Preparing for my first Pan-Mass Challenge last year, I liked to say that I’m “just a guy riding a bike.” I considered the people who reached into their wallets and went to the PMC site to pledge money to fight cancer- nearly 80 of them last year- to be the real heroes of my “team.” One of my regrets was that I didn’t get to publicly thank many of my sponsors, as I didn’t ask for explicit permission.
This year, I decided to bend the other way– not just thank people publicly, but profile them as full members of the team. So, I asked this year’s sponsors — almost 30 so far– if they wouldn’t mind being profiled.
So these are the “heroes” of my Pan-Mass Challenge team- classmates, childhood friends, colleagues, friends, family– and social media friends. Many of these people who cross multiple categories. I thank them all, and get to thank some of them publicly here.
#1: Chip Griffin
I have known Chip for a few years, mostly in his role as CEO of media monitoring company CustomScoop and his stewardship of Media Bullseye, for which I write a monthly article. A serial entrepreneur, Chip started his latest venture, New England Web Entrepreneurs, to provide resources to the rich but neglected pool of New England entrepreneurs.
When I first decided to ride the Pan-Mass Challenge last year, Chip was one of the first people in with a very generous check to get me started. He’s back for Year Two. Most recently, he interviewed me for his podcast series; I spoke with him about my use of social media for fundraising for the Pan-Mass Challenge, including this feature here. For all those reasons, I thought it fitting to start with Chip. Here are some of the things he said about his sponsorship:
I am a longtime supporter of the Jimmy Fund and try to help out when friends are willing to put in extra effort to fundraise on behalf of organizations I support. The fact that you are willing to train and ride, something that is far from easy, is admirable and it seems the least I can do is “write a check!”
I have…always found the Jimmy Fund to be a good cause. This has been reinforced by my attending events as a donor where I have had a chance to meet patients, parents, and doctors. It is impossible to meet these people without being impressed and feeling like you need to do more.
(I asked him to tell one interesting or unique fact or story)
It seems that I got old while I wasn’t looking. I’m a member of the American University Alumni Board and attended a commencement event a couple of weeks ago as part of those responsibilities. As I was greeting the graduates, one of them took a look at my name badge, noticed by year of graduation, and said — quite seriously — “Wow, that was a long time ago.” I don’t happen to think 1994 was that long ago, until I thought about it and realized that when I graduated from college that would be like seeing someone with a name badge from the 1970s.
Well Chip, as a member of Emerson College’s Class of 1990, I don’t feel all that bad for you.
But I do thank you for your continued sponsorship of my Pan-Mass Challenge ride.