The 2015 Susan G. Komen 3-Day Series, By the Numbers

Seven locations. 420 miles. More than 7,000 walkers, 2,000+ crew members, and countless lives touched. Let’s look at our 2015 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Series, by the numbers.

846Michigan 3-Day
Donations: $1.9 Million
Walkers: 650
Crew: 300
See the Michigan 3-Day Photo Album Here!

2015_3day_tc_gf-162Twin Cities 3-Day
Donations: $1.6 Million
Walkers: 550
Crew: 200
See the Twin Cities 3-Day Photo Album Here!

2015_3day_sea_gf-19Seattle 3-Day
Donations
$2.1 Million
Walkers: 750
Crew: 250
See the Seattle 3-Day Photo Album Here!

2015_3day_phl_gf-366Philadelphia 3-Day
Donations: $2.7 Million
Walkers: 1,000
Crew: 300
See the Philadelphia 3-Day Photo Album Here!

2015_3day_atl_gf-716Atlanta 3-Day
Donations: $2.2 Million
Walkers: 800
Crew: 300
See the Atlanta 3-Day Photo Album Here!

2015_sgk3day_dallas_gf_414Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day
Donations: $2.8 Million
Walkers: 1,100
Crew: 325
See the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Photo Album Here!

2015_3day_sd_gf-134San Diego 3-Day
Donations: $5.9 Million
Walkers: 2,200
Crew: 350
See the San Diego 3-Day Photo Album Here!

 

The fundraising totals listed above represent how much was raised by the time each event began, and we’re thrilled to share that every single Komen 3-Day continued bringing in donation dollars even after the last walker left each Closing Ceremony. With those continued donations, plus matching gifts and series gifts, the 2015 3-Day® Series has exceeded its goal of $20 million raised to end breast cancer.

There’s not a number big enough to calculate our gratitude to you, our 3-Day family, for your part in the fight.

 

A Disruption of Pink – Seattle 3-Day Team GTM

This is team GTM.IMG_8363 GTM stands for Gargantuan Thrill Machine. Of course, my first order of business when I sat down with sisters Jennifer and Sue MacMenamin at lunch on Day 2 of the Seattle 3-Day was to find out where that name came from.

“When we were in high school, maybe a little bit into college, we started a basement band, and that’s what we called it. The Gargantuan Thrill Machine, GTM for short. It came from a movie review on the back of a VHS copy of an old Arnold Schwarzenegger movie that was described as ‘a gargantuan thrill machine,’ and we just thought it was a great name for a band.”

A couple decades later, it was clear that GTM was also the perfect name for a 3-Day team. And not just any team; team GTM includes all five MacMenamin siblings, both parents, an aunt who came out from Ireland (where Mom and Dad MacMenamin are originally from as well), and a healthy smattering of very supportive friends. They are all first-timer walkers except for Jen, who walked in the Twin Cities 3-Day in 2010 with a friend whose mom died from breast cancer.

What brought their extended family to the Seattle 3-Day this year was the deeply personal motivation that brings so many people to the 3-Day: one of them got breast cancer. Sue was diagnosed last summer and just finished treatment this past August. As she got stronger in the spring, she started to get the idea of doing something. “Jen and I were on the phone once at work, and we thought, it’s coming up, we could do it. Let’s do it! So we signed up.”

Sue and Jen on Day 1 in Seattle.

Sue and Jen on Day 1 in Seattle.

They didn’t have much anxiety over walking 60 miles in 3 days, but the fundraising aspect made them a little nervous. Turns out, they didn’t have much to be nervous about; the 12-person Gargantuan Thrill Machine raised over $31,000, putting them in the top 10 fundraising teams in Seattle. “We all did our own things,” Jen told me. “Some people reached out on emails and texts. A couple of bake sales that our kids did.” Sue added with a laugh, “We did one bake sale with my kids at Shilshole Marina [in Seattle], and my 6-year-old daughter would run up to anybody who was walking down the docks and yell, ‘We’re having a fundraiser for breast cancer! We’re selling cookies!’ And then she would do the splits. Jen told us, don’t let the fundraising hold you back. People will support you. It will happen.”

Sue was the first person in the MacMenamin family to be diagnosed with breast cancer, so the family went from having no family history to suddenly having a very strong connection.

“Just from talking to the family, we’ve sort of never faced a type of stress that we couldn’t do anything about,” Jen said. “And so, the idea of this coming up was…everybody was so far away from Sue, and we all tried to be here, tried to be here, but there was nothing we could do for her. Treatment had to take its course. But the 3-Day felt like something that could focus our energy somewhere on something good.”

There was no hesitation from any of the MacMenamins to sign on, even though they are spread out over four states (and don’t forget Aunt Bea from Dublin). “It is remarkable. We’re incredibly, incredibly lucky, and I have been lucky this whole year.” Sue gets choked up and hugs her sister. “They’re really good.”IMG_8354

“The whole thing has been great,” Jen says. “It’s a beautiful walk, and everyone cheering, and all of us being together and having time to talk. That was one thing we were looking forward to. We’re all spread out, we each have kids, we don’t really get moments to get away and just be adults and chat and talk about life.”

Sue agrees. “For us, it’s a great way for all of us to be able to talk about our experience with breast cancer, for them to talk about it, and to talk about it in a positive way. All the people who are helping, all the research that’s being done, all the activism. It just helps to focus on the positive aspects.”

We talked about the whole idea of breast cancer awareness, and how it’s such a great thing, but also difficult, especially when it comes to our kids. “I know my kids worried about me dying,” Sue shared. “But they also see so many people that we call survivors. They see people, they know people. ‘Oh yeah, her mom’s a survivor, or his mom’s a survivor.’ It’s because there IS this presence, they see those examples.” Jen adds, “That’s one of the neat things about these types of events, the long walks of awareness, through all these neighborhoods. It’s a disruption of pink.”

A gargantuan disruption of pink—with an occasional pop of a green shamrock (they are Irish, after all).

On Day 2 of the Seattle 3-Day, when we had our conversation, I knew it may be too soon to tell, but I asked them anyway: do you think you’ll do it again? Sue thought about her answer for a second before responding, “I’d never say never, so who knows, but I will say that this time, this event has been so special that we just can’t recreate it.”

Congratulations to the 2015 Seattle 3-Day Award Winners!

Last weekend at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in Seattle, it was our pleasure to recognize some of our outstanding Komen 3-Day participants with special awards given out in camp.

Top Fundraisers

On Friday, we honored the top individual, crew and team fundraisers for the Seattle 3-Day®.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog seattle top fundraisers award winners milestone local impactBus & sweep co-captain Kit Loudin took home the honor of top crew fundraiser, having brought in $2,720 this year. Kit’s history as a 3-Day participant is remarkable: she has completed 42 events, and has raised an incredible $48,697 in her 10 years of participation. When she’s not busying herself with all things 3-Day, Kit is an avid traveler. She has visited 48 states, 95 countries, and soon will check all seven continents off her travel bucket list.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog seattle top fundraisers award winners milestone local impact

Tina, captain of Valley Girls & Guys

If you spotted any Seattle walkers sporting signature pink cowboy hats (and how could you miss them?), you were looking at members of Valley Girls & Guys, the top fundraising team for the Seattle 3-Day. Captained by Tina McDonough, Valley Girls & Guys was also the Seattle 3-Day’s largest team at 162 members. They raised a whopping $315,430 this year and in their 7 years as team in Seattle they have brought $2,039,475 to the 3-Day. Wow!

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog seattle top fundraisers award winners milestone local impactThe top individual fundraiser in Seattle, for the second year in a row, was Loretta Englishbee. This year’s Seattle event marked Loretta’s 12th 3-Day in 10 years, and this year alone she raised $26,100. Over her entire 3-Day history, Loretta has raised an astonishing $360,504. Loretta works near the beach 14 days in a row each month, but it’s not as exotic as you might think: the beach is on the Arctic Ocean, which is frozen more than 7 months out of the year.

Thank you to these Seattle 3-Dayers and everyone who worked so hard to bring the Seattle 3-Day its $2.1 million in total donations.

Milestone Award

On Friday in camp, we also recognized the Seattle 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. Seattle’s Milestone award went to Lori LeVander from team For the Girls.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog seattle top fundraisers award winners milestone local impact

Milestone Award winner Lori (center) also gave a survivor speech in camp on Saturday

Lori has been part of the 3-Day for 11 years; she has participated 7 times as a crew member and the 2015 Seattle event marked her 13th time walking. In addition to Seattle, she has also participated in the San Diego, Twin Cities, Tampa, Atlanta, and Arizona 3-Days. She estimates that she’s raised over $55,000 in her history as a 3-Day participant.

Lori’s inspiration for her first 3-Day was as personal as it gets: “I was a 2 ½ year cancer survivor and my best friend had had breast cancer. Oh yeah, and the event started on my 50th birthday.  How could I NOT do it?” That was 10 years ago, and this year’s 3-Day event was particularly special for Lori as well. She just turned 60 years old, so this is her “Walking 60 at 60” year. She also recently celebrated her 33rd wedding anniversary and her husband was there to cheer her on the route.

Lori herself knows a thing or two about being a cheerleader and is always encouraging new walkers to register. In fact, she usually offers to give them their first donation if they sign up right away. She knows that the 3-Day is unlike any other event and wants people to see it first hand. “What brings me back is the common goal of the walkers and crew to be a part of ending breast cancer. The friendships, emotional healing and strength that is witnessed in crew and walkers over the event is incredible.”

Samantha, a friend of Lori’s and fellow walker had this to say about her: “Lori is a woman whose smile and laughter lights up a room. Her dedication and love of the 3-Day inspires and encourages me to never give up. I will never forget sharing a Get Started Meeting with Lori in Mercer Island when we met an incredible woman, Katie, who was training for her first 3-Day. Months later, Katie raised the flag at camp while Lori and I watched, proud and tearful, as we had been a part of Katie’s journey to the Seattle 3-Day. Lori’s generous heart, loving spirit and infectious laughter inspired us all.”

Congratulations, Lori, and from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your years of dedication to the 3-Day community.

Local Impact Award

We had one more special recognition to give out at the Saturday camp show in Seattle. 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.

The Seattle 3-Day was pleased to honor Tath Hossfeld with the Local Impact Award. Tath, who is a member of team Flamingo Road, has been part of the Komen 3-Day for 11 years. She has raised nearly $58,000 across her 18-event history.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog seattle top fundraisers award winners milestone local impact

Tath shared 30 miles of her Seattle journey with her PTSD therapy dog

Tath is a small business owner and an active member of the 3-Day community all year long. She regularly volunteers for local meetings/activities, personally helped recruit more than 12 new walkers to the 3-Day this year and originally orchestrated Seattle Design Center’s involvement with the 3-Day.

Tath and her husband, Dennis, have consistently led training walks for their team and any other 3-Day walkers for years. Tath looks out for everyone’s best interest and personally checks in with each person to see how they are doing with training and fundraising. Her fellow participants shared that you know you can always be sure to hit a good restaurant if you are on a long training walk with Tath, and the level of care she shows for her fellow walkers is apparent at every turn (she has even been known to drop to her knees and re-tie a walker’s shoes in the middle of the event).

Fellow walker Erin H. shared, “I have witnessed her gentle support of so many survivors that when a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer recently, I gave her all of Tath’s contact information without asking if it was okay. I just wanted her to connect with someone who could provide hope and guidance, and I knew that as a 32-year survivor, Tath was the perfect person to do this. And I was right.”

Join us in congratulating and thanking Tath for her extraordinary commitment to the Seattle 3-Day. We are sincerely indebted to her.