Learn More:
     + What is the Dempsey Challenge?
     Quick Facts 
     + Travel + Logistics
     + Things to Do
     + Registration + Fundraising
     + Key Dates
     + Connect with Us

For one weekend every September, thousands of people break out their inner athletes to help make life better for people impacted by cancer by raising funds for the Dempsey Center through the Dempsey Challenge. 100% of funds raised by Challenge participants helps provide personalized, holistic services AT NO COST to cancer patients, their loved ones, and care partners.




The Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen Oncology is an annual run/walk/ride experience to benefit the Dempsey Center. With two physical Centers in Lewiston and South Portland, Maine, and our third, virtual Center—Dempsey Connects, which launched in 2020—our specially-trained team of experts provides curated, holistic care to people impacted by cancer in Maine and beyond. Founded by actor Patrick Dempsey in 2009, this flagship fundraising event has raised over $17 million for the Dempsey Center since its inception, with 100% of all funds raised going directly to client care.


About The Dempsey Challenge
  • The Dempsey Challenge is a run/walk/cycle event and is the flagship fundraiser for the Dempsey Center, founded by actor Patrick Dempsey. Patrick grew up in Maine, and wanted to help provide wrap-around support and care for people in Maine impacted by cancer after experiencing his own cancer impact when his mom Amanda was diagnosed in 1997.
  • The event takes place in Lewiston, Maine every fall.
  • In 2020, the Dempsey Challenge went global and introduced a complete virtual event. Today, the Dempsey Challenge is a hybrid event where participants can choose to participate in person or virtually - there are no barriers to get involved!
  • The next Dempsey Challenge is September 24 + 25, 2022.
  • This will be the 14th consecutive Dempsey Challenge.
  • Generous corporate sponsors cover the cost of the event, so every dollar raised by participants goes directly to the Dempsey Center.
Who can participate in the Challenge?
  • No matter who you are, there’s a place for you in the Dempsey Challenge!
  • Participants are all ages, have varying abilities, and hail from around the world.
  • Volunteers and ambassadors love their roles and come back year after year.
  • Dempsey Challengers are: riders, walkers, runners, volunteers, donors, fundraisers, kids, adults, and families — a community. People who want to make life better for people dealing with cancer.
How it works
  • Participants can be part of a team or join as an individual.
  • Participants can choose either the in-person Local Challenge, or can participate virtually as a Global Challenger.
  • Participants receive support for training and fundraising from Dempsey Center staff.
  • In 2021, Dempsey Challenge participants from all over the world raised over $1.5 million dollars!
How to get involved
  • Sign up today to participate, fundraise, or volunteer!
  • If you’re in the Lewiston/Auburn area on event weekend cheer for walkers and runners as they hit the pavement on Saturday, or create a cheer station along one of the many bike routes throughout Maine!


April 1, 2022

  • Registration opens

September 1, 2022

  • Deadline to register for the Global Dempsey Challenge to receive a participant t-shirt, bib and sticker pre-event​

September 22, 2022 12:00pm EST

  • Fundraising Awards deadline
    • Top Fundraiser Awards to be recognized in the park
    • Deadline to raise $3,000+ to receive invitation to the Champions for Hope Celebration
    • College Cup + High School Challenge fundraising deadline

September 26, 2022 4:00pm EST

  • Final fundraising deadline for all other incentives
    • Local Challengers will pick up incentives in the park on Challenge weekend
    • Global Challengers will have incentives shipped post-event
  • Deadline for Global Challengers to submit activity to receive official Global Challenger Finisher patch
    • Patches will be shipped in October

October 31, 2022 11:59pm EST

  • Final deadline to accept donations




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