Above, Chris Arnold, shown riding in the 2011 Pan-Mass Challenge, which raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. (submitted photo)
Baldwinsville native Chris Arnold is among the 6,200-plus cyclists who will ride across Massachusetts early next month for the 38th edition of the Pan-Mass Challenge, a fund-raiser for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
Arnold and his wife, Ellen Yeomans, founded the pediatric cancer charity Paige’s Butterfly Run in 1997 in memory of their daughter, Paige.
On the weekend of Aug. 5 and 6, Arnold joins a group that comes from 40 states and eight different countries, ranging in age from 15 to 84, that take part in the challenge, which consists of 12 routes winding through 46 different towns in Massachusetts, up to 192 miles overall.
“Every dollar riders raise goes to their mission. They have their costs covered by corporate sponsors, which is a model I’ve tried to emulate with Paige’s Butterfly Run,” Arnold told the Messenger last year. “It can also be a very inspirational place to be. … You’re all trying to do the right thing, push the ball forward [for cancer research].”
Hundreds of participants and volunteers at the challenge are cancer survivors. Many others have seen family members fight the disease. According to race officials, on average, riders will gain 40 sponsors and raise more than $7,000 for their efforts.
Since the event began in 1980, the Pan-Mass Challenge has raised $547 million for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund, which for decades has been tied to the charity foundation of the Boston Red Sox.
For more information about Arnold’s ride and the Pan-Mass Challenge, visit pmc.org.
Ashley M. Casey is a reporter for The Baldwinsville Messenger and The Eagle Star-Review. She graduated from Le Moyne College in 2012 and previously worked for the Scotsman Press.
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