Congratulations to the 2015 San Diego 3-Day Award Winners

It was our honor to recognize the hard work and dedication of some of the outstanding participants of the Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day with special awards.

Top Fundraisers

The top crew fundraiser for the San Diego 3-Day was Heidi De Young from the Gear & Tent crew team, who raised $3,743. Over her sixteen events (covering eleven years) as a 3-Day participant, she has raised a total of $45,735. When she’s not walking the 3-Day with her team, the Coconutter Shutters, or crewing, Heidi enjoys dancing, especially ballroom dancing (though really any kind of dancing will do).SD top crew Heidi De Young

The top fundraising team for the San Diego 3-Day, Powered By Optimism, was also the largest team on the event. With 116 members, led by their captain Amy Benoit, the team raised a total of $279,375. Amy also received recognition as San Diego’s Top Training Walk Leader. Over the course of their history with the 3-Day, Powered by Optimism has raised a total of $1,192, 346! Incredible!SD top team PBO Amy Benoit

The top individual fundraiser for the San Diego 3-Day was Kathy Giller of team Breast Man Walking, who raised an astonishing $52,410! Kathy’s husband Lee is a breast cancer survivor and was a part of the Survivor Circle in the San Diego Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Over Kathy’s ten years and eighteen events with the 3-Day, she has raised a total of $290,380, but it doesn’t stop there: since Lee’s diagnosis with breast cancer ten years ago, Kathy and her family have together raised over $380,000 to help find a cure for breast cancer.SD top individual Kathy GillerKathy and Lee Giller

We applaud our top fundraisers, as well as the San Diego 3-Day community as a whole, who together raised a jaw-dropping $5.9 million in donations.

Milestone Award

The Milestone Award is given on each 3-Day event to one participant who has an extraordinary history of involvement with the 3-Day. This year, The Milestone Award for San Diego was presented to Lucy Millman.SD Milestone Lucy Millman

Over her eleven years and eleven events with the 3-Day as a part of team Sole Sisters, Lucy has raised a total of $174,179. For the second year in a row, Lucy is sharing her 3-Day weekend experience with her cousin and teammate, Emily. Emily spoke about her family, as well as Lucy’s history with breast cancer, “My cousin Lucy is the eldest of fifteen cousins; our mothers are two of five girls. We all grew up near each other, so we cousins are closer than many siblings. Our family first encountered breast cancer in 1976, when our Aunt Judy died at the age of forty-five. Then fifteen years ago, Lucy was diagnosed with breast cancer. She courageously fought and beat that first round, then was diagnosed a second time in 2007. I’m pleased to report that in 2015, Lucy celebrates nine years cancer-free! Lucy is the first person I call in times of trouble, always reassuring, and ready to provide a caring, nonjudgmental viewpoint. I’m walking with Lucy this year for the second time. We walk to honor her battles, in support of all of our survivor friends, and in memory of those who have lost their lives, but whose spirits fight on.”

Before participating in the San Diego event, Lucy was integral to the Chicago 3-Day when she lived in Illinois. Her friend Joan shared, “She was a volunteer, a top fundraiser, and a mentor to other walkers. She is an advocate for this great cause and she works tirelessly to raise awareness about breast cancer and for Komen. She is a person who expects no recognition for all of her efforts and she shies away from the spotlight. She is a fantastic example of a survivor who continues to fight for others.”

We’re certainly glad Lucy emerged from her cave for the San Diego 3-Day. We’re inspired by her story and grateful for her phenomenal dedication to a world free of breast cancer.

Local Impact Award

The Local Impact Award was a new award for 2015, and was presented to a participant in each 3-Day city who has been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day in their community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees are participants who go above and beyond with things like leading training walks, attending local events, supporting the local 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference in their 3-Day community by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

We were pleased to honor walker Martin Heflin of team Powered By Optimism with the Local Impact Award at the San Diego 3-Day. Over the course of his seven years and thirteen 3-Day events, he’s raised a total of $30,390. SD Local Impact Martin HeflinAmy, Martin’s friend and co-captain, enthusiastically agreed that Martin was the perfect recipient for the award, “Impactful:  Yes! That’s a great descriptive term for Martin Heflin.  People may come to one of the walks he’s hosting simply to get started training.  It doesn’t take more than a 1/2 lap around Miramar Lake before they find themselves fully motivated to join a team and immerse themselves in the entire 3-Day experience (well, except camping, …we all know how Martin feels about camping).  Martin shares humorous stories and uses his endless charm to make people feel a sense of welcome and belonging.  Bottom line, he adds to the success of the organization because of his miraculous recruiting and retention skills.  Beyond that, year after year he raises well above the minimum required to participate and in addition to his numerous acts of volunteerism, he is also the well-loved co-caption of the San Diego based team, Powered by Optimism.  He’s played a HUGE part in their overall success and can proudly say that, with them, he’s raised over one million dollars in the fight to end breast cancer.  Now that’s impactful.”

What does a go-getter like Martin have against camping? Well, he served in the Army for four years, which explains his preference of staying in a hotel instead of a pink tent. Another fun fact about Martin: he was once a tour guide at the San Diego Zoo and can still remember the script verbatim (just ask him). He also loves Disneyland, and he and his family visit several times each year. From what we’ve seen and heard of Martin, Disney, in all of its magic and splendor, seems to be a fitting vacation destination for him. His friend and fellow teammate, Deborah, shared, “When I first met Martin five years ago he was co-captain of Powered by Optimism, but it wasn’t long before I was aware of how important he has become to the Komen cause overall,” said his friend and fellow teammate, Deborah, “It’s easy to underestimate Martin, because he deflects attention with self-deprecating humor and good conversation. But make no mistake, he is a force to be reckoned with in the world of breast cancer fundraising, volunteering and walking to raise awareness. He routinely raises far more than the minimum each year for the San Diego 3-Day, and volunteers in multiple cities as crew. If you have the opportunity to walk with Martin in a 3-Day, you’ll be entertained by his wit and wisdom and motivated by his child-like exuberance – that’s if you can keep up with him.”

A big thank you to Martin for his outstanding charisma and commitment to the 3-Day. And, of course, congratulations to the entire San Diego 3-Day family for a truly remarkable year!

Congratulations to the 2015 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Award Winners

It was our privilege to celebrate some of our remarkable Susan G. Komen 3-Day® participants with special awards at the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day.

Top Fundraisers

The top crew fundraiser in Dallas/Fort Worth was Kathleen Furman, who raised $4,490. She’s crafty with her fundraisers, designing and making her own buttons, stickers and temporary tattoos. Kathleen has been a part of the Komen 3-Day for ten years, this year’s Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day being her fifteenth event. As a crew member this year, she brought her lifetime fundraising grand total to $47,175.

The top fundraising team in Dallas/Fort Worth was Pink Soles in Motion. As the largest team on the event with 77 members led by captain Catrina Gibson, they raised $134, 468. During their ten years as a team, this group has raised an incredible $1,289,616! Wow!

Pink Soles

The top individual fundraiser in Dallas/Fort Worth was Allison Lewis of the Jabber-Walkies team, who raised $21,415 on her own. She’s been friends with two of the women on her team since kindergarten, which makes sense since the team got their distinct name thanks to a grade school P.E. coach who called Allison “Jabberwocky” in the 3rd grade. In two years and two 3-Day events, Allison has raised a total of $37,540.

jabber walkies

Thank you and kudos to our top fundraiser and to the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day community as a whole, who together raised $2.8 million in donations.

Milestone Award

The Milestone Award is given on each 3-Day event to one participant who has an extraordinary history of involvement with the 3-Day. This year, The Milestone Award for Dallas/Fort Worth was presented to Liz Goldman.

Liz first took part in the 3-Day 12 years ago, and this year’s Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day marks her 11th event. Liz’s commitment to the 3-Day is so strong that when Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012 and she was not able to fly out to walk in Dallas, she rearranged everything (flights, family, clean-up efforts at home, etc.) and transferred to the Arizona 3-Day just one week later! In her history with the 3-Day, Liz has raised over $144,622 (she also raised the second highest amount of donations as an individual for the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day this year).

award winner

Outside of the 3-Day, Liz uses her skills as a chef and her love of food volunteering at a local soup kitchen. Not only is she altruistic, but she’s downright brave; on a recent trip to Tuscon for a girls’ weekend at the spa, she challenged herself to walk a tightrope! Liz’s husband, a 3-Day crew member, offered more insight into what an outstanding woman Liz is, saying “Liz is special, for she truly will do anything to help anyone, and in a wonderful way. The reality is that Liz has an unending desire to help people, and the strength and wisdom to do so.  This runs through both major life events and day-to-day life.  This altruism manifests itself for the family and close friends. But it doesn’t end there.  She also wants to help many who she doesn’t even know. ”

Thank you, Liz, for your years of enthusiasm and dedication to the 3-Day. It’s our pleasure to honor you.

Local Impact Award

The Local Impact Award is a new award for 2015, and is being presented to a participant in each 3-Day city who has been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day in their community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees are participants who go above and beyond with things like leading training walks, attending local events, supporting the local 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference in their 3-Day community by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

We were pleased to honor walker Ralph Morriss with The Local Impact Award at the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. Over the course of his four years and four 3-Day events, he’s raised a total of $23,327. A fun fact about Ralph: he was voted “Class Favorite” at Lewisville HS in 1954. His friend, Shelley G., shared some of the qualities about Ralph that made him just as lovable then as he is now, “My friend Ralph is the most caring, loving, thoughtful, wonderful person you’ll ever know. He would give you the shirt off his back or definitely some veggies from his garden.” Speaking of veggies, Ralph is an avid gardener who owns a veggie stand on Morriss Road in Flower Mound, so be sure to stop by and try some of his produce! He’ll make sure you know all about the 3-Day while you’re there.

award winner

Besides gardening, Ralph enjoys walking and fundraises every day, which is pretty amazing considering all of the time and energy that takes. His friend Tracey M. had some wonderful things to say about this extraordinary man, “I call Ralph Morriss the Energizer Bunny. There is just no stopping him. Ralph tirelessly works year round training and raising funds for the support of Susan G. Komen® and the 3-Day.  There are plenty of causes Ralph could put his efforts toward, including diabetes, as Ralph was diagnosed in 2009 with Type 1 Diabetes. Yet he chooses to walk with us, for us! Ralph at 80 years of age is so full of life and love. He is so very thoughtful and selfless. I have to say I have never seen my friend with a frown on his face….except maybe when he fears the donations are slowing! As I fight my personal fight, rarely a day goes by without my receiving a quick text from Ralph to just say “Hello, how ya feeling” and maybe a few words of encouragement or inspiration. When I text him back a “Hello, what’s up my buddy?” He says, “Just the 3 W’s. Working, Walking and Wishing”. I then ask, “What are you wishing for?” He says, “A cure for cancer!” Well, I have a wish as well, I wish for everyone fighting this fight to have someone as special and uplifting in their life. Although I am certain Ralph Morriss is one of a kind! Komen and so many of us are lucky to have him on our side!”

Congratulations and thank you to Ralph for his phenomenal commitment to a world free of breast cancer. And, of course, thank you to the entire Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day family for another unbelievable year!

Congratulations to the 2015 Atlanta 3-Day Award Winners

At the Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day, we were delighted to shine the spotlight on some of our outstanding Komen 3-Day participants with special awards given out in camp.

Top Fundraisers

We recognized the top individual, crew and team fundraisers for the Atlanta 3-Day® in camp on Saturday.

The top crew fundraiser in Atlanta was Pamella Whitham, who was a member of the lunch crew. Pamella, a breast cancer survivor, has been part of the 3-Day for 12 years, with this year’s Atlanta 3-Day being her 12th event. As a crew member this year, she raised an incredible $8,515; her lifetime fundraising total is $47,175. When she’s not traveling the country for 3-Day events, Pamella is a realtor in Malibu, CA, and lives with her husband Bob who raises Budgies (parakeets).IMG_3319The top fundraising team in Atlanta was Grand Ta Ta’s. On most 3-Day events, the top fundraising team is also the largest team, but in Atlanta, it was quite the opposite. The Grand Ta Ta’s are made up of only five team members and together, they raised $80,400. In their five years as a team, this group has raised an astonishing $503,600. Amazing!

4 of the 5 Grand Ta Ta's team members at Opening Ceremony in Atlanta

4 of the 5 Grand Ta Ta’s team members at Opening Ceremony in Atlanta

The captain of the Grand Ta Ta’s, Christi-Ann Wiltberger, was also Atlanta’s top individual fundraiser, bringing in $40,000 on her own (fundraising awesomeness must run in the family; Christi-Ann’s sister Jennifer, a Grand Ta Ta’s teammate, was the #3 fundraiser in Atlanta, raising over $20,000).IMG_3310

Our thanks and applause go to all of the wonderful walkers, crew members and supporters who helped bring the Atlanta 3-Day to $2.2 million in total donations.

 

Milestone Award

Tara, the local coach for the Atlanta 3-Day, joined us on stage on Friday night to recognize the Atlanta 3-Day Milestone Award winner. This award is given on each 3-Day event to one participant who has an extraordinary history of involvement with the 3-Day. The Milestone Award for Atlanta was presented to Shelley Middleton.

Shelley, a 21-year breast cancer survivor, told us that her favorite number is 3 and her favorite color has always been pink, even before her diagnosis, so it seems like she was always destined to be part of the 3-Day family. She first took part in the 3-Day 9 years ago, and this year’s Atlanta 3-Day marks her 9th event. In her history with the 3-Day, Shelley has raised over $69,000.

Shelley and coach Tara

Shelley and coach Tara

Shelley, a mother of 13-year-old triplets, has quite the team supporting her at home, but is part of a small team of two on the 3-Day. Her sister Susie is her teammate on Nancy’s Angels; the team is named for their mom, who passed 32 years ago. Susie had this to say about her sister: “Shelley is such a fighter and a strong 21-year survivor who gives so many people hope and inspiration to do the same. She asked me to walk the 3-Day ten years ago and we haven’t stopped since. Our little team of two has raised over $150,000 dollars in the ten years. We don’t want another mother, daughter, sister, aunt or friend to be affected by this disease.”

Congratulations, Shelley, and thank you for your years of dedication to the 3-Day community. We are grateful for all you are and all you do.

Local Impact Award

The Local Impact Award is a new award for 2015, and is being presented to a participant in each 3-Day city who has been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day in their community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees are participants who go above and beyond with things like leading training walks, attending local events, supporting the local 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference in their 3-Day community by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

In Atlanta, we were pleased to honor two participants with the Local Impact Award: husband and wife Charles and Renee McCollum. Charles and Renee have been part of the 3-Day for 5 years and 5 events, Charles as a crew member and Renee as a walker. As part of team Badges for Boobies, the couple has raised a combined total of over $16,000.IMG_3288

In preparing to present these two 3-Dayers with the award, we tricked them a little bit and told each individual that the award was going to their spouse. That way, we were able to get thoughts from each of them about their partner. Sneaky? Maybe a little, but worth it. Charles shared this about his wife: “Renee is always trying to recruit new walkers and will take time to explain everything about the 3-Day. She arranges training walks that will fit others’ schedules just so that they can get ready for the event. She can meet a stranger and make them feel like she has known them for years right away. She has been the force behind me getting my health back together after my heart attack in 2013. She makes sure I eat right and I cannot begin to thank her enough for her support and love. She has been my inspiration and I would not be where I am in my life without her as my wife and best friend!”

So sweet! Renee’s thoughts about her husband are just as lovely: “Charles has such a heart for the 3-Day and all those involved, especially ‘his’ walkers. He absolutely lives for the privilege of being there every morning to hug the walkers when they head out and let them know he will personally be there when they get back. He is moved to tears at merely discussing his connection with many of the walkers, especially the elderly or physically fragile ones who he gets to literally carry off the sweep vans. He has made a special connection each of our 4 previous years with at least one particular walker who struggled to make it and just hugged and cried with them when they crossed the finish line each day! I almost make it a joke during our training walks and have someone ask him about his “hug buddies.” He tries to tell one of the stories and just starts crying…he can’t do it. It is the most special thing to see MY MAN have that kind of heart!”

Join us in congratulating and thanking Charles and Renee for their extraordinary commitment to the Atlanta 3-Day community. And thanks, as always, to the entire Atlanta 3-Day family for another spectacular year.