Congratulations to the 2015 Philadelphia 3-Day Award Winners!

At the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day earlier this month, we were pleased to recognize 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 Philadelphia 3-Day® in camp on Friday.

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog philadelphia award winners top fundraiser crewFor the second year in a row, Priscilla Rawlins (sweep team) was the top crew fundraiser in Philadelphia, raising $5,793 this year, and an incredible $60,075 over her seven years with the 3-Day. Priscilla is a member of Team Girlapalooza, which also got a special team recognition in camp for passing the $1 million in team fundraising this year (they’ve been a team since 2008). As for Priscilla, when she’s not participating and fundraising for the 3-Day, she coaches softball, loves Nationals baseball, and is obsessed with her FitBit.

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog philadelphia award winners top fundraiser team breast friends of pennsylvania

Team captain Vivien (left)

The top fundraising team in Philadelphia was Breast Friends of Pennsylvania, which, with 79 team members was also the largest team on the Philly 3-Day this year. Team captain Vivian Vega-Schoch, along with her two 2016 co-captains, was recognized for the team’s amazing $145,619 fundraising total (though team members were quick to point out from the audience that they had actually surpassed $146,000 since we had last checked their fundraising total!). In their four years as a Philadelphia 3-Day team, Breast Friends of Pennsylvania has raised over $478,000.

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog philadelphia award winners top fundraiserPhiladelphia’s top individual fundraiser was Riley Weston, a member of team Faith Girlz, who was participating in her fifth 3-Day this year in Philly. Riley raised a remarkable $22,553 this year, and over five 3-Day events, has raised a lifetime total of $86,555. Riley will proudly tell you that she believes that miracles exist, that fairy tales come true and that prayers can change outcomes, and Inside her petite frame beats a big heart, as she asked her Philly 3-Day family to send their own powerful healing thoughts to her best buddy, her dog Cleatus.

Heaps of thanks go out to all of the Philly 3-Day walkers, crew members and supporters who helped bring the Philadelphia 3-Day to $2.7 million in total donations.

Milestone Award

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog philadelphia award winners Milestone Award

Philly coach Joanne (left) presents Candice with the Milestone Award

In Friday’s camp show, we also honored the Philadelphia 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. Philly’s Milestone Award was given to Candice Kiss, from The Pink Angels.

Candice has been part of the 3-Day family for 9 years, and the 2015 Philadelphia 3-Day marked her 14th event. During her time with the 3-Day, Candice has raised over $105,000, and in addition to the 3-Day this globe-trotting walker has also participated in Komen Race for the Cure® events in Egypt and Israel and the Marathon for the Cure® (half marathon) in Phoenix, AZ. But it’s not just breast cancer events that draw her to the far corners of the globe: a new-found interest in genealogy recently took Candice on an exploration of the Azores, an archipelago of 9 volcanic islands off the coast of Portugal. Wow!

But it’s Candice’s history with the 3-Day that earned her the Milestone Award. Her friend and coworker Elizabeth said, “Candice is the consummate business professional, extremely conscientious and dedicated. These traits extend to her personal activities as well. Her dedication to the Susan G. Komen® organization and breast cancer awareness is awe-inspiring, as each year brings a greater level of hard work and new activity. Her bright personality never wanes and offers hope to others around her. I consider myself lucky to be one of Candice’s friends.” Another friend and fellow walker Sharyn had this to say about Candice: “I’m so excited Candice will be recognized for her dedication and passion. I met her years ago, when she either volunteered or worked for the Komen Affiliate. Fast forward to our mutual friendship with Bridget [a friend who passed away in 2013] and that’s where her passion, and love for her really shined. She is a tireless fundraiser for this cause. She is quiet, unassuming and humble. She’s one you want in your corner.”

Congratulations, Candice, and thank you for your years of dedication to the 3-Day community. We’re sure glad we have you in our corner.

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.

On Saturday in camp, we presented the Philadelphia Local Impact Award to Joanne Faccenda. Joanne is the captain of J-Walkers for the Cure, and has participated as a walker and crew member in 19 events over her 10 years with the 3-Day, not only in Philadelphia, but also the Twin Cities, San Diego, Tampa, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Cleveland and Atlanta. She has raised a total of $23,645.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog philadelphia award winners local impact award

Joanne has been involved with the 3-Day since 2006, after she lost a friend who was only 40 years old to cancer. She quickly became a vocal 3-Day advocate and has been essential to leading many fundraisers over the years, including ones for new walkers she befriends simply to be a source of support. Joanne has been known to travel long distances to help her fellow 3-Day walkers, and her friend Dawn told us, “Joanne makes a huge impact on other 3-Day participants. She is very encouraging and a wealth of information to first time walkers.”

Joanne’s J-Walkers teammate Maria said, “She’s everyone’s teammate. If she’s walking, you’ll never walk alone. If not, she might be hanging out a window ready to help you into her decked out, very inviting sweep van.” Joanne’s friend Astrid agreed, saying “She is one of the most caring people I know. She always puts everyone in front of herself.”

Join us in congratulating and thanking Joanne for her extraordinary commitment to the Philadelphia 3-Day. And thanks, as always, to the entire Philadelphia 3-Day family for another spectacular year.

2015 Philadelphia 3-Day Wrap-up

When talking about the 2015 Philadelphia 3-Day walkers and crew members, one thing is certain: these are not people who back down when faced with adversity. Not even the threat of a hurricane, and the full Friday of pouring rainfall that accompanied it, could dampen these amazing people’s spirits. They arrived on the cold Friday morning, when the sky was still only drizzling, ready and motivated for the day to come. Rarely have you seen such a well-prepared bunch of individuals, decked out in duct-taped shoes, rain jackets and pants and plastic ponchos galore. No mere rainstorm was going to stop these folks!IMG_0638 IMG_0674 IMG_0573

Even with the rainy atmosphere, the Opening Ceremony–hosted by our wonderful 3-Day spokesperson Dr. Sheri Prentiss and Chrissy Mathews from Susan G. Komen®, along with Joanne Harrington, the Philadelphia local events coach–was both exciting and touching. Walkers were wished good luck and sent on their way out of Willow Grove and through the suburbs north of Philadelphia, as the rain began falling more steadily.IMG_0699 Pit stops at local parks in Ardsley and Oreland fueled walkers on, as they continued passing through beautiful residential areas. The rain didn’t stop people, including dozens of enthusiastic school children and a cheering station in Chestnut Hill, from coming out and cheering for the 3-Day as it passed.IMG_0757 IMG_0787

Walkers got a much needed break from the now-torrential rains at the lunch stop, where they were fortunate enough to be able to eat indoors. Who knew that the floor of a gymnasium would be such a welcome place to relax? At lunch, many walkers enjoyed being able to shed their rain gear for a bit, and if necessary, replace their feet coverings for the second soggy half of the day.IMG_0845 IMG_2590

After lunch, walkers trekked on the tree-covered Wissahickon Trail and through the Historic Rittenhouse Town before turning along the Schuylkill River, past Boathouse Row on approach to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.IMG_0945 IMG_0974 There, after a brief stop at pit stop 4, walkers got another nice little span of indoor walking, as the route actually took them through the museum instead of around it, as in past years. When they emerged on the front side, walkers got a scenic (though cloudy) peek at the downtown Philly skyline, and a trip down the “Rocky” steps to the final stretch to camp at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (hooray for being indoors!).IMG_0990

The camp show on Friday brought back the hosts from the morning’s Opening Ceremony, Dr. Sheri and Chrissy, as well as an inspirational speech by 6-time 3-Day walker Jodi, who is a very recent breast cancer survivor, having just been diagnosed earlier this year. We also recognized Philadelphia’s top training walk leader, top fundraisers and Milestone Award Winner.

The rain worked its way through Philly (for the most part) on Friday, and Saturday brought chilly, but mercifully drier conditions.IMG_1159 Walkers left the downtown area for points west, including Bala Cynwyd and it’s packed and enthusiastic cheering station, and the communities of Narberth and Ardmore.IMG_1221 The route criss-crossed Montgomery Ave., past beautiful historic homes, making its way to the lunch stop at Haverford College, amidst brick and stone buildings and a quaint and picturesque duck pond.IMG_1274 After lunch, walkers began making their way back toward downtown, and passed through JFK Square, where the fountain was dyed a brilliant pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and many walkers stopped to snap pics in front of the famous LOVE statue.IMG_1334 Another quick half-mile, and it was home sweet home again at 3-Day camp.

Saturday’s camp show had 3-Dayers laughing (wasn’t the costume relay race a kick?) and crying, with a powerful speech from co-survivor Jaime—a 7-time walker who does the 3-Day in honor of her mom, aunt and cousin, who are all survivors—and moving messages from the Philadelphia 3-Day Youth Corps. We also recognized Philadelphia’s Local Impact Award winner. After that, it was the always fun and crazy Saturday night dance party.

Walkers headed out on Day 3 for a breezy 15 miles. Within a few miles, they had a stroll through some of Philly’s historical hot spots, including Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously occupied street in America, as well as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.IMG_1666 Pit stop 1 at The Porch allowed weary walkers the chance to relax in some whimsical swings before moving on.IMG_1682 The route continued through South Philadelphia, and when it passed by Geno’s and Pat’s, rival proprietors (they’re literally right across the street from each other) of Philly’s most famous culinary delight, the cheesesteak, many walkers took the opportunity for an early lunch. After the official 3-Day lunch stop at South Philadelphia High School, it was a short few miles to the finish line at the Navy Yard, where hundreds of friends and family members awaited their returning walkers with hugs and tears.IMG_1937 IMG_1903 And with spectacular timing, the sun began peeking through and clouds made way for blue skies right as the final walkers were coming home. Even though the temperatures warmed a bit with the sunshine, the beauty of it was enough to give you chills.

The Philadelphia 3-Day Closing Ceremony was once again hosted by Dr. Sheri, Chrissy and Joanne, who kept the crowd pumped up through a small technical glitch, before carrying on with an extremely touching and inspiring Ceremony.IMG_2021 We thanked our many wonderful supporters, sponsors and local jurisdictions, and we shared an especially joyful moment when Chrissy shared that an amazing $2.7 million was raised by Philadelphia’s 1,000 walkers and 300 crew members. Amidst hugs and tears, the 2015 Philadelphia 3-Day family stood united in the City of Brotherly Love, sharing our renewed promise to never give up on the way to our goal of a world without breast cancer.IMG_2121 IMG_2066 IMG_2812

Don’t forget to view a sneak peek of photos from the Philadelphia 3-Day here, and watch our Facebook page for a full album you can download and share later this week!

The Insider’s Peek at the Philadelphia Route

In February of this year, we treated our readers to The Insider’s Peek at the 3-Day Route, where we gave you a detailed look at the planning, work and execution that goes into creating the routes for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Series. While that two-part Insider’s Peek was full of tasty details, it didn’t explicitly address the particulars of any specific Komen 3-Day location.

Until now!

It seemed like a natural progression to go from an expansive overview of 3-Day® route-planning in general to a more pinpointed look at each of the seven 3-Day events. So I’ve been picking the brains of the event planning team and local coaches to get the skinny on what walkers can expect. Sharing this information early on will help walkers prepare for their events, train for what’s to come and know what exciting high points to look forward to.

We’re publishing one of these location-specific route peeks for every 2015 3-Day event (we’ve already enjoyed peeks at the Michigan, Twin Cities and Seattle routes) and today, it’s the Philadelphia 3-Day’s turn to shine. Let’s see what Event Planning Manager Missy and Local Events Coach Joanne had to say:

  • Will there be any major changes to the Philadelphia route from last year? – Missy let us know that, “The current route features the very best of downtown Philadelphia, as well as some scenic suburbs and historical small towns, so there will be no major changes from 2014 to 2015.”philly lovely skyline Day 3
  • What, if any, geographical challenges does the Philadelphia route present? (i.e., Are there hills? Sections with no shade? Portions of the route that sweep vans can’t access easily?) – Joanne laid out a few features of the Philly route that walkers should be prepared for. “There are portions of the route on Day 1 and Day 2 with no sweep access, but walkers will have advance warning so they can get into a van before these sections, if they need to. On Day 3, this is kind of funny, but once walkers pass the cheering station at Head House Square (South Street) and are heading toward Passayunk Avenue, they will come onto a street where there are ‘stink berries.’ They are some nasty smelling trees and you WILL smell them. You’ve been warned!”philly beautiful trail walking
  • Any specific highlights/locations that walkers can look forward to seeing along the way? – Joanne says, “Once walkers pass pit stop 1, at just under mile 4, they will turn onto Central Avenue and onto the ‘Bra Street,’ one of our best community cheer sections. I think this deserves a mention!” Missy adds, “Philadelphia has so much history! This route will pass by many iconic places such as the ‘Rocky Steps’ at the Art Museum, Avenue of the Arts, The Liberty Bell – the list goes on!”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles philadelphia Philly Museum of Art and Rocky Steps Philly independence hall cheerleader
  • Any other information you can provide about the overall “essence” of the Philadelphia route?  –  “This route is diverse and educational,” Missy shares. “Walking the Philadelphia 3-Day is one of the very best ways to tour the area. History, culture, cuisine, art and nature are all highlighted over 60 miles.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles philadelphia


The Bottom Line: The Philadelphia 3-Day route is not as physically demanding as some of the other 3-Day cities, but it’s always a good idea to train on a variety of terrains and inclines anyway. The most potentially challenging aspect of the Philly event is also the least predictable: the weather. Knock on wood, Philly in early October will be mild and generally pleasant. But, we did have one day of rain last year, and the morning hours will certainly be chilly. You’ll want to dress in layers (so pack accordingly), don’t forget those rain ponchos (just in case), and be thankful for the shelter, comfort and indoor plumbing of the convention center campsite.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles philadelphia


The Insider’s Take: I confess that when my teammates and I signed up to walk in Philadelphia a few years ago, as part of our “get to every 3-Day” plan, I had low expectations. There’s no particular reason why, I just remember going into the Philadelphia event thinking, “Okay. City of Brotherly Love. I’m sure it’ll be fine.” Well, within the first few miles of the Day 1 route, I was already blown away. Not only was the Philly 3-Day an incredible stroll through one of America’s most historically rich cities (a big plus for this history nerd), the community support was some of the best I’ve ever seen in all my years of 3-Day walking. I’ll never forget a Day 3 cheering station that seemed to go on forever and included a bunch of adorable little kids who had made dozens and dozens of hand-written thank you notes, which they handed to walkers as they went by. I still have mine. Well played, Philly. Well played.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles philadelphia