Cycling for a Cure
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Cycling for a Cure

Grand Circle associates join America's original bike-a-thon to raise funds to fight cancer

When it comes to fighting cancer, there's usually a human face behind every fundraising effort. That is certainly the case for one of the annual events on the community service calendar at Grand Circle Foundation's Boston headquarters: the Pan-Mass Challenge. This bike-a-thon is America's single most successful athletic fundraising weekend. Founded in 1980 to fund lifesaving cancer research through Dana Farber's Jimmy Fund, the Pan-Mass Challenge consists of several different route options, which range from 25 to 192 miles across Massachusetts—so all cyclists, from novice to professional, can select a route that best fits their experience level.

This year's event was held on August 4-5, and nine Grand Circle associates pulled on their cycling shoes, mounted their bicycles, and set out on one of the itineraries. And each one had a very personal reason for undertaking the grueling ride.

For Cathy Donovan, Senior Programs Analyst, it's her brother, whose multiple myeloma is in remission. "No one knows when cancer will strike. No one knows who cancer will strike. Pretty much all we know is cancer will strike, and we need to be ready!" she says.

Senior Programs Analyst Julie Miranda lost her mother to cancer 14 years ago. "I still miss her every day!" she says. "I'm a proud supporter of the PMC because it is leading the charge to beat cancer." In addition to her mother, Julie lost three uncles and her grandmother-in-law to the disease, and a friend is a survivor in his third year of remission.

Elizabeth Hoyt, Business Intelligence Support Specialist, is another member of the Grand Circle team with multiple family members who are battling cancer or have succumbed to the disease, including a grandmother, three uncles, and three aunts, as well as several family friends. The passing of her Uncle Ted in particular "was the final straw that made me make the decision to ride this year and help raise funds for this important cause," she recalls. "I have been riding every chance I get, ever since."

Like Julie Miranda, Julie Kremer, Director of Special Events, rode in memory of her mother, who lost a tough battle with lung cancer in 2007. In her words, "The 50 miles that I rode on August 5th were just a small way of honoring a very special person."

Four years ago, when Manager of Business Rules Tom Whearty's brother-in-law passed away from brain cancer, it hit him hard. As he puts it, "Carl, like me, is a son, brother, father, and uncle. Maybe that's why his memory and passing stay so strongly with me."

And Liza Knowles in Traveler Support simply wanted to help raise money so that, one day, no one will have to tell a story like these again.

Together with Chief Financial Officer Chris Zigmont, National Director Vacation Ambassador Programming Maggie Nevins, and Manager of Data Warehouse Operations Mike Scocca, these generous associates raised $20,000 for the cause by riding in this year's Pan-Mass Challenge.

Featured in our August 2012 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.