Top Fundraisers at San Diego 3-Day Announced

Congratulations to all of the walkers today who pounded out the first 20 miles of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in San Diego. We were treated to a gorgeous sunrise in Del Mar and a picturesque day overlooking the ocean as walkers, assisted by their dedicated crew, took in the sunshine of southern California. The Camp Show this evening was full of fun and laughter as presenting sponsor Bank of America had a few select walkers strutting their stuff for prizes on stage. As is the custom on Friday nights at the Camp Show, Bank of America and Dr. Sheri presented the top fundraisers for the 2013 Komen San Diego 3-Day.

Top Crew Fundraiser: Aubrey Cushing, $2,310; (Team ‘Walk With Me’)

Aubrey Cushing is recognized with the top crew fundraising award

Aubrey Cushing is recognized with the top crew fundraising award

Top Fundraising Team: Powered by Optimism, $257,247; (Captain Amy Benoit)

Amy Benoit is awarded both the Top Training Walker Leader and as Captain of the top fundraising team

Amy Benoit is awarded both the Top Training Walk Leader and as Captain of the top fundraising team

Top Individual Fundraiser: Stephanie Capaccio, $45,842; (Team ‘Tulips for Tatas’)

Stephanie Capacchio is recognized as the San Diego 3-Day Top Individual Fundraiser

Stephanie Capacchio is recognized as the San Diego 3-Day Top Individual Fundraiser

Congratulations to these fabulous fundraisers and the to the dedication of everyone walking this weekend on the San Diego 3-Day! Good luck on Day 2!

Solo No More

Stephaney and Christina stop for an instant at Pit Stop 1 on Day 3

Stephaney and Christina stop for an instant at Pit Stop 1 on Day 3

“I was terrified to walk alone,” said Christina at lunch on Day 1 of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Tampa Bay this year. “It wasn’t the 60 miles that worried me; it was the large teams that were very organized.” It’s true. The Komen 3-Day participants sometimes have large teams that sometimes incorporate scores of walkers and their coordinated outfits which can turn heads on the streets of any American city. “I heard Stephaney say she was alone walking, and I said: ‘Me too!’”

Stephaney and Christina walk the 60-mile route of the Tampa Bay 3-Day

Stephaney and Christina walk the 60-mile route of the Tampa Bay 3-Day

The two were handed pink balloons by an onlooker, so by lunch, I assumed they were walking together anyway. I was surprised to find out they started alone – and that it was their first time participating. Stephaney is walking for her mother who is now a 5-year survivor of breast cancer. “I saw a commercial on TV when I was getting ready for work earlier this year, and thought that I needed to celebrate my mother’s health!” Both Stephaney and Christina were raised in ‘military’ families, both Air Force, so they quickly realized they had a lot to talk about.

Wilson and Henry Jr. are in tow as Stephaney and Christina roll into Pit Stop 1 on the last day of the Tampa Bay 3-Day

Wilson and Henry Jr. are in tow as Stephaney and Christina roll into Pit Stop 1 on the last day of the Tampa Bay 3-Day

Christina’s mother is currently in treatment. “I loved the Opening Ceremony,” said Christina. “I tried not to cry.” The Tampa Bay 3-Day opened with a bang on Friday morning in Sand Park, and a glorious sunrise accented the booming cheers of the celebration. Christina was brought to the 3-Day by her father’s ‘shenanigans.’ She mentioned, “We always knew about the walk, but this year, my father expressed interest. He then only helped ME with the fundraising! I was in the top ten for fundraising!” Walkers have to raise $2300 to participate in the 60-mile walk, and most find creative strategies to fundraise. “We opened up donations from my father’s work, and they were more than generous.” By Day 3, they still had pink balloons, explaining that since the beginning, it had become their thing. One of the girl’s father went to a balloon shop to revive the symbol of their new ‘team.’ “The guy at the balloon shop just gave them to us, considering what we were doing!” the girls explained. They had written their mascots’ names on the balloons: ‘Wilson’ and ‘Henry Jr.’ (The movie reference from the Tom Hanks film was apparent, but evidently ‘Henry Jr’ is just a loving nickname.)

They are anticipating some strong family support today at Closing Ceremony in Tampa Bay. Congratulate Stephaney and Christina on their first time walks this weekend!

The girls gear up for Day 2 of the Tampa Bay 3-Day

The girls gear up for Day 2 of the Tampa Bay 3-Day

The girls stop on Day 1 for a short rest

The girls stop on Day 1 for a short rest

From Pain to Gain – and $1.4 Million

When Tina McDonough was asked to walk in the 2007 Seattle 3-Day with three friends in honor of her friend Michelle, who was living with breast cancer,  she couldn’t refuse. She remembers vividly how she felt physically while walking those 60 miles. “I had not trained enough, and was hurting – bad!” Tina confessed. That, she thought, would be her first – and last – 3-Day walk.

When Michelle lost her fight against cancer just two months later, Tina  was no longer deterred by her memories of the physical discomfort of her first walk. “I watched Michelle’s 12-year-old daughter and her husband fall apart,” said Tina. “Attending her funeral was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I knew I had to do something, so I started a team to walk in her memory. I figured training and fundraising as a group would make it easier.” So her team, Valley Girls and Guys, was born.

VGG 1

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