Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #11: Tom Lewis

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

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So far I have profiled PMC sponsors whom I know fairly well, either from childhood or professionally. Tom Lewis is more of an example of why I am using social media to raise money; so that people I barely know, or don’t know at all, might become part of this “heroes” network through their generous sponsorship. Tom blogs at http://tomdog.com, and is also launching a new venture called Needlemine. Here is what he had to say:

– Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

I support the Pan-Mass Challenge and came across your Tweet by happy coincidence

– How did you first hear about the Pan-Mass Challenge?

I had heard about it several years ago when I was on the board of MassBike (a Massachusetts organization dedicated to cycling issues).

– Are you giving in the name or memory of someone you know who has had cancer?

In memory of my father-in-law Bill, my Uncle Chuck, and my Aunt JoAnn.

– Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting

As someone who moved to Massachusetts from the year-round cycling state of California, it’s been wonderful to see cyclists involved in a cause as powerful as the Pan-Mass Challenge, an event that requires its own kind of year-round commitment. I hope to do it myself someday! (Note- I think some routes are still open– hint!)


Tom, thank you for sponsoring me. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Please consider joining Tom to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #10: Ann Handley

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

Ann Handley is someone who I, as a public relations professional, have come across for years, going back to the Internet bubble and her days with ClickZ. Now, she spends her professional life as Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs, a great resource for anyone touching on the marketing profession.

A year or more ago, we finally met at a local social media event, and found an interesting personal bond that I will let Ann describe below (let’s just say I sometimes call her “homegirl”).

Ann also keeps a great personal blog, Annarchy, which contains some very personal and extremely well-written posts. That blog is the reason I was particularly eager to get her answers to my questions once she became (for the second time!) a sponsor of my Pan-Mass Challenge ride. Here they are:

– Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

The PMC raises money for cancer research and treatment, of course, which unfortunately is an issue near and dear to my heart. Cancer is so much a part of my family, it practically has a seat at Thanksgiving: Both of my parents died relatively young from various forms of lung cancer, when I was a teenager (my dad) and then post-college (my mother). Two of my aunts have struggled with breast cancer, and even I have had minor brushes with it.

When you grow up with cancer as part of your family, you can’t help but feel that it’s only a matter of time before you and others close to you will be similarly affected.

All that… plus, Doug and I grew up in the same neighborhood. And though we didn’t know each other — and only discovered our common roots decades later, when we met at an industry party, it nonetheless is a bond.


– How did you first hear about the Pan-Mass Challenge?

I’ve sponsored others, on and off, throughout the years. But it’s only recently that I’ve truly grokked the importance of PMC’s mission. Plus, I admire the dedication and commitment the riders make, especially those middle-aged folks (note: who you calling “middle-aged?”) who challenge themselves to do it, and by “it” I mean the ride itself, but also the hours of training through the cold and dark New England winter.

Being in my 40s, I know the physical part isn’t easy… I have to lie down after walking my dogs around the block. ; )

Can you imagine the kind of mental and physical dedication it takes to ride (165) miles over 2 days… even for someone as young and healthy and virile (note: [!]) as Doug? ; )

– Are you giving in the name or memory of someone you know who has had cancer ?

No one special. But at the same time, lots of people. In other words, there are many families like my own… our experience is far from unique. Sadly.


– Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting.

Oh jeez…. I hate this question….

Well, I guess I’d say that I’m full of contradictions. I’m at once confident and insecure. I’m competent and unsure of my abilities. I’m intensely private, and I bare it all on my personal blog.

And fundamentally, I’m not very interesting… except when I am.


Ann, if you are one thing, you are interesting. Thank you for sponsoring me again. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Please consider joining Ann to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #9: Mark Story

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

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Mark Story is one of the great group of PR educators I have gotten to know through my social media ties. He teaches at Georgetown, blogs at www.intersectionofonlineandoffline.com, and has shown great caring in how he has shown his support for my PMC efforts.

More from Mark:

– Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

You are undertaking a noble and wonderful cause and are pushing your healthy body to its limits while children with cancer fight their own heroic struggles with their frail bodies. In short, you are part of a group of people with health and good fortune lending some good karma to children who need it most. And I have participated on Jimmy Fund events in the past.


– Are you giving in the name or memory of someone you know who has had cancer?

Lauren Garger, a little girl whom I honored in a childhood cancer fundraising event last year. She is thankfully healthy for the moment.


– Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting

I met Ross Perot once and am 5’7″ tall. But I am WAY taller than him.


Thank you, Mark! And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Here’s the link for you to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #8: John Wall

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

Best known as one-half of the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (I won’t say which one) of marketing podcasts (Marketing Over Coffee with co-host Christopher Penn), John Wall (left in photo) has been one of the earliest and most enthusiastic boosters of podcasting for business and for fun (“The M Show”).

PodCamp Boston 3

John also blogs regularly (enough) at Ronin Marketeer, a blog that has dropped wisdom to me through 1970s comic book nostalgia, and practical advice such as how to drink at events.

Some more direct, PMC-centered banter from John:

– Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

About 3 years ago I decided to increase the amount of my income that I gave to charities. I doubled my donations over the first two years, but I’m keeping it flat this year because of the economy. As a result I’m always on the lookout for events to sponsor that my friends are involved in.

– How did you first hear about the Pan-Mass Challenge?

I first learned about the event more than 10 years ago when my friend David Jaye told me about it. He said that the PMC is just like the Boston Marathon – doing the event is not that impressive. Training for the event? That’s very impressive.

– Are you giving in the name or memory of someone you know who has had cancer?

I donate in memory of my mother, who we lost to Cancer and my Father, a survivor.


– Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting

In 2002 I ran the Boston Marathon as a fund raiser for the Franciscan’s Hospital for Children. I finished, but didn’t do as well as I had hoped, and ended up having my appendix removed a couple weeks later.

Boston Marathon Team

They are having a 5k road race on June 14th, I’ll be there and would love some company.


Thank you, John! And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Here’s the link for you to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Training & Fundraising Update; Getting There, But Still Need Your Help

Together, we are doing a small but significant part to find a cure for cancer. Please consider sponsoring me- at any amount- in the 30th annual Pan-Mass Challenge, an incredible 2-day journey through the Bay state the first weekend in August. You may donate at http://pmc.org/DH0159.

Well, here we are in June. This is the month in which both fundraising and training kick into high gear. As I write this on June 11, my training mates and I have already done two 50-milers and a number of back-to-back rides. The video below is from a 43-mile ride on May 31. You’ll notice at the end (if you make it that far) that I suddenly realize that we’re about to enter June and there’s no turning back. I also have realized that I am in pretty good shape; I am feeling better physically after each ride, but I also know that I need to put in more miles to be truly ready for the Pan-Mass Challenge come August 1.

It is also the beginning of fundraising crunch time. I have been pleasantly surprised that I have kept ahead of last year’s pace, event though my minimum is $800 more than last year. However, the pace of donations picked up quickly last year, and in order to keep pace I need to continue to ask for your help.

Currently, my generous sponsors have me just under the half-way mark: $2,005 towards my $4,200 goal. Are those of you who have yet to join ready to help? Do I dare dream of reaching the PMC’s “Heavy Hitter” status by raising $6,000?

I cannot do it without your help. As you have seen on this blog, a number of fascinating people from all parts of my life have contributed to the PMC’s fight against cancer. Every dollar I raise goes directly to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Will you please join? MY fundraising page is at http://pmc.org/DH0159.

Pan-Mass Challenge Training; May 31, 2009 from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

Note: the quality of videos might change for the better sson. I have replaced my Flip Ultra camera with the new Flip Ultra HD. I am looking forward to seeing how it works out.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #7: Fran Berger

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

Though I have been using social media to raise money for the Pan-Mass Challenge, the people supporting me as sponsors have come from everywhere in my life. A person that has loomed very large in my life is Fran Berger, who served as my adviser at Emerson College in Boston, and just as important, as General Manager for student-run station WERS-FM, where I learned my original profession. For 18 years, Fran was teacher, mentor, counselor, den-mother, and a million other things to those of us who passed through WERS between 1980 and 1998.

My stint at WERS was marked by the development of my love for jazz music, the sharpening of my audio editing skills, and lessons in leadership as the station’s program director for a semester. My best memories were always hanging out in Fran’s office, where I ended up taking epic naps across from her desk during some of our “Live Music Week” fundraisers (I used to put my feet up on her desk- rude child- trapping her in her office while I snoozed), and where she once handed me the phone with the program director for WBUR-FM on the other end, leading to my first professional job in radio.

On June 6, 2009, as part of the WERS 60th anniversary celebration, Fran was one of the first group inducted into the new WERS Hall of Fame. It was my pleasure- and that of several classmates and students from other generations- to attend and see her honored for giving so much time to us at such an important time in our lives.

Students Honoring Fran Berger: Kelly Lawman, Fran, Jennifer Amerine, Me

Students Honoring Fran Berger: Kelly Lawman, Fran, Jennifer Amerine, Me

Now, Fran works for the New England Institute of Art and remains a part of many of her students’ lives. Donating to sponsor me in the PMC is just a small part of that. Fran has donated to several riders over the years, so I am delighted and honored that she has chosen to sponsor me the last two years. While she did not formally donate in someone’s name, she allowed me to share that she mother and sister-in-law to cancer (lung and breast cancer) so cancer has had an effect on her life as it has so many others.

Last? Fran’s answer to my question about what makes her “unique or interesting:”

I was on Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour (the precursor to today’s American Idol, in a Dixieland band that lost to a spoon player! How many people can claim that!


Thank you, Fran (for everything)! And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Here’s the link for you to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #6: Zena Weist

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.


There are some people in the “strictly social media” whom I can instantly identify as “Capital F” Friends, even if I have met them only once. One of those people is Zena Weist, trapped all the way over in Kansas City (OK, not trapped, sorry KC folks), whom I met at the 2008 Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) Symposium in December 2008, and who was part of the crew that helped recreate, in a way,
the “Bad Kids’ Table of the 2007 event.

I know Zena primarily from Twitter, though our conversations sneak over into Facebook from time to time, and her blog at http://nothingbutsocnet.blogspot.com/. When I asked her if she was donating in anyone’s honor, Zena shared with me that her mother is a lung and brain cancer survivor. But she has also turned her attention to other issues, including one very close to her, autism, in a post that I consider one of the “must-reads” of the year.

One last bit from Zena:

– Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

3 reasons:

  1. You asked
  2. It’s a great cause
  3. You asked


Thank you, Zena! And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Here’s the link for you to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #5: Frozen Pea Fund & Connie Reece

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

By the way– thanks to the generosity of sponsors so far, we are 45% to my minimum goal of $4,200 through the end of May!

frozenpeafund

Back in December 2007, I was sitting at a social media conference (the Society for New Communications Research Symposium and a friend monitoring Twitter noted with shock that a member of the community, Susan Reynolds, had just shared her diagnosis of breast cancer. What happened over the next several days, weeks and months was simply amazing. Rather than being a community of voyeurs or simply well-wishers, certain members took action.

Susan had taken to blogging frankly about her ordeal on her “Boobs on Ice” blog. Taking a cue from her use of bags of frozen peas as pain-relieving ice packs, the Frozen Pea Fund was born as a totally grassroots, social networking effort. For some time, “Frozen Pea Fridays” were a running theme on Twitter, with people trading in their usual Twitter photo avatars for modified “peavatars,” and donating $5 at a time- about the cost of two bags of frozen peas- to the Fund. The movement got popular, recognized by the American Cancer Society, and continues to contribute to help people with cancer, with Susan as the “unwilling poster girl” for the organization.

Connie Reece, another friend I have been lucky to meet through social media, has become the most recognizable face behind the Frozen Pea Fund. she has extended the fund’s generosity to efforts like my Pan-Mass Challenge participation, contributing as my sponsor for the second year, as Connie says, “in honor of Susan Reynolds and all our online friends who are sharing their cancer stories.”

I’ll let Connie speak directly some more:

The Frozen Pea Fund wants to encourage social networking connections to get involved in raising money to fight cancer. By sponsoring our online friends, and spreading the word about their efforts, we hope to raise awareness that individual efforts can make a difference in fighting this disease.


Thank you, Connie and everyone at the Frozen Pea Fund! And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Here’s the link for you to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #4: John Cass

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

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I consider John Cass to be part of my “social media” network of friends, but truthfully I met him just before I really dove headlong into social media, at a MITX technology awards event in 2005. Around that time he was also serving as the local chapter president of the American Marketing Association, so between that and his day-job duties i would run into him at several events, and more so once regular meetups like Social Media Club and the Social Media Breakfasts got started.

John is always good for a well-thought-out opinion on public relations, marketing and social media- many of which he pours out in his blog: http://pr.typepad.com.

Some more from John:

– Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

Thought it was a good cause, really like you and the work you do to support your local communities, such as the Newton Blog (note: I occasionally contribute to The Garden City Blog, curated by Kristine Munroe-Mahoney and my old colleague Chuck Tanowitz) , etc.

– Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting

At the beginning of August 2002 I drove 12,000 miles to Alaska and back on the AL-CAN and Caucasian Highway. We saw tons of cyclists making the return trip on the way up, the weather was summer on the way up, and we hit snow storms when we came back at the beginning of September (note: have a look at the map here to see how crazy this trip really was).


Thank you, John. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Here’s the link for you to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Training Update: First 50-Mile Ride

The weather has gotten better and the bike training has become more- well “intense” is not the word when you are having fun. And if I have not made it clear yet, I am having fun riding my bike, getting ready for the Pan-Mass Challenge, a two-day ride across Massachusetts to raise money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (please consider sponsoring me at http://pmc.org/DH0159).

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I managed to put in 100 miles in training rides, two of them with five local friends. Monday, we took a ride that I stretched out to 50 miles, my first ride of that length this year (my PMC route will be 165 miles over two days). The video below shows a little bit of that ride- much of it a sunnier version of last week’s ride through the farm country of Dover, Massachusetts.

Pan-Mass Challenge Training: First 50-Miler from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

Thanks to the generosity of many friends, we are 37% towards my $4,200 PMC fundraising goal. With your help, we can keep on track and raise the rest. Please sponsor me by donating any amount at http://pmc.org/DH0159.

Thank you!