One hundred and twenty children turned out to raise money for cancer research on Saturday as part of the Medfield PMC Kids Ride.
There was also a special guest of honor: Olivia Bonfilio, the official “Pedal Partner” of this year’s race. The nine-year old Wheelock third grader was diagnosed last year with acute promyelocytic leukemia and was recently released from the hospital.
“We didn’t think she would be able to be here [Saturday] but she’s feeling good today; she’s tired but she’s feeling good,” said her mother, Laurie Bonfilio, right after the start of the ride.
“The community support has been unbelievable, overwhelming really,” she said. “It leaves you speechless because everyone is so warm and kind, and even strangers just come up to us to say hi – it really is amazing.”
Ride coordinators Alex Freeman and Cal Given said that 120 riders – ages 2 to 14 – participated in this year’s race, more than any other year in the ride’s history.
The original PMC Kids Ride, PMC Wildwood Challenge, was started by the Wilkinson family of Medfield in 1998 and has drawn hundreds of kids, according tohttp://kids.pmc.org/medfield/
The ride was started 13 years ago by a young Ryan Wilkinson who was not able to participate in the adult PanMass Challenge but wanted to do something to raise money for cancer research. The Wilkinson family oversaw the race (through the Wildwood Drive neighborhood) until Ryan left for college. Freeman and Given took over after the 2009 race.
“Both Cal and I rode in the Wildwood Challenge in grade school and have been involved in the PMC since,” said Freeman. “We heard the Wilkinson’s were looking to pass the ride over to new coordinators after their 2009 ride. Cal and I decided to take it on that fall and move the 2010 Medfield Kids ride to Medfield High School.”
Freeman said that last year’s event raised $20,000 with less than 100 riders, and this year the team hopes to raise even more much-needed dollars for cancer research.
“We’re hoping that, with more riders than last year, we can reach $25,000,” she said.
The route included several loops around the Medfield High School.
“I rode 19 loops,” said Katy Enos, age 10. “I’m riding for Olivia and for my friend’s mother who had breast cancer.”
Enos was one of the ride’s “Heavy Hitters” – any rider who raised more than $250 for cancer research. The top three Heavy Hitters were Adam Price ($625), Bradley Weiner ($555) and Leah Ravech ($520). Other heavy hitters included: Pari Ahmadi, Jimmy Cosolito, Katy Enos, Karl Ericson, Elli Langton, Troy Langton, Alexis Macchi, Caroline Mills, Adam Price, Olivia Price, Leah Ravech, Morgan Reilly, Dominic Spada, Derek Stevens, Molly Wagenseller, Tina Wagenseller and Bradley Weiner.