RAAM is pleased to announce that Team Shannon's Soldiers is the recipient of the first annual Lon Haldeman Award for excellence in charitable fundraising. Pat Mahoney of Phoenix, Az was the driving force behind this team's effort that raised over $650,000 for the Children's Tumor Foundation.
Mahoney's daughter, Shannon, has neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder affecting a child's chromosomes, which can cause tumors, learning disabilities, blindness, deafness, and a higher likelihood of cancer. He has raised funds for NF research for 16 years. However, Mahoney's fundraising associated with his RAAM effort was far beyond anything he had accomplished before. But, isn't that what RAAM inspires in people?
Mahoney learned of RAAM for the first time only 51 weeks prior to the race start. He immediately recognized the enormity of RAAM, and felt it was the perfect platform to set his charitable efforts apart from the norm. Mahoney is a real estate developer and gathered what he called his “A-Team” of 15 business associates to solicit donations on his behalf. Mahoney's significant personal contribution paved the way for the formula to far exceed everyone's expectations.
If only his cycling team had of come together as easily. Mahoney had the initial support from his local teammate, John Asher, but didn't complete his team until the last minute with family friends Peter Alexandre and Dan Schmidt, from California. Mahoney is relatively new to cycling, and was worried that their team would struggle to meet the deadline. In retrospect, he was surprised how fast a group of four riders, “in reasonable shape” could cross the country.
At the finish line, Mahoney indicated RAAM was a “one-time deal.” His driving motivation for participating in RAAM was to raise funds for the Children's Tumor Foundation. However, after two months of continuing support and excitement from his local community, the passion and possibilities of the RAAM experience have grown. We hope to see Pat Mahoney, and his team of Shannon's Soldiers in RAAM again some day.
About Lon Haldeman
Lon Haldeman's cycling achievements in many ways defined the sport of ultracycling. Yet, when you meet Lon on one of the PAC Tours that he leads what comes through is not his cycling prowess, but his humbleness and helpfulness toward others.