At the Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day, we were delighted to shine the spotlight on some of our outstanding Komen 3-Day participants with special awards given out in camp.
We recognized the top individual, crew and team fundraisers for the Atlanta 3-Day® in camp on Saturday.
The top crew fundraiser in Atlanta was Pamella Whitham, who was a member of the lunch crew. Pamella, a breast cancer survivor, has been part of the 3-Day for 12 years, with this year’s Atlanta 3-Day being her 12th event. As a crew member this year, she raised an incredible $8,515; her lifetime fundraising total is $47,175. When she’s not traveling the country for 3-Day events, Pamella is a realtor in Malibu, CA, and lives with her husband Bob who raises Budgies (parakeets).The top fundraising team in Atlanta was Grand Ta Ta’s. On most 3-Day events, the top fundraising team is also the largest team, but in Atlanta, it was quite the opposite. The Grand Ta Ta’s are made up of only five team members and together, they raised $80,400. In their five years as a team, this group has raised an astonishing $503,600. Amazing!
4 of the 5 Grand Ta Ta’s team members at Opening Ceremony in Atlanta
The captain of the Grand Ta Ta’s, Christi-Ann Wiltberger, was also Atlanta’s top individual fundraiser, bringing in $40,000 on her own (fundraising awesomeness must run in the family; Christi-Ann’s sister Jennifer, a Grand Ta Ta’s teammate, was the #3 fundraiser in Atlanta, raising over $20,000).
Our thanks and applause go to all of the wonderful walkers, crew members and supporters who helped bring the Atlanta 3-Day to $2.2 million in total donations.
Tara, the local coach for the Atlanta 3-Day, joined us on stage on Friday night to recognize the Atlanta 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. The Milestone Award for Atlanta was presented to Shelley Middleton.
Shelley, a 21-year breast cancer survivor, told us that her favorite number is 3 and her favorite color has always been pink, even before her diagnosis, so it seems like she was always destined to be part of the 3-Day family. She first took part in the 3-Day 9 years ago, and this year’s Atlanta 3-Day marks her 9th event. In her history with the 3-Day, Shelley has raised over $69,000.
Shelley and coach Tara
Shelley, a mother of 13-year-old triplets, has quite the team supporting her at home, but is part of a small team of two on the 3-Day. Her sister Susie is her teammate on Nancy’s Angels; the team is named for their mom, who passed 32 years ago. Susie had this to say about her sister: “Shelley is such a fighter and a strong 21-year survivor who gives so many people hope and inspiration to do the same. She asked me to walk the 3-Day ten years ago and we haven’t stopped since. Our little team of two has raised over $150,000 dollars in the ten years. We don’t want another mother, daughter, sister, aunt or friend to be affected by this disease.”
Congratulations, Shelley, and thank you for your years of dedication to the 3-Day community. We are grateful for all you are and all you do.
Local Impact Award
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.
In Atlanta, we were pleased to honor two participants with the Local Impact Award: husband and wife Charles and Renee McCollum. Charles and Renee have been part of the 3-Day for 5 years and 5 events, Charles as a crew member and Renee as a walker. As part of team Badges for Boobies, the couple has raised a combined total of over $16,000.
In preparing to present these two 3-Dayers with the award, we tricked them a little bit and told each individual that the award was going to their spouse. That way, we were able to get thoughts from each of them about their partner. Sneaky? Maybe a little, but worth it. Charles shared this about his wife: “Renee is always trying to recruit new walkers and will take time to explain everything about the 3-Day. She arranges training walks that will fit others’ schedules just so that they can get ready for the event. She can meet a stranger and make them feel like she has known them for years right away. She has been the force behind me getting my health back together after my heart attack in 2013. She makes sure I eat right and I cannot begin to thank her enough for her support and love. She has been my inspiration and I would not be where I am in my life without her as my wife and best friend!”
So sweet! Renee’s thoughts about her husband are just as lovely: “Charles has such a heart for the 3-Day and all those involved, especially ‘his’ walkers. He absolutely lives for the privilege of being there every morning to hug the walkers when they head out and let them know he will personally be there when they get back. He is moved to tears at merely discussing his connection with many of the walkers, especially the elderly or physically fragile ones who he gets to literally carry off the sweep vans. He has made a special connection each of our 4 previous years with at least one particular walker who struggled to make it and just hugged and cried with them when they crossed the finish line each day! I almost make it a joke during our training walks and have someone ask him about his “hug buddies.” He tries to tell one of the stories and just starts crying…he can’t do it. It is the most special thing to see MY MAN have that kind of heart!”
Join us in congratulating and thanking Charles and Renee for their extraordinary commitment to the Atlanta 3-Day community. And thanks, as always, to the entire Atlanta 3-Day family for another spectacular year.