Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #3: Shawn Ashe

This is the third in 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

Wah-Tut-Ca Scout Reservation

Wah-Tut-Ca Scout Reservation

PMC Heroes #3: Shawn Ashe

This year, I have seen far more participation in my Pan-Mass Challenge efforts by people outside my hardcore “social media” community, from all corners of my life. This includes more people I met in my youth, when I was very active in the Boy Scouts, particularly the local Order of the Arrow lodge (Wannalancit #451!) and our camp, Wah-tut-Ca Scout Reservation. As teenage members of out local lodge, we learned the leadership skills that helped us excel in high school, college and into our professional lives, and became a tight-knit group into our forties (and older!).

Shawn Ashe is one of these Scouting friends; one I have become reacquainted with through Facebook (this seems to be coming up a lot this year). Shawn has remained in the Greater Lowell (Massachusetts) era, and to my delight is very involved in his local community to the extent of managing a blog dedicated to municipal issues, Dracut Forum ( He has also dedicated his time to being a foster parent, “working to improve the lives of children in the care of the state.”

Also from Shawn:

I sponsored you because of our mutual history at Camp Wah-Tut-Ca. I’ve always believed that place helped create people with good values, and your effort shows that.

Thank you, Shawn. 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: Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes 2: Ted McEnroe

This is the second in 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

ted_and_the_ring#2: Ted McEnroe

Ted McEnroe is the Director of Digital Media at New England Cable News (NESN). He also blogs for himself at Yankee 2.0 ( I met Ted at several Boston-area social media events, and to show you how thick I am, I did not know he was married to another new friend, Rachel Happe, until a few events into our acquintance. No matter.

Ted was one of the first sponsors in this year, and shortly thereafter he told me that he signed up to ride the PMC with Team NECN (and of course I reciprocated). Not coincidentally, NECN is the media sponsor of the Pan-Mass Challenge, and they also provide a large team of riders. Ted manages the team’s site,, which has a lot of great content. Ted told me: “It is actually watching it all come together that inspired me to ride.”

Also from Ted:

“I sponsored you because I know you and your commitment to the PMC, and I have seen first-hand the good that the work of you and 5000 others like you (and this year, me) can do for cancer research.”

“I hadn’t really heard of the PMC until I started working at NECN 5 years ago on PMC weekend. It blows me away each and every year.”

“I’m giving to you in no one’s particular honor – I am riding in many ways for my father in law, who I never met – but there are so many stories, and so many reasons to give that picking one seems too hard. So I’m giving because I can.”

“One interesting fact about me when it comes to the PMC. I’m just like anyone else out there, whether they’re riding, volunteering or just sitting at home.
Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way – we need to keep trying until we can rewrite that sentence.”

Thank you, Ted. 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: Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Update: Zingin’ in the Rain

We have passed the one-third milestone in fundraising! We still have nearly $2,800 to go, though! Please help fight cancer by sponsoring me in the Pan-Mass Challenge:

Pan-Mass Challenge bike training continues! Last weekend, I did my first back-to-back rides, important, as the PMC itself is a back-to-back affair, about 80 miles each day for me. Saturday, I did another 30+ mile ride to Walden pond with my friend Keith, while a bigger group, fellow riders Mitch (who dropped out due to constant inner tube failure, a sign of things to come), Stephen and Ed, joined me Sunday for a trip through beautiful Dover, Massachusetts.

As you see from this video (and others), I tend to keep us riders out of it and let you enjoy the scenery through our eyes.

Other highlights:

  • Training in the pouring rain; it rained hard and steady for most of the ride, but “You only get wet once.”
  • Falling and breaking my front derailleur; didn’t get that on tape, but it was as fun as it sounds. I finally forgot that I was wearing cleats and just toppled over when I came to a stop. High comedy.
  • Having a “wardrobe malfunction.” Again, not on camera (you’re welcome), though it is mentioned.
  • Taking a little wrong turn. That wasn’t so bad, but it’s not a ride with me if we don’t miss something.
  • Running out of batteries in my Flip cam. Hey, it happens. Don’t you like sudden endings though?

All in all, a great ride (seriously).

PMC Training; May 17, 2009- Rainy 30-Miler from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

Again, thanks to all the great sponsors who have taken us this far. Please consider joining them by clicking here to donate any amount to help fight cancer through the Pan-Mass Challenge. Thanks!

My Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes 1: Chip Griffin

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.

First up:
#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.

Those of you who would like to join this stellar group of generous people, please consider pledging any amount to fight cancer, by going to

Thank you!

Pan-Mass Challenge Update; April & First 30-Miler

UPDATE: New link for sponsor page:

It has been a while since I have posted an update on my preparations for the Pan-Mass Challenge, a two-day ride across Massachusetts. I am riding for the second year, raising money to help fight cancer. A few notes:

  • I have been overwhelmed by the response so far to my request for sponsorships. At this point, I have raised $1,335 towards my $4,200 goal. That’s about 30%, and well ahead of last year’s pace, even accounting for the extra money I am required to raise this year.
  • Of course, that means I have 70% left to raise. Will you help by sponsoring? The link is
  • I have been equally impressed given the tough economy. If you find you cannot donate, you can still help; just pass on the link to a few friends or family. The Pan-Mass Challenge raises millions of dollars each year to fight cancer. Every dime goes straight to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (corporate sponsors fund PMC organizational costs). Again, that link:
  • With the improving weather, I have begun some longer rides. Below is a video of some highlights (please define that term loosely) of that ride to Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. The legs are feeling good, and I will be increasing my rides as we get closer to the PMC ride in August

Pan-Mass Challenge Training- May 5, 2009 from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

Thank you to all who have helped- and will help- me reach my riding and fundraising goals for the Pan-Mass Challenge. If you have not sponsored me yet, please consider a small pledge at, and please pass the link along.

Pan-Mass Challenge Update- Back in the Saddle!

Spring has arrived in New England, and with it the promise of occasional days warm enough to venture out on a bicycle. For me, that means starting the outdoor training for the Pan-Mass Challenge (please sponsor me by clicking here), a two-day ride across Massachusetts that raises money for life-saving cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Those of you who have followed my posts know I have already been doing some indoor training, adopting spin classes as my bicycling substitute. I credit Liz Page in particular with offering me a place in her classes and whipping me into shape (and I should note that her husband, Jesse, has also offered a place in his classes. I hope this isn’t some kind of spousal challenge as to who can kill me first. If I make it to Jesse’s class- and especially if I make it back- I will report).

After a short test-ride, much of which was spent figuring out how to operate this new-fangled bike I got, I got out this past weekend with some friends who are also riding the PMC, and got our first “real” ride in- 25 miles, and all seemed to go well.

Here is my first training video to give you a quick (3 minutes) idea of how things go on the roads. I’m still working on securing my Flip camera better, and I’m not working at all on my editing technique, but please have a watch and tell me what you think.

Pan-Mass Challenge – First Training 2009 from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

(Click here for the YouTube link in case you are on a device that can get YouTube but not Vimeo video).

Fundraising Update
Remarkably, I have been blessed by wonderful friends from all parts of my life who have already become sponsors (click here to become a sponsor yourself). With the rough economy and the fact that I have committed to raise $800 more than last year, I am very happy to say that my fundraising total is way ahead of last year’s pace.

So far, you have helped me raise $1,180 towards my $4,200 goal! For perspective, last year at this time we had raised $725 (and figured I would need $895 to keep that pace for 2009). Not only are we ahead of the pace I set for this year, we are already ahead of the pace for April as well.

That does not mean we are done, of course. There is still more than $3,000 (and many miles) to go, so we continue.

OK, enough with the numbers.

Please consider sponsoring me in the Pan-Mass Challenge to help fight cancer. Click on this link to go to my sponsor page:

If you have already given (thank you!) or cannot for any reason, please forward this post and the fundraising link to your friends.

As riders we all feel the effect of your support in the outpouring of thank you’s from cancer survivors, their family and friends all along the route. Those thank you’s are for you. I’m just some guy riding a bike and having a blast doing it.

However you choose to show your support– thank you!

Pan-Mass Challenge Update: Feb 15, 2009

The Pan-Mass Challenge is still more than five months away, but I have had an eventful couple of weeks in preparation.

Fundraising is Off to a Great Start: Thanks to some very generous folks (who are probably reading this), I am actually ahead of my fundraising pace of last year. I am not resting, though, as I have set a goal that is $800 higher than last year, and still have a long way to go.

Please click this link to join the great folks who have already sponsored me. Any amount is welcome. All money raised goes to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

I know it’s a tough economy and not everyone can give. Another way to help is if you can’t sponsor this year, pass on the link to a few friends; maybe someone else can. Plus, moral support is equally important.

The Frozen Pea Fund: Once again, Connie Reece and the Frozen Pea Fund has joined the ranks of sponsors with a generous gift. The Frozen Pea Fund was started in honor of an online friend, Susan Reynolds, whose sudden fight with breast cancer she shared on her blog, “Boobs on Ice.” The online community, of which I am proud to be a very small part, has rallied around Susan and the fund, which continues to raise money to support the fight against cancer, and encouraging others who are doing the same. Thanks Connie and Susan!

Training: More Online Friends Come to Help: At the behest of some of my friends who are also doing the PMC, I started to attend spinning classes. I spent last winter doing a lot of indoor biking to stay ready for the spring thaw and “real” biking, but spinning is another level altogether. The first class at my local YMCA was tough, but the person who really started to beat me into shape was Liz Page another local friend I know from the online world, and who also happens to be a certified spinning teacher (as is her husband Jesse). Liz kindly invited me to her class, and proceeded to kick my butt relentlessly for a solid hour. I’m ion much better shape for it though, and am hoping to recover in time to catch her next weekend class. By the way, if you are local to Boston and belong to any of the gyms listed in the link, go check out her schedule.


My New Ride: Last year, I rode the Pan-Mass Challenge on a 17-year-old steel frame bike. The old bike has served me well, but I decided an upgrade was long overdue. Enter (again) Twitter, and a fellow PR professional named Mike Hollywood, who connected me with Landry’s Cycles, and manager Mark Vatour. Mark was a huge help (and didn’t even laugh when I took my first fall wearing cleats- that’s right, I went without cleats last year too), and I’m looking forward to hitting the roads soon.


Thanks again for indulging me. And thanks again to all my sponsors!

Pan-Mass Challenge Update February 2

A mere six months to go until this year’s Pan-Mass Challenge, and I though I would share a few updates on my preparations:

– First off, please consider donating to sponsor me in the ride. Click here to join the ranks of my generous sponsors. All proceeds (every dime!) go to the Dana-Farber for research onto cures and treatment for cancer. I have a bit more on fundraising updates below.

– Jackie Herskovitz of Teak Media and her crew conducting PR for the PMC were kind enough to supply me with the nifty new “30th Ride” logo, shown here and in the margin of the blog.

– Speaking of the 30th Ride, the official PMC blog is publishing a “30 Rides in 30 Weeks” series– they are up to 1983 at this writing (that’s the fourth PMC). It’s worth a look to see how the ride has developed from 36 riders raising $10,000 in 1980 to the 5,000-plus riders who raised $35 million for cancer research last year.

– Training update. This past weekend, my friend Stephen finally talked me into taking a spinning class. Though I trained and rode the PMC last year, I managed to avoid spinning classes somehow. There is no comparison between a spinning class and indoor training on your own. I still don’t know what hurt more, though- the class, or getting up at 7 am on a Saturday. I guess I’ll be even better prepared for the big ride this year.

– Fundraising update. I thought I would compare this year to last. For one thing, I committed to raise $3,400 last year and made my goal – thanks to many of you- the day before the ride. This year, I am committed to raise at least $4,200, and while this economy may make things challenging, I think enough people believe in this cause that I will be successful again.

Last year, I had raised more money by the end of January- $355 to $270 this year, but this year I already have nine sponsors (thank you!) to last year’s three. What’s more encouraging is that I only have two repeat sponsors so far, and seven new ones.

A big difference this year seems to be that there are a lot of new, different people on Facebook, from parts of my life (High School, former jobs, college) that are not represented on Twitter, where most of my donors came from last year.

From a social media experiment angle, I am very interested to see how things go. Again, please consider joining me by being a sponsor– those of you can’t or already have, please cheer me along, and i will try to give interesting updates as I go.

To sample last year’s updates, have a look at this link.

Uttercast: Pan-Mass Challenge Update


The Pan-Mass Challenge isn’t until August, and my bike remains neglected in my dark, not exactly photogenic basement, but I already have a couple of things to report:

1) Within 310 days of registering, I had already raised $150$225 from you generous folks! A great first step towards my goal of $4,200. To donate and help fight cancer, please go to:…fts/DH0159

2) I was flattered to have my recent blog post on "Why I Ride" featured via a link in the official PMC blog!…nt-to-pmc/

3) My Facebook group nearly doubled in membership. My, Facebook has grown. If you belong to the group, watch there for more updates (and begging).

I’m looking forward to a great season- thanks all for your support!

Mobile post sent by DougH using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

Why I Ride the Pan-Mass Challenge

For the second year, I have signed up to ride the Pan-Mass Challenge, an annual 2-day bicycle ride across much of Massachusetts.

Why do I ride? Well, it’s easy to say it’s for a good cause, because it is. The PMC raises money for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It’s a well-run, heavily-sponsored, huge event that certainly doesn’t need me to be successful. But yes, it’s for a great cause, and I hope people who sponsor me feel they are doing something wonderful that might save a life.

PMC 2008: Wally and Me

Am I riding in honor of someone who has either died of or survived cancer? While I certainly know many people who have been affected by cancer at some point, some of whom are close to me, I have never thought of it that way. I suspect cancer survivors that I do know personally aren’t going to ask me to ride in their name. I could be wrong, but I am not presumptuous that way.

As I say in my profile on the PMC site, I’m just some guy on a bike. I like to ride, and always wanted to push myself to do something more grueling than my 20-30 mile touring rides. I don’t want to pretend I’m better than someone else because I am doing this ride for a good cause. I am merely one of thousands. If you want true inspiration, read about how Billy Starr began the PMC. Not many of the riders can match that story.

PMC 2008: Day 1 Water Stop

So what do I get out of doing this? i like to ride my bike, and it’s a personal challenge. I care very much about the cause, but I learned from the many notes I got last year that the people who sponsored me got even more out of it. Several mentioned stories of loved ones who had succumbed to cancer, others who had survived the disease themselves (or even both). Others still had done the ride in the past and still wanted to support it. One donation was even from a group, the Frozen Pea Fund, that itself exists to raise money to fight cancer in the name of an online friend, Susan Reynolds. In fact, I just went through the notes from last year’s sponsors, and there are several amazing stories.

A few memories that stand out for me:

– Training with my friends, and feeling a bit bad that I often left my partner behind in the crowd during the actual ride. We both made new friends constantly as a result.

– The people who come out to cheer the riders all along the route. Incredible support. Again, a number of them are attached to the cause through a loved one suffering from cancer.

– Camping out in left-center field at the Mass Maritime Academy in Bourne. This year, I will not turn back to Wellesley, but forge ahead to the traditional Provincetown finish.

PMC Reveille at Mass Maritime Acad

-The volunteers. The riders are admonished to show appreciation, and everyone who touches the PMC should give out big thanks to the people who give their time in logistics, without whom the ride is not possible.

PMC 2008: Day 1 Water Stop

– Passing the 50 mile mark on the first day (which would total about 85 miles). My longest training ride was 50 miles, so I felt I was entering uncharted waters. I was fine.

– Wondering why the NESN (New England Sports Network) camera truck kept passing me, until I realized I was riding smack in the middle of a group of the Red Sox players’ wives. I had a nice conversation with Kathryn Nixon, wife of former Red Sox player Trot Nixon. it’s amazing that she still takes part, even though she no longer has a formal connection with the Red Sox.

– Flagging in spirit and energy in the second day, until I caught up to a group of “Team 9” riders (again, sponsored by the Red Sox). this group selflessly let me hang with them, a real morale boost that helped me finish that long second day. Only some time after I joined the group did I realize they were some real “heavy hitters” – Dana Farber cancer researchers and corporate sponsors.
PMC 2008: My Team 9 Rescue Crew

Finishing was a great highlight also– but just as thrilling was making my fundraising goal the day before the ride began. This year, I am raising at leat $4,200. will you help? Just click this link to go to my fundraising page. No matter how you support me, thank you!