Congratulations to the Seattle 3-Day’s Milestone Award Winner, Tina M.!

Join us in congratulating the Susan G. Komen Seattle 3-Day Milestone Award winner, Tina McDonough, who was recognized in camp on Saturday of the Seattle event. Tina first walked the 3-Day in 2007 in Seattle, and has walked a total of 11 times (8 in Seattle and 3 in San Diego). She’ll make it an even dozen when she walks in San Diego this November. Tina is the captain of Valley Girls & Guys, Seattle’s largest team (which also has a San Diego team). Between their Seattle and San Diego teams, Valley Girls & Guys has raised over $1.8 million for Susan G. Komen® since 2007.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog seattle milestone award tina valley girls and guys

While Tina’s legendary status with the 3-Day has been firmly established, her start with the event was humble and strikingly similar to many: she was recruited by friends to walk in memory of a friend’s sister. That first year, Tina also dedicated her walk to her friend Michelle, who was battling a cancer recurrence at the time. Tina recalls, “We walked that year and I swore I would be back volunteering my time not walking (as we did not train and I hurt super bad). But then that December, Michelle passed away at 38. Watching her husband and daughter fall apart at her funeral I thought to myself, I can’t not do anything. So I formed a team. That foursome team has turned into a 180 walkers between Seattle and San Diego and quickly became my life passion. I am doing exactly what I was meant to do and we will never give up until we find a cure!”

Tina shared that the Valley Girls & Guys team had 15 survivors within its ranks last year alone, and those brave teammates are a big part of what brings Tina back to the 3-Day year after year. “I feel like if I give up or quit doing the 3-Day I would be giving up on them, and I will never give up on any survivor/friend! This is my second family and I love every single one of them with all my heart!”

With nearly $2 million raised by Valley Girls & Guys in less than a decade, we had to ask Tina about the secret to her team’s 3-Day fundraising success. “Our team secret is we are family! We would do anything for each other and we do our fundraising together as a team. We have a huge March fun night out (coming up on our 8th year this coming March) where we typically raise over $150,000, and any teammates who participate, attend, etc. receive monies towards their fundraising. Just that one event gets many of our team members halfway to their fundraising goal.” Tina knows that that boost of help and the ongoing support from the team family is usually enough to get everyone motivated to succeed.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog seattle milestone award tina valley girls and guys

Apart from participating in the 3-Day, Tina and her team show remarkable support for the breast cancer community in other ways too. Since February of 2013, Valley Girls & Guys have made and sent 284 personalized blankets, which they call blankets of “comfort and hope,” to cancer patients and survivors all over the U.S., and as far as Germany and Australia (each blanket is created with a photo of the team, and inspirational quote and the recipient’s name). Tina also shared an exciting new endeavor that the team is about to begin: “The other thing our team is starting is The Who House – Harnessing the Power of Community to Support Cancer Patients and Their Families. I have an office in [the Seattle area] that we are going to open up after hours Monday-Friday for those going through cancer, co-survivors, youth and those who have lost loved ones, as a place they can come talk, get support and have resources to reach out to. We have huge plans for this and are excited to get it started and off the ground.” Tina is a realtor by profession, and not surprisingly, she received the 2013 REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Award, which recognizes realtors who have made an extraordinary impact on their community, or on the national or world stage, through volunteer work.

What is Tina’s best advice for someone thinking about doing the 3-Day? “Just do it and join a team if you can! ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’ (TEAM) and in this case it means not only fundraising money, but you get so much more than what you will ever put in which is amazing. You end up with an experience of a lifetime, lifelong friends, and you are part of something bigger than you and making a huge impact/difference in the world!”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog seattle milestone award tina valley girls and guys

We extend our warm congratulations and heartfelt thanks to Tina and her Valley Girls & Guys teammates for their exceptional dedication to a world without breast cancer.

The 2014 Susan G. Komen 3-Day Seattle Wrap Up

 

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What a weekend we had at the 2014 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in Seattle! The Seattle Center was the perfect backdrop for an inspiring and moving Opening Ceremony, with the Space Needle glowing behind the Fisher Pavilion. After a beautiful sunrise, we were reminded why we walk and crew by Dr. Sheri, moved by amazing survivor and participant stories, and headed out with our first steps, passing by the Experience Music Project Museum. Walkers crossed the famous I-90 Floating Bridge, were cheered on by the amazing Seattle community at the Park on the Lid on Mercer Island, and then enjoyed lunch at the ‘3-Day Diner’, complete with retro music, at Bellevue Park.

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After lunch and a stop by the Paradise themed pit stop, it was off to Mile 14.5, where walkers posed at the beautiful Bellevue Botanical Gardens. Into Redmond, we got a little more pep in our step from an energetic cheering station at Idylwood Park, complete with spectators handing out delicious snacks and holding heartfelt signs. After 22.9 miles, we arrived into camp at the gorgeous Marymoor Park, where the sea of pink tents popped against the blue and orange sunset. We got to meet Seattle’s top fundraisers, played a few games with our friends at Bank of America, and heard an inspirational story from Survivor Dottie C. We headed to bed empowered by the reminders of why we walk.

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Seattle’s characteristic gray skies set the scene for Day 2, but the gray cloud clover was appreciated as walkers embarked on the 20.8-mile route. At Mile 5.6, the Lake Washington Waterfront featured pit stop 2, also an amazing photo opportunity as walkers said ‘Cheese’ with passing boats in the background. At Heritage Park, cheerleaders created an enthusiastic tunnel of sparkly pink pom-poms. The community came out in full support, some serving handmade snacks like cream-cheese stuffed celery sticks, and some serving frozen Gatorade mocktails. At this point, the sun broke through the clouds, revealing a radiant blue sky, just in time for lunch under the trees at Juanita Beach Park. At Mile 20.8, walkers arrived home to camp, where they heard Sarah L. share her moving Survivor story, and series-walker William K. shared his many reasons why he walks.

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Day 3 began with a quick bus ride toward Seattle, and after 2.4 miles, walkers were treated with pit stop 1 at Gas Works Park, set against a sweeping view of the Seattle skyline. Then it was on to the Ballard Locks, a unique series of interlocking bridges between the salt water of Puget Sound and the fresh water of the Ship Canal.

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The community, complete with dogs decked out in feather boas, and energetic cheerleaders, kept walkers going onwards to lunch, and then on to the majestic sights of Magnolia Viewpoint.

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At Mile 16.3, walkers celebrated their victory by heading back to the Seattle Center, rallied by the sights and sounds of hundreds of people in pink. As our crew, volunteers, wlkers, and survivors marched into the Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center, with the Space Needle standing proudly behind us, we were overcome with a fierce sense of dedication and triumph. With the help of 925 walkers and 275 crew, we raised $2.7 million dollars, and are now 3 days and 60 miles closer to the end of breast cancer forever. Thank you, Seattle.

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Hashing Out #Hashtags with #The3Day

Remember the old days, when the pound sign was just a way to indicate a number? How times have changed. These days, that little crisscross symbol has an entirely new function and a new name: a hashtag.

 

What are Hashtags? – Put simply, hashtags are identifiers that are used to group together posts on social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) that relate to similar topics. Say you want to go onto Twitter and find/follow all of the posts about the Super Bowl. You can search for #superbowl, and any public posts that include that identifier will show up in your search results. Unlike a full internet search, where you would go to a search engine like Google or Yahoo and search for the term “Super Bowl,” then get links to a bunch of websites, instead, you search for a hashtag within a specific site. The results for #SuperBowl in Twitter will be different than the results in Instagram.

A Secondary (and Less Functional) Use of Hashtags – Incidentally, hashtags have also taken on a secondary purpose: punchline. Often now, you’ll see people post about some topic, then to punctuate the underlying emotion, or add an afterthought or meta commentary about the post, they include a hashtag. For example, you could post a picture of your smiling, food-covered toddler on Instagram with the caption, “We’re pretty sure she liked the spaghetti! #bathtime #laundrytimetoo”. You say something with the post, then add a little extra commentary with hashtags. In cases like this, the intent of the hashtag is not to group your post with other posts of the same topic, but to quickly and succinctly add a funny, poignant or impactful gist to your comment.

The Possibilities are Limitless – Anyone can make a hashtag, but there are a few rules and practices that go along with creating a hashtag: letters and numbers are okay, but no spaces or punctuation (except dashes and underscores); capital letters can be used to show separation between words without affecting the function of the hashtag (i.e., #SesameStreet and #sesamestreet are seen as identical in the eyes of the internet, but the former might look a little nicer); try to keep each hashtag short and to-the-point; using too many hashtags can dilute the impact of your post, so choose wisely. But beyond that, the possible hashtags you could come up with are boundless as the World Wide Web itself.

Soooo…What Does This All Have to Do With the 3-Day? – As you (hopefully) have noticed, the 3-Day has been using hashtags in its posts all year to pinpoint its place in the social media space. Hashtag #The3Day has been all over Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as a way to identify and group together posts about our event—ones that come from us, as well as posts that come from our followers and supporters. Aside from the primary #The3Day hashtag, we also have hashtags for each individual event (#MI3Day, #TC3Day, #PHL3Day, #SEA3Day, #ATL3Day, #DFW3Day and #SD3Day). Hashtags allow you (and us) to easily browse through our social media platforms to find other people who are talking about the 3-Day. Or should we say #The3Day.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog hashtag location specific

Instagram Photo Challenges – One specific hashtag-driven activity that the 3-Day has started is an on-event photo challenge for each of the seven 3-Day events. Starting on the day before each 3-Day begins, and continuing until the following Monday (5 days total), we’ve asked our participants and supporters to post photos on Instagram with a certain theme and hashtag each day. For example, the theme for Day 2 (Saturday) of each event is “Endurance,” so on that day, we want you to post pictures of what that word means to you, and include the hashtag #the3day_endurance. At the end of each day, the 3-Day social media team searches the specific daily hashtag and picks a few shots to share on our Instagram page too. But meanwhile, anyone can search the hashtags and see what other people are posting too!susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog hashtag instagram photo challenge

 

For some, the use of hashtags has been an easy skill to pick up, but for others, it may take a little more time to get the hang of it. That’s okay! You can get a lot out of social media with or without hashtags. If you have questions about hashtag use on the 3-Day, or the 3-Day’s social presence in general, please post on Facebook or tweet us. See you in #cyberspace!