The Pan Mass Challenge, a yearly charitable biking event that originated in Massachusetts, is expanding its Kids Rides event to Suffield.
The 2012 Suffield Pan Mass Challenge Kids Ride, scheduled for Saturday, May 12, will benefit the Jimmy Fund. All children between the ages of 3 years old and 15 years old are invited to attend.
Chris Nikolis, a Suffield resident, is organizing the event in town and has participated in the adult challenge rides.
“The Pan Mas Challenge (PMC) is a great event, so many people coming together to ride, volunteer and donate to support the wonderful work of The Jimmy Fund,” Nikolis said. “I will be riding in my fourth PMC this August and wanted to do more. In the last 32 years, the PMC has donated over $330 million to The Jimmy Fund.”
The ride features two paths, a small loop for young riders in the parking lot and a loop up Hill Street and back to the school, approximately 5 miles in all, for older riders. Numerous volunteers will staff both loops and security measures will include slow-moving patrol vehicles and radio communication.
Nikolis said a desire to give back and help those in need motivated him and his wife to organize this year’s ride in Suffield.
“My wife Denise and I thought it would be a great time to start one,” he said. “We have been so fortunate in life and like to give back when we can. We have a dedicated committee of volunteers and so many others, including The First National Bank of Suffield, have stepped up in the early going.”
has signed on as the event's sponsor, and more sponsors are welcome for the event.
The kids ride will feature more than just the two fundraising rides, according to Nikolis.
“This will be a fun day for families,” he said. “[The event includes] the biking, live music, Shriners’ clowns, a playscape, lunch and refreshments. I hope everyone comes out, has a great day and helps us raise as much as we can for the fight against cancer.”
In 2011, more than 30 Kids Rides held in the greater Boston area raised more than $900,000 for the Jimmy Fund. This year, more than 20 kids rides across New England have already been scheduled, including one in Suffield.
All proceeds for the race go the Jimmy Fund, with 100 percent of rider donations qualifying as tax deductible.
To find out more about the ride, register to ride, sponsor the event, donate, volunteer on the course, and much more, visit the Suffield PMC Kids Ride site.