Coaches’ Favorite Moments from 2014 – Part 2

Every one of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® coaches has countless inspiring and moving interactions with our amazing Komen 3-Day walkers and crew members. I asked them to relive some of their most touching memories from the 2014 3-Day® season (see Part 1 of these favorite moments here).

Aubrey Cushing (Seattle Local Events Coach) – The 2014 3-Day season as a whole is one I will hold very close to my heart forever. The opportunity to be on staff in 5 of the 7 events lent me ample opportunities to interact with the world’s most caring bunch of people. I never forget how rare it is to be so enamored with the work you do, and what I get to do is one of my life’s treasures. Of course, it was wonderful to see all of the hard work come together for the Seattle event this year, and I’m still hearing about how much fun people had. That feels magnificent because it shows we were in tune with what people would like, and that’s priceless. The crew teams I got to work with were fantastic, but pit stop 2 in Dallas was the highlight of my staffing events outside of Seattle. I feel very blessed to have seen so much beauty in a world that can sometimes be full of negative things. In the words of Sinead O’Connor, 2014 3-Day season, “Nothing compares to you!”Aubrey_DFW

Jen Haber (Philadelphia Participant Coach) – The person who most inspired me this season was Janet D., who was our #2 fundraiser this year in Philly. Janet is 31 years old and was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in January of 2014. She spent the entire year in treatment and training/fundraising for the 3-Day. She walked with her sisters and best friends. When we spoke on the phone at one point in the season, she was telling me about the treatment she was going through and how (of course) it made training more of a challenge, she also made a point to tell me how much the 3-Day had been a huge source of inspiration for her. It made me feel so good that she was so focused on doing something positive while going through something so incredibly difficult. Since I wasn’t working at the Philly event, I’m so sad I didn’t get the chance to meet her in person but she and her team are signed up again for next year. Hooray!2015 personal page_Janet

Kim Collings (San Diego Local Events Coach) – A young first-time walker came to me during a Walk & Talk earlier in the year, almost in tears thinking there was no way she would ever be able to raise $2300. After a nice conversation about different fundraising ideas, she went home and tried a few different things that we chatted about. She ended up raising $5050! There was another special moment watching a mother and daughter at the Closing Ceremony. The daughter is stage 4 and it has metastasized in to her spine. The mother said in her ceremonies speech, “I am walking so my daughter can live.”

Jennifer Hanskat (Michigan Participant Coach) – One of my favorite moments came in Michigan where I finally got to meet all of the full-series walkers (the eight people who walked in every 3-Day event this year) for the first time and putting faces to the names.  I had been working with these amazing walkers over months of email and phone communication, and it was nice to meet everyone face-to-face.hanskat and series walkers

I worked at pit stops on the route for Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth, crewed with my mom and my aunt in Twin Cities (we’re three peas in a pod, and wherever we go and whatever we do, we have a blast), and walked in Philadelphia. Even though I hit my head after nasty spill on the rainy sidewalk in Philly, it was still one of my favorite events because I was walking with my husband.  For the majority of the weekend, it was just the two of us, walking and talking.  No big team, very few shenanigans (which is unusual for me!), just low-key time on the 3-Day with my hubby.

Molly Fast (Local Operations Director) – The moment that sticks out to me the most was from the Twin Cities 3-Day where I met Anna, a walker who turned 21 on the event and was walking with her sister Carley, in honor of their mother. Their mom was a longtime 3-Day participant who was home at the end stages of breast cancer. Anna and Carley’s mom passed away about an hour after they made it home from the Closing Ceremony. It was heartbreaking but so beautiful.

Stephanie Winkel (Twin Cities Local Events Coach) – I met Sandy at one of my very last Get Started Meetings of the season, just 3 months shy of the Twin Cities 3-Day. She was brand new to the 3-Day and she brought her husband along with her to see what the 3-Day was all about. It was at this meeting that I learned about Sandy’s inspiration for walking: her best friend’s daughter-in-law, Alison, a beautiful young woman, who at just 30 years old had begun the third year of her fierce and courageous battle with breast cancer.  The love and support of her two small children, husband, family, friends and community had been an inspiration for Sandy to witness. Though this family lived quite a distance away, Sandy felt the need to do something to show her love and support for not only this family but others currently battling breast cancer. After learning about the 3-Day, Sandy did go home and register.

I followed up with Sandy after our event to see how she enjoyed her first 3-Day. She replied, “The 3-Day experience was beyond my wildest dreams.  It was a ‘calling’ that I was compelled to take up, and was truly life-changing.  I needed to be a part of something that made a difference.  I definitely found that, and so much more. My reason for walking was to raise positive energy and funds that in combination would lead to a miracle for her and others.” I was thrilled to learn at this time that Alison, Sandy’s inspiration for walking, is now in remission and beginning to get back to life with her husband and two children. Sandy, in the meantime, will continue her efforts of bringing hope and healing to others by joining us again in 2015!

 

Meet the San Diego 3-Day Coaches

Every Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event has a core team of three coaches, each of whom plays a different role in helping our walkers and crew members prepare for the Komen 3-Day. For months, these dedicated staffers have been having personal conversations with walkers to help them with their training and fundraising, have hosted dozens of local events to bring participants together and build a community of encouragement, and have organized and inspired the amazing team of crew captains and crew members.

Let’s meet the coaches for the San Diego 3-Day®!

Kim Collings – San Diego Local Events Coachsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk 60 miles blog meet the coaches san diego kim collings

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Inspiring people to participate in the 3-Day and helping them believe they CAN! #thisisnotworkitsapassion”

We’re about a week from the San Diego 3-Day. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “There are so many fun last minute preparations for a great event. I am assigning private cheer stations, finding and confirming entertainment, working with camp angels, acquiring goodies for camp, calling participants to ask them to be part of the ceremonies and making daily trips to the post office to pick up camp mail. I feel a bit like Santa every day at this time of year.”
What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I was one of the kids that got to test the Atari games before they were released to the public. Yes, I got to play Pac Man and Donkey Kong first!; 2) I have to start my day with a cup of coffee and peanut butter on toast or I go a little bonkers; 3) I am actually very introverted and being in front of large groups or attending crowded events makes me nervous.”

 

Staci Roos – San Diego Participant Coachsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk 60 miles blog meet the coaches san diego staci roos

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Empower, motivate, inspire, reassure and troubleshoot; all alongside fantastic participants!”

We’re about a week from the San Diego 3-Day. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “A typical day is spent doing everything I listed above. In this week leading up to the event my days are heavy on reassure and troubleshoot. ;) The greatest thing? Knowing, without a doubt, that the promises I’ve made about how incredible the experience is going to be will all be fulfilled. I’ve enjoyed making a lot of virtual friendships this season; we have participants coming from across the United States to walk in San Diego and many of them have promised me a hug or handshake. I intend to take them all up on it!”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I grew up in San Diego and have lived here most of my life, but I’ve also lived in New York (Long Island) and San Francisco for extended periods of time; 2) My running playlist includes everything from Led Zeppelin to the Black Eyed Peas, Guns n’ Roses to Eminem, and The Beatles to the Scorpions. (And for those of you coming from Boston – OF COURSE!); 3) My motto: There is nothing wrong with candy corn and coffee for breakfast.”

 

Nanette Schlarmann – San Diego Crew & Volunteer Coordinatorsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk 60 miles blog meet the coaches san diego nanette schlarmann

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Leading an extraordinary 3-Day Crew to awesomeness.”

We’re about a week from the San Diego 3-Day. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “My inbox is creating a beautiful song from the notifications it’s receiving on a daily basis. Needless to say, I’m fielding many last minute questions, and am eyeball deep into spreadsheets (have to stay organized, don’t laugh…I’m trying here!), and numerous phone calls to make sure that I share information with my team. Needless to say, it’s VERY busy. ”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) If I could do anything in the world, I’d sing on Broadway; 2) I was a cheerleader back in my younger days. Eons ago; 3) I’m a Harry Potter fanatic. All 7 of my Harry Potter books sit proudly on my bookshelf. The kids are not allowed to take them without asking. My patronus is a cat. BuzzFeed told me so.”

 

Going to be at the San Diego 3-Day? Come meet coaches Kim and Staci at two special meet-and-greets, on Friday and Saturday in camp, 5:30-6:30 p.m., in the 3-Day Lounge.

Meet the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Coaches!

Every Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event has a core team of three coaches, each of whom plays a different role in helping our walkers and crew members prepare for the Komen 3-Day. For months, these dedicated staffers have been having personal conversations with walkers to help them with their training and fundraising, have hosted dozens of local events to bring participants together and build a community of encouragement, and have organized and inspired the amazing team of crew captains and crew members.

Let’s meet the coaches for the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day®!

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog dallas fort worth coaches

The Dallas/Fort Worth team: Liz, Val, Gayla

 

Gayla Cruikshank – Dallas/Fort Worth Local Events Coach

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog dallas fort worth coaches gayla

Gayla sporting some 3-Day attitude

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Recruit walkers and inspire them to reach their fundraising/ training goals.”

We’re about a week from the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “After picking up a bucket of camp mail from the post office every single day (yes, a bucket a day!), I help walkers with final donation issues, such as missing donations or checking on matching gifts. Emails are firing back and forth quickly confirming Cheering Squads and route cues, confirming Private Cheering Station locations, Camp Angel assignments, Camp Show entertainers, and 3-Day Lounge treats that are being donated by local bakeries (don’t forget to stop by the Lounge Friday night before they’re all gone). I have cried a few tears recently with participants when I called to congratulate them for being chosen to carry a Survivor or Honor Flag at the Opening and Closing Ceremony. Since Dallas is the home of Susan G. Komen® Headquarters, I’ve been creating a list of VIPs who will be out on the route walking with and cheering on the walkers.”
What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I won 2nd place in a Demolition Derby in the Freemont County Fair in Riverton Wyoming; 2) I was the 1986 Senior Class President of Lewisville High School, home of the Fighting Farmers; 3) I had my first job when I was in 4th grade: a paper route on my horse.”

 

Liz Parks – Dallas/Fort Worth Participant Coach

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog dallas fort worth coaches liz

Liz having fun on her new toy!

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Inspire participants and answer questions on all things 3-Day related.”

We’re about a week from the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “Very busy! Lots of calls and emails with last-minute questions about fundraising, what to expect on the event, or online check-in. I really love hearing everyone’s stories and calming a first-time walker’s nerves. I have connected with so many wonderful people and I cannot wait to meet them all in person.”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I am extremely clumsy and have broken all my fingers and toes at one time or another, some more than once; 2) I was in the Army and had planned to be a Drill Sargent; 3) I have lived and traveled overseas.”

 

Val Jones – Dallas/Fort Worth Crew & Volunteer Coordinatorsusan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog dallas fort worth coaches val

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Distributor of information, logistics, and encouragement to crew members.”

We’re about a week from the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “Crazy busy! I spend the majority of my days and nights answering emails, loving on my kitties (who sleep on my desk), and making sure that the amazing Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Crew Captains have all the information they need to help our walkers, crew members, staff and community members have a great event. When I’m done with all that my kitties usually demand more chin scratches before I can get some sleep!”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “Friends know I’m amazingly quirky to begin with but things most people don’t know about me include: 1) I am addicted to shopping! I LOVE bags (wallets, purses, totes, etc.) and I even have an app on my iPad that has catalogs on it. I have to start my day looking at Zulily and Hautelook and end my day browsing through digital versions of catalogs. 2) I adore cartoons for young kids. My TV is often tuned to Disney Junior. 3) Handwritten letters are one of my favorite things. I collect pretty stationery and try to write at least one letter a week to brighten someone’s day since (in my humble opinion) there is nothing better than receiving a letter in the mail. At one time I had over 10 different international pen pals.”

 

Going to be at the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day? Come meet coaches Gayla and Liz at two special meet-and-greets, on Friday and Saturday in camp, 6-7 p.m., in the 3-Day Lounge.