Keeping the FUN in Fundraising

There are literally hundreds of different ways that you can raise money for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, but if your personality leans a little toward the zany side, your Komen 3-Day fundraising is a great place to get creative and let your wacky flag fly.

Here are just a few out-of-the-box 3-Day® fundraising ideas that have worked for other walkers:

Prom Dress Sale – The life cycle of most fancy dresses—worn by prom-goers, bridesmaids or wedding guests—is: spend a lot of money, wear it once, stuff it in a closet. We heard about an enterprising young walker who realized there was money to be made from all that neglected couture. She collected up used prom dresses from her high school acquaintances, got a local dry cleaner to clean the dresses at no cost, and then held a big sale a few weeks before prom and resold the dresses at discounted prices. She raised more than $800!

Trick or Treat for Ta-Ta’s – A few years ago on Halloween, Twin Cities 3-Day participant Jenny C. dressed up in an adorable pink ribbon costume and went trick-or-treating—not for candy, but for donations. She said, “I wasn’t sure how it would go, but there were only maybe 3 or 4 houses that refused. The houses that gave me $20s made up for them! There were a couple that took donation forms, too. And one guy dumped his giant mason jar full of change in my Boobie Bucket!” About 2 hours of door-to-door work brought in nearly $200.

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Pink Ribbon Jenny and her Boobie Bucket!

“Flock” Your Friends – I’ve personally done this one, and it’s a riot! I bought a couple dozen pink plastic lawn flamingos and then under cover of darkness, I stuck all of them in my neighbors’ yard and left a note on their doorstep. The note basically said, if you want me to take these pink squatters off your lawn, make a donation. Then, to add a wicked little twist, that family then got to pick which of our other neighbors would get “flocked” next. This is great fundraiser for 3-Dayers with kids; my daughters were my sidekicks in sneaking the flamingos from house to house, and our neighbors’ kids were absolutely beside themselves with excitement when they’d wake up to find they’d been visited by the flamingo fairies. Within 2 weeks, almost every house on our block woke up to find the flamingos in their yard and I raised over $1000.

Backward Mile RaceBlanche C., a veteran walker, crew member and team captain in Seattle, has held the “Cupcake Classic Backwards Mile” Race for the past few years. It’s just what it sounds like: friends of all ages sign up to walk or run backwards for one mile. These reverse-running renegades pay a registration fee for the race, which goes toward Blanche’s fundraising, and she also holds a massive raffle at the race itself. Oh, and of course, there are cupcakes at the finish line.

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These clever “backward milers” brought handheld rear-view mirrors

Dance for Donations – Who doesn’t love subjecting their friends to a little public humiliation? We’ve heard of a handful of 3-Day walkers doing some version of this, and the results are hilarious. Basically, you ask friends for donations of a certain amount, and in exchange, the donor gets to pick a song that you will go out in public and dance to. Naturally, you have to have someone there to video you as proof, and naturally, that video must make its way back to your donors (usually through the power of social media). I personally think that the less skilled you are as a dancer, the funnier this whole endeavor is, but if you can’t fathom busting a move in front of a bunch of strangers, you can try a toned-down version of “embarrassment fundraising,” such as standing on a busy street corner wearing a sandwich board that says “I Love Boobies,” or the like.

Which creative, fun fundraisers have you tried? Share your ideas in the comments section, and if you need some fundraising inspiration of your own, visit the fundraising library on the 3-Day website at the3Day.org/library.

There Are No Words…

On the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, breast cancer survivors are always close to our hearts and bright in our thoughts. They are reminders of the great strength and courage that can grow out of horrible adversity, and they are proof that what we are doing matters.

Every survivor has a story and I was inspired to learn about Krissie, a 6-time walker, and 6-time cancer survivor.

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“I was first diagnosed with sarcoma cancer of the abdominal wall at the age of 15. I had several recurrences over the next few years and was finally cancer-free at 19.”

Krissie got married, had kids and thought that cancer was far in her rearview. Being a survivor, she was passionate about doing something that mattered. She saw a commercial for the Komen 3-Day in January of 2008 and thought, “That is exactly what I need to do. I thought, what an amazing event and it was my time to do something.”

But right around that time, while doing a self-exam, Krissie found a lump in her left breast. “I was 28 and we didn’t think the lump was anything to worry about until they got in there and discovered that it was cancer, and that it was in my lymph nodes as well. So they removed the lump along with a bunch of lymph nodes. At 28 I didn’t think I had to worry about breast cancer, especially with no family history. I started chemotherapy treatment and began the healing process.” Part of that healing came from the 3-Day.  “I had no idea that the 3-Day would become even more meaningful than I knew possible. I believe that everything happens for a reason and without this walk I would not be here.”

During her very first 3-Day in Chicago, Krissie met Lori and Kim. “We are all pretty fast walkers, and as we walked we started talking and talking and talking. We finished that walk that year and did not see each other until the next Chicago 3-Day, but when we did, it was immediately as if we had never been apart. That was the year that we realized that this was not just a ‘walk’ friendship but a lifelong friendship. We always say that something so horrible is what brought us so close, but I wouldn’t change a thing.”

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Lori, Kim and Krissie

I asked Krissie what advice she would give to new walkers. “The first time I walked, I was terrified that I would not finish. I was undergoing treatment at the time and had no idea what to expect. I had no idea that this walk would change my life forever. The walkers, the community and the amazing volunteers helped me finish my first walk with a new sense of strength and hope. My advice for first-time walkers would be to take it all in. Don’t miss a thing. It’s going to be a hard and tiring 3 days but it’s also going to be the most amazing 3 days of your life. Listen to the stories. Laugh with new friends. Cry with others. Enjoy every second and don’t rush through it!”

Krissie, Lori and Kim—or KLK, as their team is called—have walked together every year since 2008, and are traveling to the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day this November. “They have been there every step of the way. There was a year that I was not able to walk and those girls walked every mile for me. It was a gift that will stay with me forever.”

“There are no words for the support I have gotten from my family and friends. My husband has been my rock. He has seen more than any husband should. He has wiped my tears, held my hand and picked me up off the ground. I have been blessed to be surrounded by an amazing family who has supported me every step of the way. I have always said that I have no idea what it must be like on their side, the fear that they must have, but I continue to get strength and hope from them every day. They let me get mad and they let me cry. They make me smile when I don’t want to. My teammates show me the light at the end of the tunnel.  We will continue to walk together for as long as we can.”

I also asked Krissie what her relationship with other survivors has been like. “I have met so many amazing people along the way. I have heard stories that have given me the strength to go on, to keep fighting. Many I keep in contact with, and some I have lost along the way. There is a moment at the end of the walk when all the survivors are in their pink shirts and it’s as if we have all been there for each other the entire time. photo(37)

“You gain a new family.”

 

Make the Susan G. Komen 3-Day a part of your family. Visit The3Day.org for information.

 

Dressing for Success on the 3-Day

Choosing what to wear on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® can be a big decision. Keep some important tips in mind when deciding on your duds.

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer.

Looking good, feeling good!

Comfort First – For many walkers, the Komen 3-Day is a chance to show their amazing enthusiasm with costumes, team t-shirts or matching outfits. We love seeing you strut your 3-Day spirit, but we strongly advise you to consider comfort before flair. Even if you’re speedy, walking 20 miles will take you, at minimum, 5-6 hours and even longer if your pace is slower. Don’t dress in something that you won’t be comfortable wearing for the long haul. (If you want some inspiration for costumes, whether you’re looking for creativity or comfort, check out our “Best Dressed” Pinterest board!)

Layers, Layers, Layers – Each day of walking will start quite early in the morning, when it still may be chilly out. You will warm up quickly once you start moving, but we recommend that you cover yourself in layers that are easy to remove when your core temperature starts to rise. If a cold snap happens to hit during your 3-Day, you can certainly bundle yourself up a little more, but don’t wear more than you’d be willing to carry once it comes off.

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 2 to find a cure for breast cancer.

Keeping cool with layers

Not in Cotton – This cozy fabric is great for a PJs or a t-shirt to lounge around camp in, but when it comes to walking, cotton is not always the best choice, especially if you sweat a lot. Clothing made of 100% cotton absorbs moisture and holds it, so if it’s particularly hot and you’re perspiring, your comfy cotton will get wet and heavy quickly. Damp clothing leads to uncomfortable friction against your skin, which leads to chafing (no fun to talk about, and even less fun to experience) and blisters.

Get Wicked – You can keep yourself as dry and comfy as possible by wearing clothing made with moisture-wicking materials. These synthetic fabrics draw moisture away from your body ( “wick” it away) and towards the exterior of the garment, which, for reasons mentioned above, is much better than having that dampness right next to your skin. Look for clothes that are a polyester blend, or check the tags for “moisture wicking” descriptions.

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 2 to find a cure for breast cancer.

Comfort and style can live happily together on the 3-Day!

Splurge on Socks – Take care in choosing all of your 3-Day apparel, but if you can only focus on one item, make it your socks. Get socks that fit your feet snugly, but still allow you to wiggle your toes. If you like short ankle socks, make sure they’re not so short that they slip down into your shoes when you move. And absolutely heed the above advice about which fabrics to choose. You’ll also want to bring extra socks, so you can change into a fresh, clean pair at mid-day each day.

Test Your Threads – Training is an essential practice for getting your body ready to walk all those miles, but it’s also a great opportunity for you to “test drive” what you plan to wear on the 3-Day. Narrow down your attire choices early on, and then train in them. If that cute pink top you picked up bleeds color, or those knee socks make your legs itch, or the shorts you love for tennis tend to…ahem…bunch up, you’ll want to know that before you realize you’re stuck in them for another 18 miles.

3-Day walkers: What’s been your favorite piece of clothing or gear to wear on the 3-Day? Let us know in the comments.