Growing the 3-Day: Two Exciting Travel Programs

Many of you have been participating in the 3-Day for a decade or more. Why? Because of that “3-Day Bubble.” No matter how tough it was the first time, how crappy the weather beat you down in 2008, or how many times you hit a personal milestone and said “this just might be my last year,” you keep coming back to spend just a little more time in that beautiful pink bubble

For us, the 3-Day is the way the world should be for three glorious days. This 3-Day community and culture has become what it is because of you. Komen didn’t create this—you did.

Now, for those who have been with us for years, you have seen the 3-Day Series grow to great heights and you’ve seen in recent years diminishing returns. We want to grow again.

So we’ve set a pretty ambitious goal for 2016: to double the size of our program. Double. This is aggressive, but so is our goal to end breast cancer forever. You don’t make big progress with little goals. We can do this.

So, how do we plan to grow?

Sunday, August 9, 2015: Participants walk the 60 mile Susan G. Komen 3day event that goes from Novi to Dearborn, MI.

150th Event and 3-Day Family Reunion – The 2016 Michigan 3-Day marks our 150th event! It’s an incredible milestone! We plan to kick off an epic reunion celebration in Michigan and continue it in every 3-Day city all season long. More details can be found at The3Day.org/Reunion.

We want to bring our entire 3-Day family back together to celebrate this reunion. Many folks participated in the 3-Day for years but haven’t been back because traveling to one has been a burden and barrier.

So, for this year only—in celebration of the 150th 3-Day event that they helped us reach—we are reaching out to those individuals and teams to cover their travel costs, should they raise $2,300 to walk in the 3-Day closest to them. Check out all of the details at The3Day.org/Reunion to see if you are eligible.

Bring Your Besties – We are also excited to announce Bring Your Besties, a free travel program for new walkers in 2016! Invite as many first-time walkers as you can to join you this year and we’ll pay their roundtrip airfare to and from the 3-Day, as long as they meet their $2,300 fundraising requirement.3-Day_BestiesOffer

I am from Illinois. I’ve lived in Texas for 8 years now. My best friend, Ashley, and I have known each other since grade school. She is the “sister from another mister” for me. I talk to this woman every morning on my way to work, but I only get to see her when I go home for Christmas each year.

Last year, her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. And as usual none of us could be together as often as we wanted to be… I couldn’t hug Ashley when she needed it. I could only pray her and her mom through everything.

Now, with the Bring Your Besties program, I’m rounding up Ashley and our families to walk with me at the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day this fall! They will fundraise and train, and instead of waiting for another Christmas, I will get to spend three whole days in November immersed with my favorite people. Not only that, but I get to share the gift of YOU—the unconditionally loving and supportive 3-Day family—with my loved ones who don’t even know they need this community. I cannot WAIT to share them with all of you.

Guys—if we ALL bring ONE new walker with us this year we will already have doubled the size of the 3-Day and doubled our fundraising. This is a way to make the 3-Day more accessible to everyone.

Is investing in travel wise?

Yes. And I will tell you why:

  • For years we have invested in TV and radio ads. Many of you heard about the 3-Day ten years ago through a television ad. And while we love advertising our great event, with the growth of social media, we’ve found that paid ads just aren’t as effective as they could be to bring new walkers to the 3-Day family. You know us to be responsible stewards of the money you raise—devoting 80 cents of every dollar to our mission programs—so we want to ensure that we’re maximizing every dollar. In this case, that means even paying for travel to bring someone to the event and let them experience “the bubble” for themselves.
    The majority of you participated in a 3-Day one time and were hooked. You’ve continued to participate for years. The targeted investment of a one-time flight potentially yields years of participation and fundraising from that person. Plus, we significantly grow the 3-Day.
  • Ultimately, our goal is to add more cities to our 3-Day Series. If we can significantly raise participation tides in our current cities in 2016, we’re looking at adding at least one new city in 2017. And, we want you, the 3-Day community, to have a voice in which city we add.

2015_3DAY_SD_GF-1036We all want the same things: more people = more fundraising dollars = bigger impact = a day where no one dies from breast cancer. We are not settling for smaller plans that yield incremental growth. NASA didn’t aim to just break the sound barrier; they had a goal to walk on the moon. A BIG GOAL. Double the 3-Day. Everyone bring your besties and let’s grow the 3-Day!

I am very excited and recruiting my team as I write this blog. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you, 3-Dayers, for filling voids in my heart I didn’t know I needed last year as a co-survivor. And I want to thank you for continuing to be you—the most passionate, genuine and FUN group of people I’ve had the privilege of calling a new family. Together, we can do this. Here’s to a strong 2016 3-Day season!

~ Chrissy

20 Tips for the First-Time 3-Day Walker

Say hello to Jamie Roubinek. On her blog, Roubinek Reality, Jamie writes about momhood, food, travel, DIYs and life in Dallas. On top of all of that, Jamie also stepped up to join the 3-Day in 2015 as a first-time walker in Dallas/Fort Worth. As a newly-graduated expert on the newbie experience, Jamie has some advice to offer other first-timers making their way to the 3-Day.

20151108_122637In November, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Susan G. Komen Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. It was an unforgettable event for several reasons but mostly, the 3-Day was a huge learning experience. It was my very first one, so I learned a lot along the way. I wanted to share 20 tips for first-time 3-Day walkers.

  1. Get fitted for good shoes well ahead of time. They will be one of the most important things you’ll need during the 3-Day. But make sure you’re not wearing brand new shoes for the event. Break them in while training.
  2. Train, train, train. This is an endurance event. You’ll want to be physically prepared. By training ahead of time, you’ll potentially avoid LOTS of pain.
  3. Get a training buddy. Putting in the miles is a lot easier when you have a friend to do it with.
  4. Be equally committed to your fitness and fundraising. Make every day a mission to get yourself ready and to get your friends and family behind you.
  5. Attend the workshops that the 3-Day provides. They are full of tips and great information you’ll want to hear. Plus, you’ll meet fun people preparing for the same thing you are.
  6. Practice packing your bag and stick to the weight limit. Crew members will have to move your bags and they have LOTS of bags to take care of. If you aren’t sure if you’ll need something, you probably won’t.
  7. Jazz up your bag a little to make it easily recognizable.
  8. When packing your bag, put outfits for each day in individual Ziploc baggies. It not only keeps things organized for you, but also keeps clothes from getting wet in the event of rain or heavy dew.
  9. Carry a backpack or a fanny pack while walking. Choosing which one ultimately comes down to personal preference, but there are a couple of things you’ll want to have on you while you walk and you need to decide early what is the best way for you to carry them without weighing yourself down.
  10. Eat well, hydrate, and get lots of sleep before the event. You’ll want to be at the top of your game so you’re not fighting fatigue in the middle of the 60 miles.
  11. Don’t forget your water bottle. There are many drink and snack stations along the way, but they are for refilling your own bottle. I actually forgot my bottle one day. Huge mistake on my part. I won’t do that again. :)
  12. Get the towel service. After using your towel at night, there’s a chance it might not dry by the next day, depending on the weather. It’s worth it to have that nice fresh towel when you need it.
  13. Bring ear plugs. You never know how loud it might be outside of your tent (or maybe inside, if your tentmate is a snorer) when you’re trying to sleep.
  14. Bring Advil or Tylenol to take before going to bed. Your aching feet and muscles will thank you!
  15. Don’t forget sunscreen and lip balm. We started so early in the day and even though I wasn’t walking during the heat of the day, I still managed to get a bit of a sunburn on my face. Not fun.
  16. Pack plenty of socks and carry another pair with you while you’re walking. Think of how miserable it feels to walk around with wet socks. Yuck.
  17. Get there early for the Opening Ceremony and stay for the Closing Ceremony. You’ll want to soak in both of these emotional events, believe me! :)20151106_070829 (1)
  18. Meet people along the way and find out why they’re participating. You’ll love hearing the different stories and finding out what you may have in common with other walkers.
  19. Dress like your teammates or walking buddy with lots of pink. It’s fun to see what everyone is wearing and all of the creativity everyone brings to the event.
  20. Make friends, push yourself, envision yourself crossing the finish line, and just enjoy yourself! Remember why you wanted to participate, who you’re walking for, and let that push you along the way!

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to participate in this amazing event and I hope these tips may help another walker who may be taking this 60-mile journey for the very first time. Good luck! You won’t regret it, nor will you forget it.

“We come together for one common goal.” – A Guest Post by Trina O.

Trina O’Boyle is the voice behind O’Boy! Organic, a lifestyle blog which covers healthy eating, style, parenting and more. Trina walked in the 2015 Philadelphia 3-Day, her second 3-Day event, and shared her experiences with us.

SGK Walk  (1)I’ve known about Susan G. Komen and the 3-Day for years. When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer over 10 years ago, she dedicated countless hours to participating in local breast cancer awareness walks and educating others on the importance of early detection. My mother was fortunate to have discovered her breast cancer early and was in remission for years. Unfortunately, in 2011 a new cancer invaded my mom – lung cancer. Unfortunately, it was not caught early and in 2013 at the age of 75 my mom lost her life.

Losing my mom to cancer was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. A part of me died with her, and I spent a year grieving the loss of my mom and best friend. During my healing process I was reminded of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, and right away I knew this was something I HAD to do, for me and my mom. You see, she had always wanted to do the 3-Day but never could. Now I could do it for her. So in 2014, I tackled my first 3-Day in Philadelphia. It was life changing.

I still remember the first day of the 3-Day in 2014. We were not even halfway through and I was chatting with some other walkers, just meeting for the first time. They asked if this was my first 3-Day. I said yes, and their response surprised me and has stuck with me ever since: “Welcome to the family.” That is truly what the Susan G. Komen 3-Day is: a family. A family made up of all sorts of people volunteering—working as crew members and walkers. We come together for one common goal: to end breast cancer.

We celebrate not the first person that arrives at camp each day but the last, because that is what family does.

I loved the 3-Day so much that I decided to tackle it again in 2015. This time around I was able to share this amazing experience with my best friend. Having the opportunity to experience something like this with someone close to you is truly a special thing that I know we will both remember for a lifetime. We encouraged, pushed and counted on one another throughout the 60 miles like never before and I feel blessed to have had her by my side.MB and 3 Day

I’ve been volunteering since I was in high school. I started out as a candy striper, then after my grandfather passed away I volunteered with my local hospice. As a blogger, I’ve committed to using my online voice to educate others on important causes and issues. As a mother, I include my kids in my volunteering efforts by taking them to soup kitchens and donating items to local charities during the holiday season or when we see the need locally and/or globally. By participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day you are not only experiencing something magical and inspiring but you are also volunteering – your time, your hard work, your fundraising expertise – to end breast cancer.

As a blogger, I’ve been committed to using my online voice to educate others on important causes and issues that we may not have thought twice about. And while most 3-Day walkers probably don’t think of themselves as volunteers for the cause, they are, because they are freely giving their time and energy to doing something good (and of course, the 3-Day crew members and other supporters are world class volunteers too). So why do it, why volunteer? Yes, it makes you feel good but there are a lot of other reasons.

5 Benefits of Volunteering

It Saves Resources – Volunteers are the backbone to many charities. Some studies have found that the estimated value of a volunteer is $23 an hour. People who take time out of their lives to volunteer are providing valuable services so that more money can be spent elsewhere. This is definitely true at the 3-Day, where hundreds of people work on the amazing all-volunteer crew to keep the huge 3-Day event running like clockwork.

It’s Good For Your Health – Volunteering and participating in charitable events like the 3-Day reduces stress, changes your mood and affects your emotions in a positive way. Think about it: When you focus on someone other than yourself, you stop thinking about all your problems which makes you a happier person.

It Brings People Together – When you volunteer or take part in the 3-Day you come together with people of all backgrounds. Everyone is working towards one common goal and it helps build friendships and encourages teamwork.

I met Alaine on the first day. Alaine was welcoming the walkers in at the end of the day. Because of physical issues she wasn’t able to walk but still wanted to be a part of the 3-Day experience, because it means so much to her. Alaine shared a poem that she wrote and now I share it with you.

I met Alaine on the first day. Alaine was welcoming the walkers in at the end of the day. Because of physical issues she wasn’t able to walk but still wanted to be a part of the 3-Day experience, because it means so much to her. Alaine shared a poem that she wrote and now I share it with you.

I recruited my girlfriend from south Florida to join me this year for the 3-Day. Marybeth was a trooper as she dealt with the cold, wind and rain throughout the weekend. It helped that we had crew members who made us laugh along the way.

I recruited my girlfriend from south Florida to join me this year for the 3-Day. Marybeth was a trooper as she dealt with the cold, wind and rain throughout the weekend. It helped that we had crew members who made us laugh along the way.

You Learn A Lot – Besides discovering some hidden talents, volunteering allows people to try new activities that they may not have ever thought they would do. Whether you’re helping out for a few hours or spending three days walking 60 miles, giving your time to a cause can turn into a lifetime of learning and continued opportunities to help others.

So many smiling faces along the way, always upbeat encouraging the walkers to carry on.

So many smiling faces along the way, always upbeat, encouraging the walkers to carry on.

You Make a Difference – Even doing small things can have a huge impact. Volunteers and participant fundraisers have an enormous impact on the health and well-being of communities worldwide.

On the 2nd day at mile 16 I was in bad shape. My foot was killing me and I needed to have it wrapped. I went to the medical tent at one of the pit stops and this beautiful nurse encouraged me to sweep but I didn’t listen, because I wanted to carry on with walking. She saw me at a bad time, tears crying and exhausted. She was there for me at a time when I needed it. At the finish line I saw her again and thanked her for helping me the day before. My son noticed us speaking, hugging and crying. He asked me why I was crying, I told him how she had helped me. He then went up to her (with tears in his eyes) and said, “Thank you for helping my mom.”

On the 2nd day at mile 16 I was in bad shape. My foot was killing me and I needed to have it wrapped. I went to the medical tent at one of the pit stops and this beautiful nurse encouraged me to sweep but I didn’t listen, because I wanted to carry on with walking. She saw me at a bad time, tears crying and exhausted. She was there for me at a time when I needed it. At the finish line I saw her again and thanked her for helping me the day before. My son noticed us speaking, hugging and crying. He asked me why I was crying, I told him how she had helped me. He then went up to her (with tears in his eyes) and said, “Thank you for helping my mom.”

By doing the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, you will push yourself physically and emotionally. Then at the end, when you feel you can’t go one step farther, you get such a sense of accomplishment and self worth that YOU’VE DONE SOMETHING! After completing 60 miles and raising money to end breast cancer you WILL be changed for the better because you will have helped so many.

SGK Finish LineThank you, Susan G. Komen, for giving me the opportunity to experience the 3-Day for two years. It has helped me heal emotionally from the loss of my mother and has given me the courage to have a voice to help others in need.