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.


Kathryn said...

Just because you won't be riding anymore, that doesn't mean we can't make donations in the future. At least there doesn't seem like that should be the case. Why don't you check on that? I'd love to see a place on your website for donations to your favorite charity, regardless of whether it's the utility or just help you give over and above normal support. I've said as much in an older email to you.

Francie said...

I agree! I give my main gift to The Jimmy Fund through your name. I like the fact that I am helping you and the Jimmy fund at the same time. Perhaps you could direct our donations towards another rider? The might have a way to do that?

John said...

I think it would be great if TMG Utility users continue to donate to the PMC/Jimmy Fund! I will contact the PMC and see if my account can remain open for donations even if I am not riding. They allowed that one year when I was injured, so it seems like a possibility.

As Francie suggested, one way to work it would be to donate through another rider. We ride as part of a 25+ member team, so I could probably direct donations to one of their accounts.

For the time being, I am going to worry about (A) doing the ride this weekend and (B) reaching this year's fundraising minimum. After that, I'll be able to focus on the future.

mbm said...

I don't use your utility John, but I came across your site while searching for something PMC related. Just so you know, you can register as a "Virtual Rider" in the PMC next year and that will still allow you to have a PMC ID that people can use to sponsor your "virtual ride". ;)

hootie said...

John, Would you know how to get in touch with the Van Dyke webmaster? I have some information to provide about the family tree.