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In overtime, Dempsey Challenge reaches $1.5 million goal

November 23, 2021 GMT

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — The Dempsey Challenge has reached its $1.5 million fundraising goal, garnering $200,000 more than any previous year despite the coronavirus pandemic decreasing participation.

The bike-and-run fundraiser in September raised a record $1.3 million and additional fundraising from businesses and a virtual cycling event, pushed the Dempsey Challenge past its fundraising goal, The Sun—Journal reported on Tuesday.

The challenge is the primary fundraiser for the Dempsey Center, a nonprofit organization founded by actor Patrick Dempsey of “Grey’s Anatomy” fame that provides free services to cancer patients and their families.

The Lewiston nonprofit had increased its fundraising goal in 2020 but the pandemic hit and the in-person Dempsey Challenge was cancelled and replaced with a virtual event.

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Organizers said that this year, the combination of in-person and virtual events helped push the organization past its goals while also reaching people outside of Maine.

All donations from participants will go to the Dempsey Center as corporate sponsors paid for the events, the newspaper said.