Maria R. has participated in the 3-Day 10 times over the course of seven years as both a walker and crew. She continually demonstrates leadership and commitment to the breast cancer cause as a member of the ever-important Food Service Crew. In 2022, “she walked into camp as a crew member and when a call came for someone to step up as captain, she was ready to go. As a walker herself, she knew the importance of Food Service,” says Wayne C. We are continually inspired by Maria’s tenacity and philanthropic nature. Thank you so much Maria for all that you do and congratulations for earning the San Diego Crew Impact Award!
What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?
My friend Mary is my inspiration. She invited me and my family to visit her in the 3-Day camp when they had a family and friends night in Seattle, WA. She is in her seventies and still volunteers every year. She has been volunteering for 20+ years. The love that one feels at the 3-Day is just so amazing! That Pink Bubble love!
What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?
I want to make a difference. Cancer has hit my family hard. I have lost four aunts in the last three years to cancer. Two of them to breast cancer and two to stomach cancer.
What is your favorite aspect of crewing the 3-Day?
Giving my time without expecting anything in return.
What is your best advice to anyone crewing the 3-Day?
Remember to enjoy your time at the 3-Day. Everyone has a story and their reason for being at the 3-Day. Take a minute each day and remember your why.
What’s a fun fact about you?
My favorite sport is soccer! My three children play soccer year-round.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?
The 2023 Susan G. Komen Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day boasted 600 walkers and 200 crew members who collectively raised $2 million in the fight against breast cancer. To wrap up Day 1, our top fundraisers were recognized Friday evening at the Bank of America Celebration of Champions. This year, Bank of America is celebrating the accomplishments of our 3-Dayers by donating a collective $42,000 to the top fundraisers to jump start their 2024 fundraising efforts. Join us in congratulating these teams and individuals for their incredible achievements and contributions!
We kicked off the celebration by recognizing our Rookie of the Year, Nicole A., who raised $17,284 for her first ever 3-Day! The crowd applauded her incredible contributions as she posed for a picture with Bank of America’s very own Kim Hamstead who delivered a $500 donation to kick off her 2024 fundraising.
Bouncin’ Buckeyes was then awarded our Small but Mighty Team award after their two-person team raised a whopping $80,234, demonstrating that anything is possible with enough perseverance. Team Captain Rachel B. was awarded a $500 donation and her fellow teammate received $60 to kick-start their 2024 fundraising. Rachel individually contributed an astounding $75,111, making her this weekend’s Top Individual Fundraiser for which she was awarded another $500 donation courtesy of Bank of America. Speaking of tenacity in fundraising, our Top Fundraising 20-Mile Walker, Barbara B., raised $15,389 for her very first 3-Day!
Our Top Fundraising Team, STEPS, was recognized for the $172,014 that all 73 members came together to raise. Team Captains Sheryl C. and Dana B. humbly accepted their $500 donation from Bank of America and their 71 teammates were each awarded $60 toward their 2024 fundraising. In their fourteen years as a team, STEPS has raised a tremendous $1,598,641 to help find the cures for breast cancer. With 73 members strong, you’d think that STEPS is the largest team, but Pink Soles in Motion boasted 97 members. Together, they raised $155,890, making them the second highest fundraising team at the 2023 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. Thank you, teams!
We can’t forget about our crew members who collectively raised $61,245 in the Lonestar State! From Sweep & Shuttle, our Top Individual Crew Fundraiser, Fee P., was honored for the $5,139 she raised this year at her 18th event. The Sweep & Shuttle Crew Team not only brought our Top Individual Crew Fundraiser, but also rang in as the Top Fundraising Crew Team with 20 members who came together to raise $18,160!
We then honored our youngest fundraisers from the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Youth Corps, who altogether raised $7,641! Chance J. participated in his very first 3-Day and raised $1,189, making him this event’s Top Youth Corps Fundraiser. Chance will be receiving a customized Hydro Flask courtesy of Bank of America which he can use with pride. We are so grateful for and proud of our Youth Corps who continually remind us of the future we fundraise to improve.
Whether you were a top fundraiser or hit your own fundraising goals for the 2023 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day, the work that you do and the funds that you raise are ever important. We are so grateful to each and every one of you for making the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day so memorable and impactful. On behalf of Bank of America and Susan G. Komen, thank you for all that you do to help fight breast cancer.
We wrapped up the 2023 3-Day season in sunny San Diego! From November 17–19, the Pink Bubble returned to pink tents to camp out and walk 60 miles over the course of three days (or 20 miles in 1 day!). Together, 1,500 walkers and 300 crew members raised a total of $5.3 million for breast cancer research, community health, patient care and advocacy.
The 2023 San Diego 3-Day kicked off with the sun rising in Del Mar for a packed Opening Ceremony. The entire crowd let out a tremendous cheer when Helen H. approached the stage to share that she walks with and for her sisters and herself, all three of whom are breast cancer survivors. “Never was there a doubt in my mind that I would survive this cancer… My experience with the 3-Day took care of me mentally and physically… As we walk the 3-Day this weekend, remember this: We walk for those who can’t. We walk because we will never give up until we have the cures.” She went on to quote Maya Angelou whose words perfectly describe the Pink Bubble, “People forget what you say, people forget what you do, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
Following Helen, Kristi R., a first-time walker, shared that in 2021 she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer which had spread to her lymph nodes and spine, and was later diagnosed with brain cancer. She walks as a thriver who is undergoing treatment for which she received financial assistance from Susan G. Komen. A living example of why we walk and raise funds, Kristi inspired the crowd as they embarked on their journey with her heartfelt words. “Susan G. Komen’s funding of cancer research has enabled me to start a treatment plan that I’m still on today… none of this would be possible without supporters like you. I feel fortunate to be speaking to you today.”
To conclude the Opening Ceremony, Maggie M. honored her mother Maureen, who was registered to walk in San Diego but passed away just three months ago. Surrounded by her incredible team Wild Women Walking For A Cure, Maggie raised the promise flag adorned with the names of everyone we walk in memory of. Survivors and thrivers then led the way onto the coastal route.
A day filled with sunshine, 3-Dayers passed through Del Mar Village, Torrey Pines, and La Jolla Village where they were surrounded by breathtaking hills. Community support was at every corner in the form of local businesses, restaurants, cheerleaders, and the San Diego Police Department (SDPD). As walkers continued along the coast, they made their way to lunch where they were greeted by Chopper Jr., an adorable puppy who, like his late brother Chopper, rides his very own motorcycle! Before snapping a picture with their new four-legged friend, SDPD led walkers, crew, Youth Corps, and supporters in dancing the Wobble before heading back out on the route.
Walkers passed by supporters wearing unicorn hats, a gnome themed sweep van, and seals resting at Children’s Pool before returning to camp to enjoy the Bank of America massage chairs. Since its inception in 2003, the 3-Day has paraded through San Diego every time we’ve walked with pride, making for a particularly special 20-year celebration. In typical 2023 3-Day fashion, it began raining! To wrap up the evening, walkers enjoyed the Bank of America Celebration of Champions, where they awarded our Top Fundraisers, Milestone Award Winner, and Crew Impact Award Winners with donations of up to $500 for their 2024 3-Day fundraising. New this year, our National Presenting Sponsor also hosted a raffle where five randomly selected San Diego 3-Day participants won $250 toward their 2024 fundraising efforts. What a way to wrap up the evening before getting some shuteye in pink tents.
Despite the night’s brief downpouring of rain, walkers awoke from their pink tents to the sun rising on the bayside. They grabbed some hot coffee and enjoyed a nutritious breakfast before lining up on the Mohawk Pink Carpet to embark on the route. Standing at the front of the line was Gemma G., our San Diego Ultimate Event Experience winner who accomplished her 15th 3-Day this weekend. In the eligible challenge period, Gemma humbly raised an outstanding $13,842, earning her first position out on the route with her two friends Elaine and Nino, amongst other prizes. When given the go-ahead, Gemma led walkers who flooded out of camp creating an immense sea of pink. In typical San Diego style, supporters including the San Diego Police Department cheered them on as they exited camp to enjoy a fun-filled 20 miles.
Walkers passed through Sunset Cliffs National Park and Smiley Lagoon before heading toward South Mission Beach Boardwalk and the infamous Muscle Beach. On the route, walkers were delivered an outpouring of support from community members who decorated their homes, held signs, blew bubbles, and provided treats. At Pit Stop 3 walkers were greeted by a pirate with a real parrot, as well as a mother and her six-year-old daughter who were offering pink ribbon face paint to walkers, crew, and staff. Continuing along the route, at one house two young girls in their pajamas were holding handmade signs adorned with drawings and words of encouragement. Walkers headed over to lunch to celebrate the halfway mark where SDPD Officer Paul led the crowd in dancing the Wobble!
Pit Stop 4 was home to the beloved Cookie Ladies who brought over 2,500 homemade cookies to pass out to walkers as they completed the homestretch of Day 2. They had chocolate chip, gingersnap, gluten free, vegan, and every other type of cookie you could imagine accompanied by dairy and almond milk! These four women led by Marla R., returned to the 3-Day after three years and were a tremendous hit amongst walkers. Marla is a breast cancer survivor, former 3-Day walker, and is currently undergoing treatment for a different form of cancer. She initially had chemotherapy scheduled for the Wednesday before the 3-Day, but when her doctor noticed the date, he quickly moved the session to the Monday after the event so she could participate. She is looking forward to undergoing her treatment with the Pink Bubble so fresh in her mind, reminding her of her inner strength and the support that surrounds her.
Walkers then passed through Memorial Mile where the photos of 94 incredible individuals who battled breast cancer stood proudly. As they made their way into camp, walkers were greeted with the famous 3-Day mac n’ cheese before welcoming in the last walker. A hot chocolate bar, courtesy of Bank of America, opened with countless toppings including marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, peppermint sticks, and more! With stomachs and hearts full, we enjoyed a touching Honor Ceremony which began with words from all thirty members of our Youth Corps. Tears were shed, hugs were exchanged, and we were all unified as we remembered why we walk. Everyone lit a candle to line the way to the remembrance tent before calling it a night and resting up for the final day of the San Diego 3-Day.
To kick off Day 3, 20-Mile Walkers grabbed their credentials and white lanyards before heading out on the route. Walkers were met with a drizzle of rain, making sure the San Diego 3-Day followed the tradition of the 2023 season. Just a few miles in, thanks to SeaWorld San Diego, walkers were able to meet an adorable sloth and penguin! Shortly after, the clouds parted, and we were greeted by the beautiful Southern California sunshine.
While out on the route, walkers received an outpouring of community support, cheering them on as they enjoyed one final day in the Pink Bubble. Amongst those keeping spirits high were cheerleaders from San Pasqual High School and our friends from XPO. Continuing along the route, walkers enjoyed Belmont Park and Bonita Cove, a tranquil bay area with stunning views of Mission Bay that is perfect for a 3-Day. From here, they passed through historic Old Town Viewpoint and the culturally rich neighborhood of Little Italy.
Before we knew it, walkers were crossing the Mohawk Pink Carpet into the Closing Ceremony to celebrate their tremendous achievement; 60 miles in three days! After grabbing their victory t-shirt and San Diego medal courtesy of Bank of America, walkers snapped a quick photo in front of the 60 Mile or 1-Day completion signs before scarfing down a Ready CLEAN bar. Nature’s Bounty had a booth sporting drawstring bags, pink sunglasses, and free samples of Hair, Skin & Nail Gummy vitamins. Nature’s Bounty also offered a drawing to win a Lululemon belt bag full of full-sized Hair, Skin & Nail Gummy vitamins, coupons, and a Walgreen’s gift card. Walkers grabbed a Mohawk SmartCushion to rest their feet and take in the gorgeous view of Waterfront Park while eagerly waiting for our last walker.
The last walker entered the sea of supporters and raised the last walker flag one last time before crew members lined the way to the stage for survivors and thrivers. A collection of thousands of sneakers arose, contrasting beautifully with the waterfront scenery. Hand-in-hand, survivors and thrivers walked toward the stage prompting our Closing Ceremony. It was at this time that we discovered that, collectively, the participants of the San Diego 3-Day raised a colossal $5.3 million in the fight against breast cancer. Bubbles were released into the air and the celebration concluded with crying, hugging, and dancing as we look forward to the 2024 3-Day season.
Thank you to all who joined us this year. From walkers to crew to volunteers, your efforts push us closer to the world we dream of. A world without breast cancer. We look forward to seeing you next year!