Checking In With the Philadelphia 3-Day Coaches

Before last year’s Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Series, we introduced the local coaches from each Komen 3-Day. These are the staff members who support the walkers and crew members all year round, answering phone calls and emails, hosting community events, assigning crew captains and juggling dozens of other tasks to make sure that the 3-Day® participants make it to their events excited and well prepared.

Since we gave you the coaches’ full profiles last year, we’ll delight you with just a fun update before each event this year. The Philadelphia 3-Day coaches are in the spotlight this week (you can read last year’s “Meet the Philadelphia Coaches” here)!

What was your favorite memory from the 2014 3-Day?

Jen (Philadelphia Participant Coach) – A favorite memory I had from working at the 2014 Michigan 3-Day was when I was doing overnight security. One of the volunteers helping out that night was a police officer who shared his personal story with me around 3 a.m. while we were chatting in the parking lot. I dissolved into tears in the middle of the night! It was a very powerful and emotional story and a great connection made in the wee hours.Susan G. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk 60 miles blog coaches PhiladelphiaJoanne (Philadelphia Local Events Coach) – I was new to the 3-Day staff last year, and getting myself up to speed before the Philadelphia event was difficult and stressful. My favorite part of the 2014 Philadelphia 3-Day was after Closing Ceremony, seeing the work I did unfold so successfully. Having been the new kid on the block, it was so rewarding.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk 60 miles blog coaches Philadelphia

Joanne (second from right) and kids

Melanie (Philadelphia Crew & Volunteer Coordinator) – My favorite part of the event in 2014 was gathering together as one large crew in the Participant Finish Area before Closing Ceremony. It was a special moment to celebrate all that we had accomplished together over the past 4 days.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk 60 miles blog coaches Philadelphia

Melanie (left)


Fun facts about the Philadelphia 3-Day Coaches – Can you guess which fun fact is true about which coach? (There are 3 facts about each coach; answers will be at the end of the Atlanta 3-Day coaches’ check-in later in October!)

  1. I love chocolate and champagne.
  2. I am a HUGE Paul McCartney fan. Oh, and of course the Fab Four!
  3. I recently had foot surgery for a torn ligament, and I just finished six weeks on a knee scooter. My nearly 3 year-old son was the only one sad to see it go since we were “scooter buddies” over the last several weeks!
  4. I played the clarinet for 4 years as a kid and squeaked on the violin for 2 years.
  5. My husband and I share the exact same birthday. I am about 8 hours older, which I like to say makes me older and wiser.
  6. I’m obsessed with whale watching and could stare at the ocean for hours in hopes that I might see a splash, a spray, a fin or a tail.
  7. I was an English teacher in Poland in the mid-1990s and did some breast cancer awareness projects while living there.
  8. I walked my first 3-Day in San Francisco in 2004 and crewed Philadelphia in 2008.
  9. I’m going to Italy next year with my daughter (shhh, the other kids don’t know yet!).


Looking for the answers from the Seattle Coaches’ Fun Facts post? Here they are!

1) Aubrey; 2) Jon; 3) Aubrey; 4) Paula; 5) Jon; 6) Paula; 7) Jon; 8) Aubrey; 9) Paula

Congratulations to the 2015 Seattle 3-Day Award Winners!

Last weekend at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in Seattle, it was our pleasure to recognize some of our outstanding Komen 3-Day participants with special awards given out in camp.

Top Fundraisers

On Friday, we honored the top individual, crew and team fundraisers for the Seattle 3-Day®.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog seattle top fundraisers award winners milestone local impactBus & sweep co-captain Kit Loudin took home the honor of top crew fundraiser, having brought in $2,720 this year. Kit’s history as a 3-Day participant is remarkable: she has completed 42 events, and has raised an incredible $48,697 in her 10 years of participation. When she’s not busying herself with all things 3-Day, Kit is an avid traveler. She has visited 48 states, 95 countries, and soon will check all seven continents off her travel bucket list.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog seattle top fundraisers award winners milestone local impact

Tina, captain of Valley Girls & Guys

If you spotted any Seattle walkers sporting signature pink cowboy hats (and how could you miss them?), you were looking at members of Valley Girls & Guys, the top fundraising team for the Seattle 3-Day. Captained by Tina McDonough, Valley Girls & Guys was also the Seattle 3-Day’s largest team at 162 members. They raised a whopping $315,430 this year and in their 7 years as team in Seattle they have brought $2,039,475 to the 3-Day. Wow!

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog seattle top fundraisers award winners milestone local impactThe top individual fundraiser in Seattle, for the second year in a row, was Loretta Englishbee. This year’s Seattle event marked Loretta’s 12th 3-Day in 10 years, and this year alone she raised $26,100. Over her entire 3-Day history, Loretta has raised an astonishing $360,504. Loretta works near the beach 14 days in a row each month, but it’s not as exotic as you might think: the beach is on the Arctic Ocean, which is frozen more than 7 months out of the year.

Thank you to these Seattle 3-Dayers and everyone who worked so hard to bring the Seattle 3-Day its $2.1 million in total donations.

Milestone Award

On Friday in camp, we also recognized the Seattle 3-Day Milestone Award winner. This award is given on each 3-Day event to one participant who has an extraordinary history of involvement with the 3-Day. Seattle’s Milestone award went to Lori LeVander from team For the Girls.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog seattle top fundraisers award winners milestone local impact

Milestone Award winner Lori (center) also gave a survivor speech in camp on Saturday

Lori has been part of the 3-Day for 11 years; she has participated 7 times as a crew member and the 2015 Seattle event marked her 13th time walking. In addition to Seattle, she has also participated in the San Diego, Twin Cities, Tampa, Atlanta, and Arizona 3-Days. She estimates that she’s raised over $55,000 in her history as a 3-Day participant.

Lori’s inspiration for her first 3-Day was as personal as it gets: “I was a 2 ½ year cancer survivor and my best friend had had breast cancer. Oh yeah, and the event started on my 50th birthday.  How could I NOT do it?” That was 10 years ago, and this year’s 3-Day event was particularly special for Lori as well. She just turned 60 years old, so this is her “Walking 60 at 60” year. She also recently celebrated her 33rd wedding anniversary and her husband was there to cheer her on the route.

Lori herself knows a thing or two about being a cheerleader and is always encouraging new walkers to register. In fact, she usually offers to give them their first donation if they sign up right away. She knows that the 3-Day is unlike any other event and wants people to see it first hand. “What brings me back is the common goal of the walkers and crew to be a part of ending breast cancer. The friendships, emotional healing and strength that is witnessed in crew and walkers over the event is incredible.”

Samantha, a friend of Lori’s and fellow walker had this to say about her: “Lori is a woman whose smile and laughter lights up a room. Her dedication and love of the 3-Day inspires and encourages me to never give up. I will never forget sharing a Get Started Meeting with Lori in Mercer Island when we met an incredible woman, Katie, who was training for her first 3-Day. Months later, Katie raised the flag at camp while Lori and I watched, proud and tearful, as we had been a part of Katie’s journey to the Seattle 3-Day. Lori’s generous heart, loving spirit and infectious laughter inspired us all.”

Congratulations, Lori, and from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your years of dedication to the 3-Day community.

Local Impact Award

We had one more special recognition to give out at the Saturday camp show in Seattle. The Local Impact Award is a new award for 2015, and is being presented to a participant in each 3-Day city who has been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day in their community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees are participants who go above and beyond with things like leading training walks, attending local events, supporting the local 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference in their 3-Day community by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

The Seattle 3-Day was pleased to honor Tath Hossfeld with the Local Impact Award. Tath, who is a member of team Flamingo Road, has been part of the Komen 3-Day for 11 years. She has raised nearly $58,000 across her 18-event history.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog seattle top fundraisers award winners milestone local impact

Tath shared 30 miles of her Seattle journey with her PTSD therapy dog

Tath is a small business owner and an active member of the 3-Day community all year long. She regularly volunteers for local meetings/activities, personally helped recruit more than 12 new walkers to the 3-Day this year and originally orchestrated Seattle Design Center’s involvement with the 3-Day.

Tath and her husband, Dennis, have consistently led training walks for their team and any other 3-Day walkers for years. Tath looks out for everyone’s best interest and personally checks in with each person to see how they are doing with training and fundraising. Her fellow participants shared that you know you can always be sure to hit a good restaurant if you are on a long training walk with Tath, and the level of care she shows for her fellow walkers is apparent at every turn (she has even been known to drop to her knees and re-tie a walker’s shoes in the middle of the event).

Fellow walker Erin H. shared, “I have witnessed her gentle support of so many survivors that when a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer recently, I gave her all of Tath’s contact information without asking if it was okay. I just wanted her to connect with someone who could provide hope and guidance, and I knew that as a 32-year survivor, Tath was the perfect person to do this. And I was right.”

Join us in congratulating and thanking Tath for her extraordinary commitment to the Seattle 3-Day. We are sincerely indebted to her.

2015 Seattle 3-Day Wrap-up

The 2015 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in Seattle has concluded, and what a weekend it was! In spite of a rainy All Crew Kick-off on Thursday (What? Rain in Seattle? Crazy!), which left the Opening Ceremony site a little bit soggy, Mother Nature cooperated and kept the Seattle 3-Day walkers and crew members cool and (mostly) dry.

Friday morning began with a moving Opening Ceremony held beneath Seattle’s most iconic structure, the Space Needle. IMG_7830Hosted by our own dear Dr. Sheri, along with Chrissy Mathews from Susan G. Komen® and Seattle local events coach Aubrey Cushing, the ceremony filled our 3-Day family with inspiration and motivation to set out on Day 1.IMG_7921IMG_8052Walkers exited Seattle Center and weaved through vibrant downtown neighborhoods on the way to the I-90 bridge. Traversing this “floating” bridge stretching over Lake Washington was a memorable experience for all of the walkers, and brought us what may have been a first on the 3-Day: walker stalkers on boats! Well played, Seattle supporters!IMG_8251

Photo credit: Instagram @manders1957

Photo credit: Instagram @manders1957

Day 1 continued onto beautiful Mercer Island, where walkers enjoyed scenic waterfront pit stops, providing photo ops a-plenty. Another short bridge crossing brought walkers to the east side of Lake Washington and the lunch stop, where we rolled out our new “Promise” photo backdrop; it was an instant hit! IMG_8434Walkers started getting a good taste of Seattle’s hilly terrain as they weaved through Bellevue, but the lovely pit stops, tremendous crew support from sweep and route safety teams, and their amazing never-quit spirits kept them going all the way to camp at Marymoor Park in Redmond.

Friday night’s camp show featured fun and laughs from Dr. Sheri and Chrissy, an inspirational speech by breast cancer survivor and 10-time Seattle walker Jen, and the recognition of Seattle’s top fundraisers and Milestone Award Winner.

Walkers headed out from camp on Day 2 and were climbing right away (there’s no escaping it: Seattle is all about those hills!). But the steady diet of inclines was no match for the tenacious can-do attitudes of Seattle 3-Dayers. The challenging route was nicely broken up with gorgeous stretches along the waterfront in Kirkland and pit stops where walkers could relax and take in the breathtaking views.IMG_8797 Saturday walker stalkers were out in full force, cheering on the walkers from cheering stations, private roadside posts, and mobile units (i.e., cars decked out in incredible pink flair).IMG_8998 The afternoon route brought walkers back through the neighborhoods of Redmond before returning them safely to camp.

The camp show on Saturday night brought out laughter (how funny is that new dress-up race?) and tears. We recognized Seattle’s Local Impact Award winner and we heard from another survivor, Lori (who was also Seattle’s Milestone Award winner from Friday). Chrissy from Susan G. Komen made an impassioned promise to the 3-Day family, and we all were inspired by speeches from the Seattle Youth Corps. And of course, no 3-Day event would be complete without the famous Saturday night dance party.

And just like that, Day 3 was upon us. Walkers loaded onto the waiting buses at camp and were transported over to the University of Washington campus to start the day.IMG_9319 The forecasted rain held off nicely and instead walkers enjoyed cool breezes and sunny skies for most of the morning, which made the views of the Seattle skyline from pit stop 1 at Gas Works Park all the more stunning.IMG_9400 From there, walkers strolled through quirky Fremont, and farther down the route, the bridges and marinas of the Ballard neighborhood led to a phenomenal cheering station at the Ballard Locks where dozens of supporters came out and encouraged walkers to keep pushing through their final 10 miles of the day.IMG_9466 With Puget Sound to the west, walkers wound their way through the beautiful residential streets of Magnolia to a picturesque lunch stop at Magnolia Viewpoint Park.IMG_9720 Soon, they were headed back toward downtown, first heading south along the waterfront, through the Olympic Sculpture Garden, past the famous Pike Place market, and then back north to Seattle Center.IMG_9804

The Participant Finish Area was on the site of Friday morning’s Opening Ceremony, bringing the walkers full circle. IMG_9930After cheering each other across the finish line and celebrating with family and friends, the Seattle 3-Day walkers and crew members marched triumphantly onto Memorial Field for a moving Closing Ceremony.IMG_0051 Hosted once again by Dr. Sheri, Chrissy and Aubrey, the Ceremony brought us all together once more to renew our promise to never give up our fight to end breast cancer. With joy, we thanked our many wonderful supporters, sponsors and local jurisdictions, we celebrated the incredible $2.1 million raised by Seattle’s 750 walkers and 250 crew members, and in a moment that couldn’t have been scripted, a rainbow appeared in the sky just as we prepared to raise the final flag over the Seattle 3-Day family. It was beautiful and fitting end to a wish-filled three days in the Emerald City.IMG_0088 IMG_0172

We at the 3-Day are truly humbled by the passion, dedication and spirit of every single person who touches this event. We can’t say thank you enough. To those of you who we’ll see again this year, we look forward to it, and to the many of you who will make Seattle your pink home for three days next year, we can’t wait to see you again. In the meantime, we carry each of you in our hearts. Onward to Philadelphia! Want a sneak peek of photos from this weekend? Visit our Blog Album here, and be sure to check Facebook later this week for the full set of photos from Seattle that you can download and share! IMG_0140