Pacesetter’s Big Ol’ Shanty’s

With their pink head boppers, pink boas and pink tutus, the three members of team Pacesetter’s Big Ol’ Shanty’s look like many other walkers on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. Talk with them, and their stories are also very familiar – they walk for loved ones and fellow coworkers who have been lost to cancer or who are survivors. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll discover a company who so whole-heartedly backs its associates that in 2014, they will make the single-largest donation to a Komen 3-Day team….ever.

Pacesetters Big Ol’ Shanty’s at the Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day

Pacesetter’s Big Ol’ Shanty’s at the Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day

The Pacesetter’s Big Ol’ Shanty’s get their name from the amazing company they work for, Pacesetter Steel Service, which happens to be located on Big Shanty Road in Kennesaw, GA. Steve Leebow founded Pacesetter Steel Service in 1977. As a young man, Steve worked in his family’s steel distribution center in New Jersey, where his passion for the industry was cultivated. By 1977, Steve ventured out and opened his own company in Atlanta, GA. Through the first 10 years, a small but dedicated group of Pacesetter associates established a steady routine of long hours, customer focus, and teamwork to grow the company. Many associates who helped build Pacesetter from its early beginnings still work for the company. Aviva Leebow, Steve’s daughter, was recently named the new CEO of Pacesetter Steel Service.

It’s Aviva who started the 3-Day team in 2013. “My grandmother, Joan Leebow, died at the age of 44 from breast cancer,” Aviva begins. “I never knew her. I grew up inspired by her story and everything I learned about her. Her world was focused on caring, sharing and giving. For my 30th birthday, I wanted to do something impactful. I chose the 3-Day. This is something she absolutely would have loved to have seen. I’ve always wanted to walk in her honor.”

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While her grandmother was her original inspiration for wanting to walk the Atlanta 3-Day, Aviva mentions a number of other loved ones – including fellow Pacesetter associates – who have been lost to cancer. So last year, she started a small but mighty team with one fellow coworker, Corri Green. “Half way through the walk last year, Corri and I looked at each other and said, ‘We are doing this next year,’” laughs Aviva. So here they are in 2014 – hitting the pavement again, and they’ve gained a third team member, their friend, Jessi Whittemore.

 So far this season, Pacesetter’s Big Ol’ Shanty’s has raised nearly $10,000. Both Aviva and Corri applaud the company and acknowledge that they couldn’t do this without their support. Their fellow Pacesetter associates hold fundraisers for months leading up to the event, giving of their time, their money and their support for these women who will walk 60 miles over three days.  On Friday, all Associates at Pacesetter headquarters took an aerial photo of themselves using a droid, rooting the team on to keep the team motivated while walking.  And Steve believes so much in the power of teamwork and in the Susan G. Komen mission that he is going to make sure Pacesetter’s Big Ol’ Shanty’s raises at least $50,000 this year. Utilizing money from a fund created in memory of Claudia B. Waters, Pacesetter wrote a check to the 3-Day for more than $40,000.

Founder Steve Leebow shares the very touching reasons behind Pacesetters generous donation.

Founder Steve Leebow shares the very touching reasons behind Pacesetter’s generous donation.

Steve visited the Atlanta campsite on Saturday night to share a little about why he is giving so generously to the 3-Day. “Fifteen years ago, one of our very first associates in our company, Claudia B. Waters, had the misfortune of getting breast cancer. And the entire company pulled together to try to do whatever we could to help her face the challenge,” Steve recounts. “Our many years of friendship with Claudia truly touched our lives. Her vitality was a constant source of encouragement to each Pacesetter associate, our suppliers and our customers. We miss her steadfastness, her dedication, her life.”

Aviva asks that we also recognize that there are many other Pacesetter associates who have battled breast cancer as well as Pacesetter family members.

As Aviva tends to some hot spots on her feet at Lunch on Day 2 of the 2014 Atlanta 3-Day, she describes an experience the team had a few miles earlier. “We were in Whole Foods and a woman saw us coming out of the bathrooms with our pink tutus,” she shares. “She came up to us and said, ‘I’m officially clear as of 11 days ago! Thank you for walking.’ It’s those moments when you know and see the effect this walk has. It makes it all worth it.”

Corri agrees. “We’ve already committed ourselves to next year,” she says with a big smile.

Thank you, Pacesetters Steel Service and team Pacesetter’s Big Ol’ Shanty’s. You are helping bring us closer to a world without breast cancer.

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Meet the Atlanta 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 Atlanta 3-Day®!

Tara Preyers – Atlanta Local Events Coach

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Tara and her (literally) sparkling personality!

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Living my passion through inspiration, fanny packs and boas!”

We’re a couple weeks from the Atlanta event. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “It’s a bit of a mumbo-jumbo. I’m working on all things to paint the route pink and with hugs, high fives and treats. Spending lots of time finalizing all of the little pieces that I’ve been working on all year long. Making “to-do” list after “to-do” list and crossing things off with excitement. I also travel to all of the 3-Day events, so I’ve been busy. Oh, and decorating for my favorite season…FALL!”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I jumped out of a plane at 13,000 feet; 2) I have a serious bag obsession (purses, duffels, reusable, you name it, I need lots of them!); 3) I could eat peanut butter for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

 

Susan Wynne – Atlanta Participant Coach

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Photo booth fun with Susan and family

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “I help our incredible participants do great things!”

We’re a couple weeks from the Atlanta event. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “Super busy! As the event gets closer, we’re working on last minute donations, helping participants get checked in, and lots of event-related questions. I get to talk to people about what they have done to get to this point, and hear the stories about what brought them to the 3-Day. I have loved getting to know our participants through all of our phone and email interactions over the last few months, and I can’t wait to see everyone in person in a couple of weeks!”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “I’m pretty much an open book (or not that interesting) because I don’t think there is much that people don’t know about me, but here’s a shot: 1) I think I’m secretly a 13 year old girl. I love all the pop music, TV shows, and silly stuff that comes along with that age; 2) I played the flute in high school and can still whip out a pretty good tune; 3) I can’t live without coffee or my new addiction of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds with sea-salt and turbinado sugar. Both are integral to my success in getting through the day.”

 

Libby Riordan – Atlanta Crew & Volunteer Coordinator

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Ready to show her meal no mercy!

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Supporting and empowering the awesome Atlanta Crew!”

We’re a couple weeks from the Atlanta event. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “Most of my days leading up to event are spent communicating with captains and crew members and delivering all of the final details. I always tell people that the 3-Day is like planning a wedding. You spend months getting ready, planning, and preparing, but lots of things change before the big day. It gets a little crazy towards the end making sure that the captains have everything they need and that every crew is ready to rock on event!”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I love to sing. I can listen to a song once and know all the words! It drives my friends crazy; 2) I was on a home makeover TV show where we turned my friend’s backyard into a beach. Lots of sand!; 3) I knew I wanted work for the 3-Day after the Opening Ceremony the first time I walked, in 2005.”

 

 

Going to be at the Atlanta 3-Day? Come meet coaches Tara and Susan at two special meet-and-greets, on Friday and Saturday in camp, between 6-7 p.m. in the 3-Day Lounge.

Hashtag #The3Day Wherever You Go!

We can’t wait to see you at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® this year!  While you’re at the event, share your photos and thoughts on social media with the hashtag #The3Day and your specific event hashtag. See our handy chart below to figure out what your hashtag is. We’ll see you online!

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Share these images on social media so all of your 3-Day friends and family know where to find your social media posts. You can pin them on Pinterest, share them on Facebook or Instagram, or tweet them. As a friendly reminder, if you need to use your phone while on the 3-Day route, please step to the side. Do not talk, text or tweet while walking.

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P.S.: do you have the 3-Day jitters? Have no fear! Our Insider’s Guide to the 3-Day is a great place to get a feel for what you might experience. Don’t forget, our coaches can also help you with any last minute questions at 800-996-3DAY.