I'd like to reply to a prior review (1 star) of the PBTFUS. As a survivor of a pediatric brain tumor and cancer, in addition to knowing the Traynor family personally, I can honestly say that this person does not know what he is talking about. The PBTFUS is the world’s largest non-governmental source of funding for childhood brain tumor research! I'd like to BOLD and UNDERLINE that last statement. And as for the Traynor family, specifically the founders Mike and Dianne Traynor, they dedicated their entire lives to the children and families affected by pediatric brain tumors. Both Mike (2009) and Dianne (2012) have passed away but they left behind an amazing organization that continues their work (helping children and families affected by pediatric brain tumors). And if people actually looked at the breakdown of how funds are distributed they would have noticed that in 2010 83.5% went towards programs, 9.6% towards management and administration, and 6.9% towards fundraising. I'd say that an organization that has less than 10% going towards the management and administration of organization that does as much as the PBTF does and has done is pretty impressive. The PBTFUS has also never discouraged donating to other organizations that work to help children affected by pediatric brain tumors and cancer. So before you decide to rate an organization based on incorrect information do your homework - take a look at Charity Navigator's rating of the organization and take a look at the organizations website - you might find out that organizations like the PBTFUS are truly amazing and inspirational.
A fellow biker friend introduced me to the PBTFUS "Ride for Kids" in 2000, where I began by participating in the Baltimore-Washington Ride, one of now 40 around the country each year. I became very interested after attending the funeral of the 9 year old daughter of good friends of ours who died of a brain tumor. For 2001, I began to ask for donations for the Ride, and worked at this even harder each year as I learned more about the work of the Foundation.
In 2005, we moved to Charlotte, NC and I switched to taking part in the Asheville, NC ride each August. My wife and I vacationed in Asheville, and we took that opportunity to visit the headquarters of the PBTFUS while we were there and got to know Mike and Dianne Traynor personally.
I did learn that Dianne relentlessly reviews every research grant proposal in detail, and the PBTFUS requires that researchers share any knowledge gained with others. One result is the development of chemotherapy regimens that do NOT damage the growing brains of children as did adult drugs before the Foundation got involved.
There was some criticism of the fact that the Traynors brought their son Bryan into the "fold" as a paid employee. In hindsight, that was a superb decision. Mike died very suddenly and unexpectedly a few years ago and Bryan was able to jump right in and take over the work of his father.
At our visit to the PBTFUS, we could see for ourselves that there are VERY few (& very hard-working) paid employees of the Foundation. This works because the PBTFUS relies on a virtual army of volunteers and corporate sponsors that donate coffee, box lunches, etc. for each and every Ride.
This certainly motivated me, and I personally volunteer to deliver information/registration brochures for the Asheville Ride to all the motorcycle dealers in Charlotte and Gastonia, NC. As a professional photographer, I also take portraits of the Ride "Stars" (kids under treatment & in remission) with their families before the Ride, and of the "Celebration of Life" get-together at the end, and give all the images to the Foundation.
Review from CharityNavigator
I've been raising funds for the PBTFUS for over ten years. I've been impressed with their organization since my first encounter. Their financial transparency is more than adequate and the cause is one of great importance.
Through their efforts over the last 2 decades the life expectancy for a child with a brain tumor has increased significantly. Before the PBTFUS started funding research a brain tumor was essentially a death sentence for a child. Now there is hope with many of them going into remission and going on with a normal life. I have met several of these children and they are truly inspirational.
As long as I'm able to raise money, continue working in my own business, and ride I'll be showing up at the Baltimore/Washington annual ride -rain or shine.
See you 25 September 2011,
Jimmy Tragle DVM
Review from CharityNavigator