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Mulhern sets lofty goal for final Pan-Mass ride

Date: 7/13/2010

July 12, 2010

By Chris Maza

Reminder Assistant Editor

LONGMEADOW -- It's been one sweet ride for Tim Mulhern.

A Longmeadow resident and partner at Springfield law firm Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C., Mulhern will take part in his 17th and final Pan Massachusetts Challenge (PMC) on Aug. 7 and 8.

The PMC, a two-day bike-a-thon from Sturbridge to Provincetown, is run every year with the funds raised going to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The fundraiser, now into its 31st year, has collected more than $30 million for cancer treatment and research.

"I've raised over $100,000 [myself] and I'm very proud of that," Mulhern said. "I'm moving on to focus on some other things."

Like many who take part in or volunteer at the event, the PMC has meant a great deal to Mulhern for personal reasons. He lost his father to pancreatic cancer in 1986.

"In addition to my dad dying of cancer, it's important [to me] because as I have aged and watched people around me get cancer, there's one place that people go for treatment and come back from and say it's an incredible place and how incredible the care is and that's Dana-Farber," Mulhern said.

One thing that has struck Mulhern over the years is how many people he knew that were affected by cancer, including the father of a boy on one of his son's sports teams whose father also died of pancreatic cancer.

"I had known him for a long time and I never knew about that part of his life," Mulhern said. "It's amazing to see people you know either from the town of Longmeadow or people you have know from work. So many people have had family member who were sick or have died of cancer."

But on top of that, the fact that the proceeds go directly to Dana-Farber makes the event an important one for him.

According to the PMC Web site, "Since 2007, the PMC has donated 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund."

"A lot of times with charities you worry about where the money is going with organizational cost and overhead," Mulhern said. "But with Dana-Farber, I know that if I raise a dollar, they're going to get a dollar."

And then, Mulhern said, there's the experience of being part of the PMC.

"As for the bike riding part, I enjoy the challenge. It's two days of fairly long rides. But the part that makes this different than just two days of long rides is that the people who support it are incredible," Mulhern said. "People along the route get really into it and they really like supporting the idea of raising money for cancer research because either they have, or someone they know, has had cancer. It's very cool."

In his final year, Mulhern has set a lofty goal of $10,000 in donations. Those interested in supporting Mulhern's final tour may go online to Mulhern will also accept personal checks made out to PMC.