to Provincetown, Massachusetts, during the 2017 Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC).
Getting its name from the small orange safety cone each team member displays on his or her riding helmet, Team Courage Coneheads has grown to more than 30 riders and is backed by friends, colleagues, community partners and family. This year, the team will ride in its 10th consecutive PMC in honor of those they've lost, those who are fighting and those who have won the battle against cancer.
"The Pan-Mass Challenge is the most incredible cause I've been a part of," said Rob Young, founder of Team Courage Coneheads and Burns & McDonnell regional Environmental Services manager based in Wallingford, Connecticut. "It bands together the entire community to support and bring strength to those affected by cancer."
Young initiated Team Courage Coneheads in 2008 with five riders, inspired by his desire to help find a cure for cancer. Young lost his father to the disease more than 20 years ago and has spent his life fighting back through his environmental work and involvement in organizations supporting cancer research.
"The disease stole so much from my father and my family, so I am passionate about finding a cure. I chose a career in environmental science because I realized at a young age that products being used daily could negatively impact the general population. At Burns & McDonnell, I'm fortunate to help clients design and develop environmentally-friendly projects, while also fighting cancer through giving back initiatives supporting organizations like the PMC," said Young.
Founded in 1980, the PMC gives 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. To date, the PMC has raised more than $595 million for Dana-Farber. The bike ride raises more money for charity than any other single athletic fundraising event in the country and has set a goal to raise $48 million in 2017.
Team Courage Coneheads is dedicating its ride for the third year to 17-year-old Raphael (Raffy) Edwards of Brockton, Massachusetts. When Raffy was two years old, doctors discovered a large brain tumor requiring immediate surgery. After the surgery, they learned his tumor was a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. For more than a decade, Raffy underwent chemotherapy, radiation and four additional surgeries. Today, the team celebrates Raffy being free of cancer and treatment for the first time since he was a toddler.