Introducing our State of Possible Keynote Speaker: The Man Behind the Pan-Mass Challenge

Feb 11, 2020

By Elizabeth Steele, Vice President, Programs & Global Affairs at MassBio

MassBio’s State of Possible Conference, taking place March 26-26, celebrates what’s possible for patients today that wasn’t five or 10 years ago. This year, to kick off the two-day conference, our keynote address will be delivered by the man who led to the contribution of more than $717 million for adult and pediatric cancer care and research – Billy Starr, Founder and Executive Director of the Pan-Mass Challenge.

Billy began his fundraising journey after his mother succumbed to cancer, when he gathered several friends to ride across Massachusetts to raise money for cancer research. That first ride in 1980 eventually evolved into a renowned bike-a-thon that is the single largest contributor to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and more than 57% of the annual revenue of the Jimmy Fund.

From 36 cyclists to over 6,800 today, the PMC raises more money than any other athletic charity event in the country. In fact, just last year the event raised $63 million, the single largest gift ever received by Dana-Farber. This success was largely contingent on Billy’s innovative idea to reinvent fundraising and cultivate a new world of event programming – one with guaranteed donations.

The proceeds derived from the PMC that have poured into cancer research have singlehandedly saved numerous lives across the Commonwealth and the world. And, on March 25th, Billy Starr will share his story during his session, “Closer by the Mile: How One Man Shaped the Athletic Fundraising Industry with the Power of a Bike.”

To get front row seats to hear the Billy Starr story, register today to attend MassBio’s State of Possible Conference.

See all MassBio News