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Gibson Gives Back: Jonathan Migdol Traverses Massachusetts to Support Cancer Research in Pan-Mass Challenge

Jonathan Migdol, Gibson SIRFor 15 years, Jonathan Migdol has mounted his bicycle each August and embarked on a journey across Massachusetts as part of the Pan-Mass Challenge. This renowned annual bike-a-thon raises much-needed funds for cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. With unwavering dedication and a deep personal connection to the cause, Jonathan's participation in the PMC has become an important annual tradition. As he gears up for his sixteenth PMC this August, Jonathan reflects on the countless miles he has pedaled, the funds he has raised, and the memories he has created along the way.

Tell us a bit about your involvement with the Pan-Mass Challenge! What initially inspired you to get involved with this organization? How long have you been involved?

This summer, I will be participating in my sixteenth Pan-Mass Challenge, the nation’s leading fundraising bike-a-thon, which raises much-needed money for cancer research.

Everyone who rides in the PMC has a reason to ride. Cancer has touched so many of us. I ride in memory of my dad, Bernie, who died at 56 of melanoma. I ride in memory of my mom, Cynthia, who we lost to lung cancer at 59. I ride in memory of my wife Jane’s mom, Ruth, who passed at 47 of pancreatic cancer. I ride in memory of my daughter-in-law Alice’s dad, Chris, who died at 57 of bile duct cancer. I ride in support of everyone fighting this dreadful disease with the hope that we can get one step closer to preventing cancer and finding a cure.

Can you share any fun memories from your rides over the years? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?

As its name implies, The Pan-Mass Challenge is both a physical and a financial challenge. First and foremost, the PMC is a fundraising mission. The PMC provides vital financial support to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to their cancer research efforts. It is the Institute’s largest single contributor, accounting for more than 55 percent of the annual revenue at The Jimmy Fund®. In 2022 alone, the PMC raised a record breaking $69 million, bringing its 43-year contribution to Dana-Farber to $900 million. To achieve these numbers, each PMC rider commits to raising a minimum of $6000. Last year I raised $9800, bringing my fifteen-year total to $101,000.

Secondly, the PMC is a bike ride. The traditional PMC route is a two-day ride from Sturbridge to Provincetown. To add to my challenge, and as a way of thanking my supporters, I begin my challenge each year a day early, riding from the New York state line to Sturbridge to make it a true “pan-Mass” ride. Over three days, I cycle a total of 300 miles.

The ride itself is incredible. Supporters line the roads with signs thanking us for our efforts, and letting us know the difference we are making in their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Hot or cold, rainy or sunny, they are out there shouting their support, and we are out there completing the ride. The camaraderie that develops among the riders is infectious, as each rider completes this tremendous effort for the singular goal of eliminating cancer.

As an agent focused on philanthropic giving, how do you stay engaged throughout the year?

In addition to the Pan-Mass Challenge, I participate both personally and professionally in other philanthropic efforts throughout the year. Personally, I support my friends and family who participate in their own fundraising efforts, including the American Heart Association and the Alzheimer’s Association

Professionally, I support the Ellie Fund along with my wife and Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty colleague, Jane Migdol. This organization provides much-needed support for breast cancer patients. As a member of the Migdol Moore team, I often participate in additional community-based events. This year, the team hosted a very popular paper shredding day in Needham, providing free shredding service to residents of Needham and the surrounding communities. More recently, the Migdol Moore team sponsored two scholarships to graduating seniors living in Needham. Remaining involved with my community throughout the year is important to me, and I’m proud to work with a team that prioritizes giving back. 

Do you have any recommendations for those considering taking a deeper dive into philanthropy? 

My best recommendation for those considering taking a deeper dive into philanthropy is to identify a cause which is meaningful to you, research the various organizations that support that cause, identify the one that can fulfill your goals, and jump right in! 

To support Jonathan’s 16th annual Pan-Mass Challenge ride, visit www.profile.pmc.org/JM0444

Visit www.pmc.org to learn more about the annual bike-a-thon, and www.dana-farber.org for more on the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and ways you can support cancer research. 

Get in touch with Jonathan Migdol at  781-234-8102, jonathanm@GibsonSIR.com, or by visiting our Needham office at 936 Great Plain Avenue.

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