FOXBOROUGH – While their lengthy journey is still months away, the Patriots Platelet Pedalers cycling team was gearing up this weekend at Gillette Stadium to help raise money for blood cancer research.
The New England Patriots sanctioned team will take part in the weekend long Pan Massachusetts Challenge, a charity bicycle ride to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund. But before the Pedalers even thought about tackling the daunting feat of endurance that lies ahead in August, the Pedalers were concentrated on raising money for the cause with a kickoff event on Saturday.
(Photo: Josh Kraft, president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, Dr. Ken Anderson, Kraft Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Daniel Kraft and Ron Burton, Jr., (l-r) all spoke Saturday morning at Gillette Stadium in a kickoff event for the Patriots Platelet Pedalers. The first-year team riding in the upcoming Pan Massachusetts Challenge is raising money for blood cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.)
The money raised by the Patriots Platelet Pedalers will be earmarked for Dr. Ken Anderson's multiple myeloma research at Dana-Farber. Dr. Anderson, the Kraft Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, is renowned for his development of novel therapies in the field of hematologic oncology.
"The Kraft family and the Patriots are so proud to have a role in this event, which has become one of the biggest fundraising efforts of its kind," said Josh Kraft, president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation. "Dana-Farber has helped so many people over the years and we hope that the Patriots Platelet Pedalers can continue to support Dr. Ken Anderson and help to fund his research in multiple myeloma."
The team's goal is to raise $500,000 in its first year.
Team captains Gary Brodsky and Barnet Kessel added that the Patriots Platelet Pedalers are already off to a rolling start, nearly doubling team rider registration in their first year under the Patriots name from years past. Now, the impetus is to raise as much money as possible for the worthy cause.
"I find that most people ride for personal reasons," said Kessel, who has lost a grandmother and a college friend to cancer. "Everyone has their story and their reason for riding. To be able to help in Dr. Anderson's research is something that we're very happy to do."
Donations to the Patriots Platelet Pedalers should be made out to PMC and mailed to:
Patriots Platelet Pedalersc/o Sarah Furtado
1 Patriot Place
Foxboro, MA 02035
Members of the Patriots Platelet Pedalers gathered at Gillette Stadium on Saturday for a
kickoff event to help raise money for blood cancer research.