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!


Give a Year-End Bump to Your 3-Day Fundraising

There’s no mistaking that December is one of the busiest months of the year for most people. And it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that many Susan G. Komen 3-Day® participants are focusing on things other than their fundraising efforts for the 2015 Komen 3-Day. That said, there are some easy and efficient ways to give a little nudge to your 3-Day® fundraising this month before we turn over the calendar to 2015.



Ask! – If we here at the 3-Day sound like a broken record with this piece of fundraising advice, it’s for a very good reason: it works! The single best way for you to receive donations is to ask for them. Simple as that. And December is as good a month as any to ask. You’re likely to be seeing more family and friends in person than in most months, and an in-person ask is the most powerful and effective.

Leverage the Holidays – Everyone is running around like crazy getting their holiday preparations done. If you’re not swamped with holiday to-dos yourself, volunteer to help out your friends and family in return for 3-Day donations. You can offer your services as a babysitter so parents can go shopping or attend holiday parties. You can wrap gifts. If you’ve got a culinary bent, you could prepare food for festivities. Feeling extra handy? Offer to hang holiday lights on houses.

Add an Ask to Your Holiday Cards – If you’re like me, you’ve got a list as long as your arm of loved ones who will be getting your family’s Christmas card this year. Did you know that the 3-Day has these handy inserts (for walkers and crew), which you can print out and include with your holiday cards? You’re sending love and good cheer to all those people anyway, so why not let them know that you’ve also committed to hope and change in the new year by walking in the 3-Day, and ask for their support?2015_SGK_Holiday-Card-Insert_Walker_fp 2015_SGK_Holiday-Card-Insert_Crew_fp

Offer a Friendly Tax Reminder – Most people are already aware, but it never hurts to remind your supporters that any charitable donations made in calendar year 2014 will be tax deductible in 2015. In fact, research has shown that more online charitable donations are made on December 31 than any other day of the year. If your donors give one more time before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, it will end up benefitting not only the fight against breast cancer, but potentially their 2015 tax return too! You can even turn it into a fun “Countdown to the Cure” gimmick on the 31st; each hour, post a challenge on Facebook or Twitter asking your friends to get their donations in before the ball drops.

Keep Your Expectations Realistic – It’s possible that your 3-Day fundraising may get a little bit (or a lot) neglected in December, and that’s totally fine and understandable. If you’re able to get just one donation this month, it’s one donation more than you had, and one step closer to your goal. We know that, no matter what, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running (well, walking, but walking with purpose!) in 2015.

What are your best year-end fundraising strategies?


The 2014 Susan G. Komen 3-Day Series, By the Numbers

Seven locations. 420 miles. More than 8,500 walkers, 2,000+ crew members, and countless lives touched. Let’s look at our 2014 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Series, by the numbers.

Michigan 3-Daysusan g. komen 3-Day walk blog 60 miles breast cancer michiganDonations: $2.4 Million
Walkers: 875
Crew: 350

Twin Cities 3-Daysusan g. komen 3-Day walk blog 60 miles breast cancer twin citiesDonations: $2.0 Million
Walkers: 750
Crew: 225


Philadelphia 3-DayIMG_2216Donations: $3.8 Million
Walkers: 1,350
Crew: 300


Seattle 3-Daysusan g. komen 3-Day walk blog 60 miles breast cancer seattleDonations: $2.7 Million
Walkers: 925
Crew: 275


Atlanta 3-Daysusan g. komen 3-Day walk blog 60 miles breast cancer atlantaDonations: $3.2 Million
Walkers: 1,100
Crew: 300


Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Daysusan g. komen 3-Day walk blog 60 miles breast cancer dallas fort worthDonations: $3.1 Million
Walkers: 1,150
Crew: 300


San Diego 3-Daysusan g. komen 3-Day walk blog 60 miles breast cancer san diegoDonations: $6.8 Million
Walkers: 2,400
Crew: 350


The fundraising totals listed represent how much was raised by the time each event rolled around, and we’re thrilled that every single Komen 3-Day continued bringing in donation dollars even after the last walker left each Closing Ceremony. With those continued donations, matching gifts and series gifts, the 2014 3-Day® series is on target to exceed $25 million raised toward the fight to end breast cancer.

There’s not a number big enough to calculate our gratitude to you, our 3-Day family, for your part in the fight.