Down on the Farm: Biking for a Cause
Somewhere, somehow, the idea arose that doing something for a long, long time without stopping is a good way to raise money.
Probably because it works.
First, there were Labor Day telethons. Then, walk-a-thons. Read-a-thons. Swim-a-thons. Trike-a-thons. Jump-a-thons. Anything done long enough can have a "thon" added to it.
People long to be heroes! Asking for money for a cause straight up just seems too easy. No heroism in that.