Monday, July 31, 2006

TMG Utility and the PMC

Summary: This is the last year my family and I will be riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC). If you use TMG Utility and you have been thinking about making a donation to support cancer research, now is the time!

As many of you know, my TMG Utility program is offered as donorware: if you use the program and like it, I ask you to donate to the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC). The PMC is a great charity. Every year, thousands of bicycle enthusiasts ride 180 miles on the first weekend in August to raise money for the Jimmy Fund, the fundraising arm of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In October, when the fundraising has all been done, the PMC presents a big check to the Jimmy Fund. In 2005, the total was $23 million!

My wife and I have both ridden seven times already, and our daughter Casey is a two year veteran. It’s a great family activity; we train together, fund raise together, and all for a great cause. Our PMC activities remind us of our friends and loved ones who have passed away from cancer, notably Shelly Ford, Ann and Mario Labadini, Sally DeCroteau, Marie Cloherty, and Ed Parent.

There are many, many great things about the PMC, and we'd like to keep doing it forever, but this year will be our last. Each year it gets a little harder to reach the fundraising minimum and we need a break from that pressure. With three people riding this year, and a $2500 minimum for the route we ride, that’s $7500 we have to raise. Given that the three of us share the same relatives, friends, and neighbors, and we have been asking that group to support our ride for many years... well, that’s a lot to ask of people year after year.

I'd like to send a special thank you to TMG Utility users who have donated in the past. All of you embraced the idea of offering TMG Utility as shareware supported by donations, and you helped bridge the gap between the fundraising minimum and what we raised from friends and family.

If you are a TMG Utility user, and if you feel that TMG Utility has saved you time and effort, please make a donation this year. It’s a donation to a great charity, it will be a big help to me and my family, and it’s your last chance.

The ride is this weekend, August 5th and 6th. The deadline for fundraising is October 13th.

You can donate online via my eGifts page. Please note that even though the eGifts page is for my PMC account, we pool our funds and so a donation to me is a donation to Maureen and Casey, too.

TMG Utility users: don't worry!

TMG Utility will not be donorware anymore, and that's a shame, but I will continue to support it and add features to it and it will remain the essential utility for TMG users. I suspect I'll change it to freeware or shareware, but I'll decide that after we get through this year’s PMC fundraising effort.

UPDATE on Wednesday, August 2, 2006

I'm overwhelmed. In 2 days, more than 50 people have donated. That's incredible. I don't really know what to say except that Maureen, Casey and I are very thankful to all of you. The TMG user community is a caring, generous bunch. Your generosity prompted me to upload a letter written by the mother of the young cancer patient who is the Pedal Partner for my PMC team. I think Sarah's mother Michelle explains why the PMC is so important far better than I can.