As many of you already know, the Pan Mass Challenge has become my “cause”. This journey began three years ago when I was heartbroken to lose a beloved neighbor and friend Dawn Moses after a 4 year battle with intestinal cancer. A band of grieving neighbors decided to do something to help mend our hearts and give hope to those touched by cancer, so we created the Turkey Hill Gang and rode in the PMC.

After my first PMC, I knew I was hooked. The outpouring of generosity, good will, and gratitude (the 3G's) was overwhelming.  Seeing the thousands of riders and volunteers involved was astonishing. Seeing the multitudes who came out to line the roadways and cheer us on for hours during their summertime weekend was so very moving. Knowing that every penny of the money donated, goes to Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute was empowering.

It is difficult to ask people for money. I’ve never felt comfortable doing it, and learned early in life I would never make a good salesperson. Asking for donations to the PMC is not easy, but because I see the efficiency of this operation and the advancements in research and improvements in care Dana Farber is able to provide as a result, it’s easier. You, my St. Paul family, have made it easier for me to reach my goal and then some. I’ve raised $8,320 and counting this year! St Paul contributed $2,600 to that amount!  I am grateful to each and every one of you and not just those who donated but all of you who thought of me and prayed for my safety and well being that weekend. Believe me when I tell you I felt it with each push of the pedal.

Being a part of a team means that the donation totals for each are right there on our webpage for everyone to see ... and compare. Now most of these team mates have been athletes their whole lives and athletes are competitive by nature. The past two years I raised an average amount, nothing to make anyone take note. This year however, I raised enough in donations to raise a few eyebrows. “It’s that church of hers” and “those religious people are more likely to give” are a couple of the things I heard people say as they tried to explain my "amount."  I am so proud to be a part of “that church” and not just to boost my standing as a PMCer. I am proud to be part of a loving, supportive, believing community in St. Paul Lutheran Church. It is my home where every Sunday I am so fortunate to hear an inspiring sermon and catch up with friends and greet newcomers and maybe if I’m lucky I get to hold a relatively new human.

Thank you all for being part of “that church”. Thank you for being a part of my ride.

Peace Taryn