This weekend, Aug. 6-7, six Wilton residents will participate in the annual Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), the largest single athletic fundraising event in the country. They will be among 6,500 cyclists who will ride with the collective goal of raising $46 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Bruce Likly is one Wilton resident taking part, riding for the third year in a row, and says he is humbled at how much being a part of the PMC is life-changing.

“It’s given me a tremendous amount of insight and appreciation for those fighting cancer, their loved ones and the thousands of professionals dedicated to winning the battle against cancer. I’ve made a commitment for the past three years to put my aging bones, muscles and determination to work to help those with the talent eradicate cancer in our lifetime.”

Likly also says it helps keep things in perspective.

“In this year of political uncertainty and economic challenge it is more important than ever to remember that cancer doesn’t care what your views are, who your friends are, how much you volunteer your time helping others or how much money you have in your bank account. Cancer shows no mercy, no favoritism and no bias. Cancer attacks where it wants, when it wants and its effects are devastating to everyone it touches.”

Like all the riders, Likly has an online fundraising page. His goal is to raise $7,500, an amount he surpassed last year, and hopes to do the same in 2016.

According to the PMC organizers, the other riders from Wilton are Brian Lynch, Jeff Farrar, Jeryn Koritzinsky, Patrick Curley, and William Budd.

During PMC weekend, individual cyclists unite to become one extended family. The camaraderie shared by thousands of cyclists, spectators and volunteers, is one reason riders from more than 40 states and seven countries return to Massachusetts each August to participate in the PMC, choosing from 12 routes of varying mileage that run through 46 towns.

These cyclists, who are anywhere between 13 and 84-years-old, range from seasoned triathletes, to weekend warriors who trained for this event alone and everything in between. Many riders participate in the PMC to honor a family member or friend lost to, or being treated for, cancer. The average cyclist trains for three months, solicits 40 sponsors and raises more than $8,000. Doctors ride alongside their patients; grandparents ride with their grandchildren; and others show support from the sidelines in the form of donations and well wishes. More than 600 riders and volunteers are cancer survivors or current patients, considered “Living Proof” of the PMC mission to find a cure.

“Each year, the PMC is proud to welcome riders and volunteers with unique backgrounds and experiences, from all over the country and all over the world, into our family. This is what makes ride weekend such an impactful and inspiring event,” says Billy Starr, founder and executive director of the PMC. “In 2016, we are honored to have more than 6,500 cyclists joining us to ride for a cure and help surpass this year’s $46 million fundraising goal.”

No other single athletic event raises or contributes more money to charity than the PMC. Since 1980, the PMC has raised more than a half-billion dollars for Dana-Farber through the Jimmy Fund, its fundraising arm. In fact, the PMC is Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor, raising more than 58 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue.

The PMC is presented by the Red Sox Foundation and New Balance. Supporters can visit the PMC website to make a financial contribution to any Wilton rider or become a virtual rider.

The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) is an annual bike-a-thon that today raised more money for charity than any other single athletic fundraising event in the world. The PMC was founded in 1980 by Billy Starr, who remains the event’s executive director, an annual cyclist, and a fundraiser. The PMC has since raised $500 million for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund. The event donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the cause. The PMC generates more than 58 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and is Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor. The PMC has successfully melded support from committed cyclists, volunteers, corporate sponsors and individual contributors. All are essential to the PMC’s goal and model: to attain maximum fundraising efficiency while increasing its annual gift. The PMC’s hope and aspiration is to provide Dana-Farber’s doctors and researchers with the necessary resources to discover cures for all cancers.