Raising Money to Fund Cancer Research? There's an App for That!

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Pan-Mass Challenge

Raising Money to Fund Cancer Research? There's an App for That!

The PMC iphone app now on sale

With in the last two years, Eric Fontana of Shrewsbury lost his father and aunt to cancer. And then, it seemed as if cancer was affecting his friends. Fontana wanted to do something. Then a friend told him about the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge. Without hesitation, Fontana signed up to ride. The 47-year-old married, father of three, starting spinning classes in the winter and biking this spring. The training and exercise has helped him lose weight and feel great, he says. When it came time to fundraise, Fontana, a software consultant,  put his computer skills to work. "I know that I have a lot of money to raise and a friend suggested I make an (iphone) app,"Fontana said. "I drew it out and with my son's help we mapped out plans for an app." Fontana dove into building the application for use on the iphone – it took dozens and dozens of hours over a three week span to get the app ready. Fontana purchased a license and got approval – after multiple drafts – from Apple to sell the app on iTunes.

The PMC App

The cool, new app is a first for the PMC. The $1.99 fee goes directly to support Fontana's PMC fundraising campaign.

Rider profile page on the new app

The app is designed for riders and volunteers as well as all of their family members, friends and supporters. It contains a variety of features including rider profiles, team links, and an easy-to-use, one-touch thank you note feature that send emails to donors. The app has a built-in GPS feature to allow riders to "check in" at any  location and enabling friends to follow the rider along the route. It has a social network component that allows riders to become connected and communicate with each other. It can help teams schedule training rides and individual riders meet up with other cyclists.  

Check in and track riders on the route

To use the app, PMC riders will log in with the same username and password as on the PMC.org site. Fontana said the app is secure and that data that powers the app is the same information already online through the PMC's website's public profile pages. Fontana is continuing to fine-tune and upgrade the app. Soon, a version of the app will be available for Android phone users. More than 150 PMC iphone applications have been purchased to date. Get yours, share with friends, and support Fontana in his first PMC ride.