3-Day April Meet-up Round-up

April was a busy month for our Susan G. Komen 3-Day® coaches, who were pounding the pavement at meet-ups and training events, meeting and inspiring walkers for the Komen 3-Day events coming up in just a few months.  Let’s see some of the fun and inspiring local events that our 3-Day® family held in April!

Michigan

On Saturday, April 11, walkers and crew members gathered at the New Balance store in Farmington Hills for the Michigan 3-Day 16-week Training Kick-Off Event. A beautiful (if slightly chilly) morning saw nearly 40 walkers head out on a 4-mile training walk, while crew members patrolled the route on their bikes and motorcycles. We even had a cheer station and a sweep van! After the walk, participants enjoyed some snacks and shopping.

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Twin Cities

Twin Cities 3-Day coach Stephanie hosted a walker and crew Meet-Up on April 1 at Lucky 13 Restaurant in Bloomington. Five new walkers attended and got lots of great tips from our veteran walkers and crew.

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Springtime temps brought these 21 walkers out on April 11 for a Walk & Talk with Coach Stephanie. They enjoyed a 6.5-mile walk around Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis (part of our Day 1 Route).

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And in keeping with the training spirit, Twin Cities walkers enjoyed a Get Trained Workshop on April 18, hosted by Run n’ Fun, one of the Twin Cities’ local outfitters. Proper shoes are the most important pieces of equipment walkers will need on the 3-Day, so workshop attendees learned about proper shoe fit based on their own body mechanics, and learned that not only is comfort the key but also how the right shoe helps to prevent injuries.

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Seattle

At an April 2 Get Started Meeting at Redmond Library, long-time Seattle (and other cities!) walker William Kline attended in full walking gear—his signature look. He was joined by a few brand new walkers and Tath, a very active training walk leader in the Lynnwood area.

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On April 18 at Seward Park, Seattle 3-Dayers met up for a Walk & Talk with Coach Aubrey. They looped around the peninsula, which offered 2.5 miles of Lake Washington and Mt. Rainier views. The walker on the far right (Tina Marie B.) came all the way from Oregon to walk with the group!

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Another Walk & Talk, held on April 30 in Renton, included a 2-mile out-and-back along Lake Washington. The group included two members of the Breastketeers and three first-time walkers.

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Philadelphia

Over 30 Philadelphia 3-Dayers met up on April 18 at the Philly 3-Day 24-week Training Kick-Off. Hosted by the New Balance store in Cherry Hill, NJ, the event included a training walk and some great how-to demonstrations for packing gear and pitching a perfect pink tent. A great day!

PHL 24 week TKO april

Atlanta

The Atlanta 3-Day folks had their first Walk & Talk of the season on April 4, with wonderful training walk leader Coleen and 5 new walkers. It was a beautiful day, and it was great for these enthusiastic walkers to get some walking shoes on and meet some new friends!

ATL April 4 Walk and Talk

On April 11, Coach Susan hosted a great Get Started Meeting with 3 new walkers and one who was thinking about registering. Susan shared, “We had terrific conversations about training as they were most concerned about how in the world they were going to walk 60 miles! After the formal meeting, we spent even more time answering questions and getting to know one another. It was great to see everyone come together and make connections with each other.”

ATL april 11 GSM

Dallas/Fort Worth

At a Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day meet-up on April 2, Coach Gayla was joined 80-year-old veteran walker and extreme fundraiser, Ralph M. He helped welcome and inspire other walkers at Luke’s Locker in Highland Village.

4-2-15 Meet Up Luke's Locker HV

Gayla was back at another Luke’s Locker location on Saturday, April 4 for a Walk & Talk, accompanied by training walk leader and team captain of Angels for the Cure, Debby R. as she led a 3-mile training walk.

4-4-15 W&T Luke's Locker Plano

April 11 was a busy Saturday for Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Dayers, starting with a 3-mile Walk & Talk with training walk leader Sheryl C. and many members of team STEPS in Plano. Later in the day, the Get Started Meeting at Methodist Hospital in Richardson drew a crowd of brand new walkers who were encouraged by amazing team captains and veteran walkers.

4-11-15 GSM Richardson

The Greater Fort Worth Susan G. Komen® affiliate held its Race for the Cure on April 25, and the Komen 3-Day community was well-represented (there were many more walkers not in the photo). Even folks who weren’t walking or running in the race were still showing their 3-Day spirit as volunteers (Pink Hair Guy is a popular photo op every year).

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San Diego

April was actually a quiet month in San Diego, in terms of local events, but things will ramp up in May. (Next month’s Round-up will include some great shots of the San Diego 3-Day reunion held on Saturday, May 2…stay tuned!).

If you couldn’t make it to a meet-up in April, don’t worry! There are still local events for every 3-Day city in May, and more and more training walks are being added every day. Visit the 3-Day website to find a local event near you.

One Big Celebration That Lasts for 3 Days – an Atlanta 3-Day Recap from Guest Blogger Cati S.

Cati Stone is the Executive Director for Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta, and a breast cancer survivor. This year, she was honored to be one of twenty individuals selected as Models of Courage in Ford’s Warriors in Pink® campaign, recognizing inspiring breast cancer survivors and co-survivors. And if all of those things don’t make Cati incredible enough, she has also been a faithful Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walker for several years, and was nice enough to share some thoughts after walking in the Komen 3-Day in Atlanta earlier this month.

 

“This year marked my 4th time walking 60 miles in the Atlanta 3-Day. My amazing teammates from Team Diamond Stone (also known as the Boo Bees) have always included those closest to me: my Daddy, my sisters, my mother in law, my best girlfriends.  We talk all year long about preparing for the 3-Day.  We talk about fundraising and blisters and fundraising and logistics (and did I mention fundraising?).  We talk about how much fun we had the prior years and about how much fun we are going to have the next time.  And then the event happens, and we take a year’s worth of preparation and turn it into one big celebration that lasts for 3 days.  We celebrate my having beaten breast cancer, but we also celebrate birthdays and new babies and just about anything else we can think of.  We literally sing and dance our way down the street (this year’s dance du jour being the “Tight Pants Dance” from Jimmy Fallon’s show) and then come home at night and sing and dance some more.  We are loud and silly and we don’t care who knows it!  But we care deeply about finding a cure for breast cancer.  In fact, this year we were recognized as the 9th largest fundraising team for the Atlanta 3 Day!  In our 4 years, we have raised over $100,000, and we’re not finished yet!susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog cati stone models of courage warriors in pink atlanta

“A highlight to this year’s walk included walking with some very special new friends – Aimee, Tracy and Karen, all of whom are fellow breast cancer survivors and Ford Models of Courage.  We all met last spring when Ford brought us together to be a part of their amazing Warriors in Pink program that raises money for breast cancer (over $125 million so far!).  I fell in love with these ladies instantly, and walking with them in this year’s 3-Day heightened the entire experience for me.  They are true warriors.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog cati stone models of courage warriors in pink atlanta

“Tracy’s daughter made this video to show what the 3 Day meant to her, and I think it sums things up nicely.   It truly is a beautiful experience.  http://youtu.be/9eDpqj76FgE

Thank you, Cati, for sharing your experience with us! We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta again next year!

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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