Saturday night’s Camp Show said it all: from the choir Shades of Pink to the dance party that just kept going, the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in Atlanta this year was one good time after another. The Crew of more than 300 volunteers gathered before the event and very early on Friday morning to make sure the kickoff at Stone Mountain was just perfect. A chilly but dry morning blossomed into a beautiful sunrise as more than 1,000 walkers stretched, did Zumba, and cheered to the launch of a 60-mile walk that would raise over $2.9 million for breast cancer research and local support. Many first-time walkers enjoyed the inspirational Opening Ceremony and over 100 men joined the Komen 3-Day in Atlanta this year!
“Playing it cool” was the name of the game as walkers circled Stone Mountain through the large production set and onto the streets of Clarkston, Avondale Estates and Decatur. A large group of Bank of America employees at Pit Stop 3 cheered walkers who had started to feel the pains of the challenging walk. “No one said anything about those first hills!” smiled one walker when I asked how the day was going. Cheering stations in Decatur and possibly one of the most adorable group of pre-schoolers near the Clarkston First Baptist Church kept spirits high as participants finished the 21.6-mile day at the World Congress Center in Atlanta. Shelley Middleton gave a moving speech that night at the camp show and the Milestone Award was presented to Beth White for her eight years of dedication to the 3-Day®. She has personally raised $65,600 to date and counting! What an inspiration for the fight against breast cancer.
Day 2 rained on and off, enough for walkers to don ponchos on the 19.3-mile route through the northern areas of Atlanta. The Youth Corps once again provided some entertainment at lunch in the Buckhead neighborhood, and the cheering stations, including the Komen Greater Atlanta Affiliate were just awesome. The much anticipated Shades of Pink Choir (made up of 18 breast cancer survivors) rocked the house while the walkers and crew dined after the long day, and an impromptu duet of “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” (Martina McBride) by two of the younger walkers made the evening a musical delight. Joe Moore, a co-survivor, and Melissa Traylor, a young survivor, reminded the large crowd of why we all work so hard. After the great camp show, things didn’t slow down. A dance party to rival any 3-Day Dance Party exploded with the Youth Corps leading things off!
Day 3 included a 15.3-mile route through Atlanta. The walkers enjoyed especially sunny and cooler weather and a great sunrise as they moved through Piedmont Park and Freedom Park. The Woodward Eagles cheerleaders entertained at a private station near Emory University. Walkers and crew finished the route at Turner Field to the cheers of family and friends (and two wedding proposals!) and celebrated the fight against breast cancer through a program of remembrance of lost loved ones and an appreciation of the survivors of breast cancer. The Survivors’ Circle gathered to raise the flag: “We Will Never Give Up!”
What is your favorite memory of the Atlanta 3-Day?