Most of us have been tuned into the Olympics this week, watching our national sporting heroes take medals in the pool and on the mat. But there’s a sporting event coming up this weekend that’s nearer and dearer to my heart than the Olympics – the Pan Mass Challenge, a cycling race across Massachusetts that raises money to help fight cancer. At BrandFiller, we’ve been chronicling the progress of one team – Make Way For Molly – as it gears up for the race this year (collection of stories here).
Over the last five years Make Way For Molly has raised $377,884.01. This year, the team’s annual fundraising gala raised more than $15,000, thanks to the broad support of the team’s home town – Newburyport, Mass. That’s an increase of about $3K over last year’s fundraising. Much of the credit for this event goes to Joan Barlow – she’s organized and run the event for several years now. There are a host of others who put in a lot of time and energy to make the event happen, but without Joan coordinating things it would never come to life.
The team also added a few new riders over the years. As you might recall, the Make Way For Molly Team was started by Ted Callahan a few years back when his daughter, Molly, was diagnosed with cancer. Molly is in great health now and she participates each year in the training and fundraising activities. Ted created the team and recruited two of his closest friends, his oldest daughter, his son and his brother-in-law Mike Barlow to ride the Pan Mass in 2006. Over the years the team increased in size to include Mike’s oldest son Sam, and this year Mike’s younger son, Jake, will join the race for the first time. I checked in with Jake earlier this summer to see how his training was going and he seemed pretty confident about the ride. I’m sure Jake and the rest of the team are looking forward to all the fun and fatigue they’re going to face this weekend.
Good luck Make Way For Molly! May the wind be at your back for the entire ride. And thank you for everything you’ve done with this race to raise money and awareness to fight this disease. You are redefining the meaning of sports heroes.