Meet the Dallas/Fort Worth 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 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day®!

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog dallas fort worth coaches

The Dallas/Fort Worth team: Liz, Val, Gayla

 

Gayla Cruikshank – Dallas/Fort Worth Local Events Coach

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Gayla sporting some 3-Day attitude

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Recruit walkers and inspire them to reach their fundraising/ training goals.”

We’re about a week from the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “After picking up a bucket of camp mail from the post office every single day (yes, a bucket a day!), I help walkers with final donation issues, such as missing donations or checking on matching gifts. Emails are firing back and forth quickly confirming Cheering Squads and route cues, confirming Private Cheering Station locations, Camp Angel assignments, Camp Show entertainers, and 3-Day Lounge treats that are being donated by local bakeries (don’t forget to stop by the Lounge Friday night before they’re all gone). I have cried a few tears recently with participants when I called to congratulate them for being chosen to carry a Survivor or Honor Flag at the Opening and Closing Ceremony. Since Dallas is the home of Susan G. Komen® Headquarters, I’ve been creating a list of VIPs who will be out on the route walking with and cheering on the walkers.”
What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I won 2nd place in a Demolition Derby in the Freemont County Fair in Riverton Wyoming; 2) I was the 1986 Senior Class President of Lewisville High School, home of the Fighting Farmers; 3) I had my first job when I was in 4th grade: a paper route on my horse.”

 

Liz Parks – Dallas/Fort Worth Participant Coach

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Liz having fun on her new toy!

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Inspire participants and answer questions on all things 3-Day related.”

We’re about a week from the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “Very busy! Lots of calls and emails with last-minute questions about fundraising, what to expect on the event, or online check-in. I really love hearing everyone’s stories and calming a first-time walker’s nerves. I have connected with so many wonderful people and I cannot wait to meet them all in person.”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I am extremely clumsy and have broken all my fingers and toes at one time or another, some more than once; 2) I was in the Army and had planned to be a Drill Sargent; 3) I have lived and traveled overseas.”

 

Val Jones – Dallas/Fort Worth Crew & Volunteer Coordinatorsusan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog dallas fort worth coaches val

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – “Distributor of information, logistics, and encouragement to crew members.”

We’re about a week from the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “Crazy busy! I spend the majority of my days and nights answering emails, loving on my kitties (who sleep on my desk), and making sure that the amazing Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Crew Captains have all the information they need to help our walkers, crew members, staff and community members have a great event. When I’m done with all that my kitties usually demand more chin scratches before I can get some sleep!”

What are 3 things that we didn’t know about you? – “Friends know I’m amazingly quirky to begin with but things most people don’t know about me include: 1) I am addicted to shopping! I LOVE bags (wallets, purses, totes, etc.) and I even have an app on my iPad that has catalogs on it. I have to start my day looking at Zulily and Hautelook and end my day browsing through digital versions of catalogs. 2) I adore cartoons for young kids. My TV is often tuned to Disney Junior. 3) Handwritten letters are one of my favorite things. I collect pretty stationery and try to write at least one letter a week to brighten someone’s day since (in my humble opinion) there is nothing better than receiving a letter in the mail. At one time I had over 10 different international pen pals.”

 

Going to be at the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day? Come meet coaches Gayla and Liz at two special meet-and-greets, on Friday and Saturday in camp, 6-7 p.m., in the 3-Day Lounge.

May 3-Day Meet-up Round-up and Tweet Chat Recap

The beautiful month of May brought us face-to-face with so many of our amazing Susan G. Komen 3-Day® participants and supporters. The warmer weather provided wonderful conditions for our many Komen 3-Day Training Kick-off Events, as well as other meetings and get-togethers. Come see where we’ve been!

Michigan

In Michigan, new walkers gathered at a California Pizza Kitchen to share a meal and get advice from some seasoned 3-Day veterans. Michigan 3-Dayers also had some fun with wine at Michigan By The Bottle, and got their families involved at the Maybury State Park Family Meet-Up. Some of these events will be happening again in June, so check the calendar and don’t miss out!

Twin Cities

The Twin Cities Training Walk Kick-off event was on May 3rd. The 20+ participants in attendance started the morning off with a 3-mile walk around beautiful Lake Harriet, followed by a training workshop led by New Balance Outfitter, GEAR Running Store. The walkers were even supported by an awesome group of crew members/volunteers who set up a pit stop back at the store. Lots of 3-Day excitement!susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk twin cities trainingsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk twin cities training pit stopsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk twin cities training

Seattle

Training walk leader Sandra led this group of Seattle participants on a fun and informative 3-mile Walk & Talk to Pioneer Park and back to Wanna Cupcake for a delicious ending. Check the June calendar at The3Day.org/Calendar for more Seattle training events and meetings. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk seattle training walk and talk

Atlanta

On May 3rd we had the Training Kick-off event for the Atlanta 3-Day. Nearly 40 gathered at the New Balance store, excited about the perfect walking weather that morning. They had the choice of an 8-mile or 4-mile route (most opted for the full 8), and once the walkers were out, a few wonderful crew members and coaches set up a pit stop, complete with water, oranges, bananas, bagels, and of course some Snickers. Back at the store after the walk, the coaches hosted a packing workshop while the New Balance folks helped with lots of shoe fittings. By the end, walkers were already asking about having another Training Kick-Off event at the 16 week-out mark. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk atlanta trainingsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training atlanta pit stopsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training atlanta

 

Dallas/Fort Worth

3-Day coaches, walkers and crew members gathered for a Meet & Greet at The Vintage House, a charming 100+ year old home/shop in Historic Downtown Carrollton which is famously known as “The Pink House” – how perfect! susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training dallas fort worth vintage house pinksusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training dallas fort worth vintage house pink

 San Diego

Like so many other 3-Day cities, San Diego kicked off its 24-week training schedule with a bang! Nearly 50 walkers and volunteers met at the Encinitas New Balance store. A representative from the local Susan G. Komen® affiliate gave an inspirational talk before the walkers were off on a 3- or 7-mile training walk (most jumped right in for the full 7!). They were even supported by two Route Safety crew members on bikes, and treated to a seaside pit stop along their route. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training san diegosusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training pit stopsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk training san diego

The 3-Day at the Race for the Cure®

Local Race for the Cure® events were held in a few of our 3-Day cities this past month, and the 3-Day coaches were on-hand to support the racers and say hello to our 3-Day family in attendance.

Saturday, May 10 – Twin Cities Race for the Cure  susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk twin cities race for the curesusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk twin cities race for the cure

Sunday, May 11 – Philadelphia Race for the Cure  susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk philadelphia race for the cure

Sunday, June 1 – Puget Sound Race for the Curesusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk seattle puget sound race for the curesusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk seattle puget sound race for the cure

 

What? You missed out on these events in May? Well don’t you worry, because June is bursting with more meet-up opportunities in every 3-Day location. Find out where to find us at The3Day.org/calendar.

 

Wait, there’s more! We even met up in cyberspace!

On May 29, the 3-Day hosted its very first Tweet Chat. We joined with dozens of 3-Day walkers and crew members on Twitter and spent over an hour swapping fundraising tips and advice. It was fast paced, fun and inspiring to see so many 3-Day participants sharing their ideas with each other in this virtual meeting room. We’ve posted some highlights below, but you can see the whole conversation by visiting the 3-Day Twitter page (www.twitter.com/the3day), or searching for the hashtag #the3day, then scrolling to the May 29 posts. And of course, keep your eye on the 3-Day social networking sites for announcements about our next Tweet Chat, coming soon….

 

The Dallas-Fort Worth 3-Day

Even with a chill in the air, the Texas sun rose on a beautiful Opening Ceremony at the Collin Creek Mall on Friday morning for the start of the 2013 Susan G. Komen Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. Crew members gathered even earlier than the walkers (in the dark!) to set up and ready themselves for over 1,200 participants who took to the streets, pounding 60 miles of the pavement to raise $3.3 million for breast cancer research and prevention. Participants walked 20.6 miles on the first day with Aldridge Elementary children packing the sidewalks to cheer them on. Richardson’s Fire Department and Police Department were particularly supportive, stopping along the way to cheer and help with street crossings.

Bank of America gathered up a great group of employees to pump up the walkers at Pit Stop 3, which was staffed by local Susan G. Komen affiliate employees. Beautiful weather continued throughout the day as walkers moved from Plano, Richardson, Dallas, and onto to Brookhaven College in Farmers Ranch, the site of camp. The Camp Show at night is a time to be entertained, to recognize those who have gone above and beyond in fundraising and overall commitment to finding a cure, and to hear inspirational messages from survivors. Friday night did not disappoint as Delese Hill-Range gave a touching address, and Cathy Hite was recognized with the Milestone Award for her serious commitment to the cause of fighting breast cancer.

Day 2 started out chilly but exciting as walkers lined up for the opening of the route and the 19.8 miles that awaited them. The New Balance-sponsored cheerleaders from Bishop Lynch Friars cheered the walkers into Pit Stop 2, and participants were greeted with some great trail walking and a huge cheering station sponsored by Susan G. Komen North Texas Affiliate just before some well deserved lunch. A big ‘Thank You’ to the city of Addison for its hospitality on Day 2! On return to camp, walkers retreated to the Bank of America massage chairs and, if needed, to the help of our great Medical Crew. At the Camp Show, co-survivor Burt Lipshie and young survivor Cara Welsh gave fresh perspective on why we continue to fight against breast cancer.

Day 3 started out with big smiles knowing that it would be the final miles before the finish of the event. The Crew helped facilitate a bus drop to the Ursuline Academy where the route opened onto the 16.8-mile course that would take participants through some of the beautiful parks of Dallas and into the city. An anticipatory excitement awaited so many first-time walkers as they neared the finish line in Centennial Park. The cheers of family and friends brought many tears to the walkers who had come so far. An emotional Closing Ceremony outside in great weather at the Fair Park reminded us of the loved ones we have lost. With one shoe held high, participants gave tribute to those breast cancer survivors with us today on the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. The crowd danced to “We Are Family” as the Susan G. Komen Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day wrapped up. See you next year in Texas!

ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS 

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