the jimmy fund boston charities

Boston Charity Spotlight: The Jimmy Fund

Chances are if you reside in New England, you’re familiar with a few Boston charities. One of our favorites at Purely Boston is the Jimmy Fund. The history of the Jimmy Fund is substantial combined with unparalleled strives towards curing cancer. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our treasured milestones accomplished by the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber throughout the years.

In case you were wondering, yes the Scooper Bowl will take place this year between August 19 and August 22. The event is virtual—allowing participants to order ice cream kits for pickup only.


The Variety Children’s Charity of New England teams up with then-named Boston Braves to help a 12-year old cancer patient (“Jimmy”) obtain a television to watch his favorite baseball team from his hospital bed. Donations were originally processed in a tiny basement office—a far cry from today’s massive Dana-Farber cancer research center. 


boston charities tom and jean yawkey

The Jimmy Fund is named the official charity of the (renamed) Boston Red Sox courtesy of Tom and Jean Yawkey. 


Following in the footsteps of the Boston Red Sox, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association adopts the Jimmy Fund as their official charity.


Dana-Farber expands resources to both children and adults with cancer.


sidney farber boston charities

Dana-Farber earns the title as regional comprehensive cancer center and receives federal designation. In March of 1973 Dr. Sidney Farber passes away. 


Billy Starr initiates the Pan-Mass Challenge donating 100% of proceeds to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute via the Jimmy Fund. The course takes two days to complete and runs between Sturbridge and Provincetown. Fun fact: the PMC bike-a-thon raises more money than any other athletic fundraiser in the United States. 


The Boston Common hosts the first annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl ice cream extravaganza. The same year Jimmy Fund Golf is organized. Did you know it’s the nation’s oldest and largest charity golf event?


To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Dana-Farber, cancer survivors and their families participate in a reunion.


Dana-Farber releases incredible studies indicating that two out of every three children treated at the Jimmy Fund Clinic are cured.


The historic Boston Marathon route shares its course and Boston Athletic Association support to create the Jimmy Fund Walk.  


the jimmy fund
courtesy of the Jimmy Fund

The original “Jimmy”, Einar Gustafson, makes a special appearance at Dana-Farber to celebrate 50 years of progress.  Fun fact: Einar remained unintentionally anonymous for decades after his remission leaving much of the staff at Dana-Farber wondering his fate.


The Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in 88 years. You better believe fans at Dana-Farber watched and cheered their team from their hospital beds. The Pan-Mass Challenge celebrates its 25th anniversary.


Remember the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl? A 3-day celebration took place at Boston City Hall Plaza to celebrate the 25th anniversary offering participants over 40 flavors of ice cream. 


Not only did the Boston Red Sox win the World Series, they also celebrated a 60-year partnership with Dana-Farber. Did you know each year a member of the Red Sox is selected as the Jimmy Fund Captain? Pitcher Nathan Eovaldi is currently serving as ambassador for the 2021 season.


Between 1980 and 2015, the Pan-Mass Challenge yielded over half a billion dollars for the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber.