The Philadelphia 3-Day Success

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® started in Philadelphia with a bang on Friday morning, October 4, at the Willow Grove Mall in a warm, pleasant sunrise, and the anticipation and excitement of starting the physically demanding and personally challenging 60-mile course that wound its way through the greater Philadelphia area. Many first-time Komen 3-Day walkers seemed excited and a bit nervous about the daunting task, but the crowd of 1200 walkers, over 350 crew members, and family and friends were quickly engulfed by the spirit of the event that would raise $3.2 million to help end breast cancer!

The challenges of Day 1 often include a few new blisters as the day wears on, and the Medical Crew was in full force, assisting those who needed a little extra help. The sports medicine volunteer crew members were heaven-sent as they provided help in stretching out the sore and aching muscles that only 22.9 miles will bring. Though the heat index was high, some of the beautiful views of the Schuylkill River made up for it, and the trek up and around the Philadelphia Art Museum started the walkers to camp, held in the Philadelphia Convention Center. After some well deserved dinner, the walkers and crew were treated to a camp show of the day’s events, games by presenting sponsor Bank of America, recognition of Philadelphia’s top fundraisers, and a special Milestone Award, which was given to Andie Summers, a nine-year participant who has raised over $73,000 to date (and counting!). Congratulations to Andie for her dedicated efforts for the 3-Day®. She is also the captain of Team XTU Xtra Mile, which was Philadelphia’s second-highest fundraising team with $58,534 raised just this year.

Day 2 and the 22.3-mile leg of the 60-mile journey started out with a couple of hills (no problem, right?), but the scenery of West Fairmont Park made up for that as well. The heat index was high again on Saturday, and besides two official cheering stations, the course was dotted with private cheering stations in the neighborhoods of Bala Cynwyd, Nerberth, Haverford, Penn Wynne, and Wynnewood. The New Balance-sponsored cheerleaders from Garden Valley helped liven the group at Pit Stop 2. The camp show capped off a great day with moving speeches by Ellen Gunther, a co-survivor, and Sharon Slosarik, a young survivor. A little dance party never hurt anyone, and Philadelphia knows how to dance!

Sunday’s 14.4-mile route was exciting as almost the entire group of walkers lined up for the opening of the route, a sight to behold. Walkers worked their way through downtown Philadelphia and enjoyed the cheering stations at Passyunk Square, University of the Arts, and FDR. The Eagles’ Drumline happened to be encouraging the walkers to finish strong at the Navy Yard with their professional beats. A large crowd of friends and family gathered to cheer on these dedicated walkers and fundraisers, and gathered for a moving Closing Ceremony in great weather, honoring the walkers and crew of the Philadelphia 3-Day and the breast cancer survivors. Thank you Philadelphia and we’ll see you next year!

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Belly Dancing for Breast Cancer


Shilpa, Swati, and Ritu sport their dancing gear for Day 1 of the Philadelphia 3-Day

On the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, fashion is everything. Pink is obvious, but anything that complements pink can work. Actually, anything goes on the 3-Day. What caught my eye was a great little accessory on each of three women at Pit Stop 1 on the Philadelphia 3-Day.

A well-crafted hip scarf.

Not just any hip scarf, mind you. Handmade, shiny hip scarfs with plenty of bangles. Shilpa, Ritu, and Swati are friends living in the Philadelphia area who decided to walk 60 miles in October with the Komen 3-Day to raise funds to help end breast cancer. The three are all Information Technology professionals in the area, brought together by common friends and family. “My mother is a breast cancer survivor in India,” said Shilpa. “She is doing fine now, but I just wanted to get out and do something about it.” Swati and Ritu were friends from college and had been challenging each other with half marathons.

Shilpa, Ritu, and Swati hit the Philadelphia streets on Day 3 of 60 miles to find a cure for breast cancer

Shilpa, Ritu, and Swati hit the Philadelphia streets on Day 3 of 60 miles

Swati mentioned that their families had been really supportive of this long journey through the streets of Philadelphia. “My husband brought us drinks on the route on Day 1!” she beamed. “We’ve named him the MVH for now. The Most Valuable Husband! We’ll see if another husband can overtake him!” Evidently, they were looking to compete, as the women were expecting some awesome homemade food for lunch from these gentlemen on Day 2.

The girls leave goals on the Inspiration Board

The women leave goals on the Inspiration Board at Opening Ceremony

And how did a group of three first-time walkers raise $2300 a piece for breast cancer? They made their world-famous hip scarves, of course. Oh, and then held a well-attended belly dancing class in Exton, Pennsylvania, complete with Mediterranean food. Sixty women participated in all, a raging success for these fun, innovative first-timers.

Can’t wait to see what they come up with next. They will be rolling into the Navy Yard today with over 1,200 participants and over 300 volunteers to help find a cure for breast cancer. Cheer them on!

The women leave the Convention Center on Day 3 ready to walk the last 20 miles

The women leave the Convention Center on Day 3 ready to walk the last 20 miles