Join us for our 8th Annual Live Music Silent Auction at Showcase Live at Patriot Place in Foxborough, featuring live music from THE Average White Band and Sugarfoot and the Brass Kicking Horns. Help Phil’s Phriends raise funds to fight cancer through the Pan Mass Challenge and the Jimmy Fund.

Tickets are only $25 per person and must be purchased in advance. Limited tickets are available, so please reserve your spot as soon as possible. To reserve tickets, click here.

We look forward to you joining us for a great event. The doors to Showcase Live will open at 6:00pm. At that time you will be able to order food and beverages, preview auction items and make initial bids. The Average White Band will take the stage at 8:00pm and play until 9:30pm. At that time, we will open the silent auction bidding for 1 hour. At 10:00pm Sugarfoot and the Brass Kicking Horns will take the stage and complete the evening.

All ticket sale proceeds bought from Phil’s Phriends will be donated to the PMC and Cancer Research. All tickets bought through the Showcase Live Box office will be for the Average White Band Show and will not be considered a donation. Auction item bidding will be open to the entire crowd at Show Case Live. Please help Phil’s Phriends support our young PMC pedal partner – Emily Taylor – by raising money for cancer research. We look forward to seeing you at the event and thank you for your support!

The Average White Band are widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands in the history of music. Though perhaps best known for their timeless instrumental mega-hit ‘Pick Up the Pieces’ the band’s strength actually lay in their consistently accomplished song-writing, stretching across several gold selling albums and multi-grammy nominations for the legendary Atlantic Records. Sugarfoot & The Brass Kickin’ Horns is a 7 piece band with male & female vocalists and one of the finest horns sections around. The band plays the absolute best funk and dance hits from all eras including Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Madonna, Journey and many more.

To get tickets, click here.

In addition to the auction items, we have added a special raffle item. The lucky winner will be treated to a 3 night/ 4 day all-inclusive stay in a One Bedroom Suite at Velas Vallarta Suite Resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Tickets will be sold at the door for $20/chance.

Here is a current list of the auction items that will be available on April 9 (check back frequently for updated list):

Item

Value

Two tickets to the Red Sox-Yankees game on October 3, 2010 (the last game of the season)

$150

Two tickets to the Red Sox-Rangers game on April 21, 2010.

$180

Baseball autographed by Jonathan Papelbon

$250

Homestead Resort – Hot Springs Virginia – Package Includes: 3 Night / 4 Day Stay for 2 with Breakfast for 2 daily, Afternoon Tea, Historical Tours, Service and Tax, Golf with Cart for 2 each day (6 rounds total).

$2,000

Miami Loews South Beach – 2 Night stay with Breakfast each day

$850

Westin Copley Place – Weekend Stay includes deluxe accommodations for two with breakfast (in The Huntington dining room) each day and tax

$800

Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe – All inclusive 4 night/5 day stay for two. Includes all food and beverage, taxes and gratuities

$2,400

Secrets St. James Montego Bay — three(3) night stay.

$1,000

Jam and Jellies basket from www.orchardstreetjams.com

$75

New England Patriots Corey Dillon autographed 8 x 10 photo

$60

Package of Show tickets from Showcase Live

 

Celtics suede Championship jacket

$150

Gift certificate for a Manicure and Pedicure at Willow Salon and Day Spa in Millis.

$56.00

Wellness Basket with an hour and a half massage, a chiropractic consultation, an in home cooking class, and a private yoga session.

$500

Taylor Swift Limited Edition Masterpiece Collage    

$350

Twilight Limited Edition Movie Masterpiece Collage

$400

Tim Thomas & Zdeno Chara Hand-Signed “Winter Classic” Hockey Pucks Lot

$275

The Boys of Boston Limited Edition Masterpiece Collage Featuring Bobby Orr, Ted Williams, & Larry Bird

$450

Boston Celtics Legends Limited Edition “Smoking Cigars” Masterpiece Collage

$450

Paul Pierce Hand-Signed Official NBA Basketball

$325

Boston Celtics’ Big 3: Then & Now Masterpiece Collage

$225

Tedy Bruschi Hand-Signed “Super Bowl 39” Photograph

$325

Fenway Park Limited Edition “Timeline” Masterpiece Featuring Actual Game Dirt & Park Brick

$275

Ted Williams Limited Edition “Retired Number” Masterpiece Featuring Actual Game Used Dirt From Fenway Park

$275

Yogi Berra Hand-Signed “With Babe Ruth” Photograph

$275

1980 US Hockey “Miracle on Ice” Team Hand-Signed Photograph

$600

Carlton Fisk Hand-Signed “Home Run” Photograph

$350

Jon Lester Hand-Signed “No-Hitter” Photograph

$275

Wes Welker Hand-Signed Photograph

$250

Robert Parish Hand-Signed Photograph

$200

Rajon Rondo Hand-Signed Photograph    

$200

Larry Bird Hand-Signed “Free Throw” Photograph

$275

Wes Welker Hand Signed Throwback Patriots Helmet

$650

Beer basket with assorted brews and snacks to go with them

$50

Sam Adams “Bucket of Cheer” — Includes two each of (hats, t-shirts, perfect pints, bottle openers) and one certificate good for 12 cases of Samuel Adams all tucked into a five quart logo’d galvanized bucket!

$350

Wine basket featuring an assortment of reds and whites.

$75

New home starter kit with the following items: Coffee Maker; Toaster; Crockpot; 3 cup chopper; and Soap magic dispenser

$100

 

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Orchard Street Jams has generously teamed up with Phil’s Phriends to create a very special fundraising opportunity. Beginning immediately, Orchard Street Jams will donate $1.50 for every 11.0 oz jar and $.50 for every 5.5oz jar of homemade jams and jellies purchased by April 9, 2010 to Phil’s Phriends.

Orchard Street Jams offers a variety of delicious home-made jams and jellies. The flavors change with the season and they use only home grown, local ingredients.

To purchase some truly fantastic jams and jellies and support a great cause, please click here. When ordering, please include Phils Phriends in the subject line. Purchases can be picked up at the April 9th event to avoid shipping charges or shipped via USPS. Paypal is available for your convenience.

Sometimes it is important to just sit back and think about what life is all about. If anything, riding in the PMC gives you that opportunity over the course of three days (and more if you take into consideration the letter writing campaigns and conversations). PMC 2009 did not let down in that area.

Phil’s Phriends 2009 was made up of 15 riders with 15 stories.  But among the individual efforts was one goal — the eradication of cancer.  As Jeff Nutting indicated in an e-mail to the team, there is a feeling of synergy on this team.  And as he noted, “We ride to try and make a difference and we ride for hope.”

Here are some of the things that stand out in my mind from the 2009 ride:

Meeting up with the team in Sturbridge and then riding together is key.  Julie phrased it best saying:  “These last four years have really taught me the meaning of the word team. I can’t stress enough how important you all are to me, laughing on the road, waiting for each other at the water stops, sitting together for our meals. I am always blown away by what a team can accomplish — there is no way I could ever pull this off alone.” 

Of course, in our sophisticated discourse, we learned and shared a lot of new phrases along the way.  Among them were: “More cowbell”; “Dropping the kiddies off at the pool”; “pain is temporary”; “Don’t draft me”.  They’re all colorful new additions to our vocabulary.

Seeing Phil’s wife Mary, their two children, and our other phriends and phamily at the Franklin water stop is a special moment.  We are reminded of our loss, but we see their growth and strength.  Brian will be playing football next year, and like his Dad, I’m sure he’ll be the most liked player on the turf.  Kelsey is going into 5th grade and has blossomed into a beautiful young girl.  And Mary continues to keep the MHS students on the right path.

The ride down Cherry Street is always memorable.  The street was colorful as ever, and the energy that is emitted by the people there makes the 27 mile ride to the lunch stop seem easier.  It was also a nice touch seeing that the band on the street has moved into acoustic rock.  I did miss not seeing Jean dressed up in her clown costume.  She was ill on the morning of the ride and couldn’t be out there, but we were thinking of her.  All of her signs made it out to the side of the road, however.

And speaking of signs, a lot of great people put messages out there for us along the way.  Some hold signs while others post them on their lawns or mailboxes.  Whereever they are, it’s nice to know that people are thinking of the ride and take the time to make the pathway brighter for everyone.

Meeting up with our pedal partner Emily and her family was rejuvinating.  We were about 85 miles into the ride and exhausted when we saw Emily in a Phil’s Phriends shirt with a bright smile and matching straw hat.  She was surrounded be her family in orange.  Michelle summed it up nicely noting that our being fortunate enough to get to know the Taylor family has been huge.  We look forward to staying in touch and watching as Emily continues to thrive and crank through her treatments.  We received a heartwarming note from Emily’s Mom at the end of the ride:

WOW… We are so very proud !! You guys are our ultimate inspiration. Tears are welling as I type. Please give a huge hug to everyone for us. Em felt like a princess yesterday… We love you all and feel like we’ve know you for years. Thank you for all you do….team emily oxox

Watching Ethan grow as a rider and participate with the team was encouraging.  As his Mom wrote:

I can NOT tell you how much it meant to me that my Phriends accepted Ethan, a 13-year old, into the fold of our team.  I was so nervous, writing that first email back in March, asking if Ethan could tag along on our Sunday team ride.  I really wasn’t sure if I’d be dragging the team down, or changing the dynamic, or breaking an unspoken team rule by adding my kid to the mix.  He’d never ridden before, wasn’t used to riding such a skinny, light bike, and was probably as nervous about the whole thing as I was.  This is a kid that has been taken under the collective wing of Phil’s Phriends. 

The isolation on the roads on the Sunday morning ride from Bourne to Wellesley was different from our experiences in the past along the Cape route.  Those gaps were filled in nicely by our teammates.  And when we did catch up with pockets of people along the way, the parrot squeezes were in full force.

The one downside of the weekendwas meeting up with the doctor (I’ll affectionately refer to him as the “order-giver”) on Sunday morning.  We were riding a nice paceline led by Michelle when we were approached by a 3-pack of riders led by one obnoxious order giver who was riding in the caboose position.  They proceed to pass us, pulled in front of Michelle, and then slowed down.  Of course we were perplexed and Michelle maneuvered into a re-pass, and got out in front of the group.  The hoots and hollars from the order-giver resonated.  With Michelle in front, the 3-pack slinked in to a paceline to draft off of Michelle.  I, being next in line, proceeded to nuzzle up to the back tire of the order-giver and enjoy the draft.

Within seconds, the order-giver turns around to tell me not to draft.  “I don’t like people near me,” he barked.  I couldn’t help but wonder what he was doing on a group ride with 5,000 others if he didn’t want people near him.  It turns out that Denise had a similar experience when she attempted to “draft” the order-giver.

As luck would have it, the order-giver turned out to be the same obnoxious person who turned us off during the opening ceremonies with his comments about smoking and obesity. 

Despite that one downer, it was a great weekend.  And we were even able to turn that event into a laughable story.  As Neil Young sang:  “Don’t let it bring you down, it’s only castles burning.  Just find someone whose turning, and you will come around.”

Kris’s note from Sunday night was a touching conclusion, and good way to wrap it up:

I also wanted to say I am so proud of all of you. This weekend has two meanings for me and the first being for Phil.  He and Mary became part of our life back in 1990 with their friendship and then the ugly cancer piece.  Becoming part of Phil’s Phriends had a huge impact on Bob and his desire to help erase cancer and the personal goal to get in shape.

The second part for me is the anniversary of Bob’s death.  It is ironic that he passsed away during PMC time.  He was so happy doing the PMC and that always gives me great comfort.  The weekend is a struggle of happy and sad emotions but I cannot imagine not spending the weekend with anyone else than Phil’s Phriends and famly.

I am so proud of all of you for riding hard and doing good for the world of cancer!!! 

PMC 2009 was another memorable weekend and I thank everyone for being a part of this effort and touching my life.  Billy Starr said it best when he wrote that a “unified force of people made whole by the belief in a single mission has the ability to improve the human condition.”

Here is the 2009 Phil’s Phriends team at the starting line in Sturbridge. This photo was taken at approximately 5:10 a.m. (which accounts for the tired look on our faces). At this point, we were facing the prospect of 110 miles to Bourne.

I’m happy to report that we all made it safe and sound, and did our part to raise funds for the fight against cancer. You can see more of our adventures on Flickr by clicking here .

A few days ago, I sent out a note to the Milford High Class of 1979 about the PMC and Phil’s Phriends’ ride. Phil was the President of that class. A few hours later, I received a note from Joanne, a classmate and friend of Phil which I must share:

Hi Jeff:

I ‘m forwarding to you a speech my daughter wrote and gave at last year’s National Honor Society Banquet . She was asked to speak on “Character” . As I read your email this morning and remembered Phil , my mind wandered to how much I have to be thankful for, I have been blessed. Thank you for remembering Phil in this way and give my best to all his Phriends through your travels.

Joanne Featherstone

We are all dealt a different hand of cards. We are given some high cards, and some low, some good, and others bad, but it is how we use the cards we are given that decide whether we will win or lose. Life, like a game of cards, is often unexpected and how we react to these unforeseen occurrences often defines our character.

My family was dealt a bad card about eight months ago when my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. While this event brought about an unforeseeable amount of emotional pain and struggle, it also taught me a lot about a person’s character. My dad is one of the strongest people I know, and in the last few months I have seen his true character. He is brave, loving, and he is also human. The latter fact did not hit me until the day my parent’s told me about my dad’s cancer. I was scared, upset, and most of all confused. All my life my dad was my superhero; he was supposed to be invincible, but even my dad couldn’t escape this horrific disease.

On February 8, 2008 my parents told my brother and me that my dad had cancer; and that day he proved he was still the superhero we thought he was when we were kids. That day revealed my dad’s character, his strength, and his love for my family and me. Character is often defined by a person’s words, but it is a person’s actions that truly exemplify their personality. My dad sought help when he knew he was no longer in control of his own body; he sought out doctors, family, and friends to help him understand his cancer, and my dad remained optimistic throughout the days leading up to his surgery. The actions of my father taught me about his character, but it was the actions of the people closest to me, and the people closest to my family that taught me even more.

As John Lennon said “I get by with a little help from my friends” Last year, my friends became my rock, and it became clear to me that the true character of an individual, better yet a true friend, is revealed when life deals you an unexpected card. The way my friends reacted to my bad card, displayed their personality, their true strength, and their true kindness. You can never understand the generosity of another human being until you truly need a friend by your side. My friends reacted to my dad’s cancer by being there for me, allowing me to be selfish, and by texting me non-stop as I waited for my dad to come out of surgery.

Character is defined as the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing. Those features and traits that we all possess are defined by the way we react to the cards we are dealt. A really bad card that turned into an incredible hand initiated my appreciation of a character. I learned about the character of my family, my friends, and myself through this horrific ordeal. We all need to learn how to react to the hands we are given, and turn them a positive aspect of our personality. Our inner qualities are revealed through an infinite number of factors, but remember that you always have the power to define yourself. This anonymous quote speaks true to my idea of character; “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

Reading that reminded me why we ride! It’s off to Sturbridge in a few hours, Godspeed.

There must be an easier way to fight cancer. That’s what was going through my mind this morning as I was trudging along on my 50 mile journey in yet another rainy Sunday morning.

But the fact is, there isn’t an easy way. Cancer doesn’t pause in a time of recession; and its symptoms are not dependant on the weather. Cancer doesn’t offer respite to father’s on Father’s Day, and it doesn’t take it easy on anyone affected by the disease. So how are we to expect perfect weather for our training rides? If anything, riding in crappy weather helps develop empathy, and helps me understand that there is a great deal of work to be done, no matter the conditions.

The goal in starting off this morning was to hit the 50 mile mark. With the ride just six weeks away, that’s a good benchmark. That prospect looked grim as we faced yet another forecast for rain. I had almost given up on riding today, and was leaving the parking lot at 6:32 am, when I saw Julie pulling in to join me. She gave me that look, and said: “Where are you going? We have to ride.” I dutifully turned around, returned to the starting line, and plotted along with her on the journey. Our path is shown at the right. I’m glad she showed up!

The rain held off well, until we made it to the halfway point in Natick (of course). It was a steady drizzle, but wasn’t bad enough to abandon the ride. Besides, what were we going to do about it when we were 25 miles from home at 8 am on a Sunday morning? So we persevered, chugged on, and made it home in good time. We had a 15.9 mph pace, which was pretty good considering the conditions. We stopped and rested for a total of 14 minutes, and made it back to the club by 10 am so we could both go home and enjoy a Happy Father’s Day.

I learned a good lesson today. No matter what the conditions, we have to continue this work and we have to continue to raise money to fight cancer. We have met some very interesting people along this journey and we will continue to do so. It will be so much more special when this pedaling brings us closer to a cure.

The Pedal Partner Program is an inspiring way for PMC cyclists to connect with pediatric oncology patients of the Jimmy Fund Clinic – the very children who receive more advanced treatments and state-of-the-art care as a result of the funds raised by the PMC.

Through this program, registered PMC teams are matched up with and ride in honor of Jimmy Fund Clinic patients, whom we affectionately refer to as our “Pedal Partners.” This year we have the honor and privilege to have Emily as our pedal partner.

Emily is a wonderful and vibrant 6 year old who just began Kindergarten! She loves playing outside with her 4 year old brother Sam and her best friend stuffed animal dog Bailey!

On June 2, 2008, following a sinus infection that she couldn’t seem to shake, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and immediately entered Children’s Hospital Boston for treatment. After a long 52 days in the hospital she made it through Induction, Consolidation I, CNS Therapy and is currently at home and receiving treatment on an out-patient basis at the Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana Farber until at least September of 2010.

You can follow her progress online at: http://www.carepages.com/carepages/EmilyPTaylor.