We had a rainy start to the week in Michigan this past week, but the clouds parted and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® opened on Friday with a spectacular morning filled with color and life. Nine hundred walkers and over 300 crew members arrived at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, and were greeted with a new look to the Komen 3-Day Opening Ceremony set-up. Many bright-eyed 3-Dayers quickly took advantage of the photo opps in front of our new ceremony banners (to get a peek at the many shots that were taken, check out the hashtags #MI3Day and #The3Day on Instagram). The Opening Ceremony also had some new elements, including a lovely photo tribute to those loved ones we’ve lost to breast cancer. It was a powerful homage that filled everyone with a motivating passion to hit the ground moving on the first day of the first 3-Day® of 2014.
The Day 1 route took walkers on a 22-mile loop from Opening back to camp at the same location, but the route was anything but boring. With beautiful strolls through the neighborhoods of Novi, Farmington and Farmington Hills, walkers were treated to amazing themed pit stops and grab & go’s, and even a Las Vegas-themed lunch stop. Back at camp, the 3-Day community was deeply moved by 32 year old Meghan Malley, the Komen Detroit Co-Chair for Young Survivor and Metastatic Breast Cancer Initiatives, who spoke in the camp show about Komen’s commitment to expanding research into the cures for all breast cancers, including late-stage. You could feel the impact of her speech hanging in the air.
Day 2 was another 22-mile loop out and back from camp, but with new and different highlights than Day 1. Supporters came out in droves to the cheering stations in downtown Northville and Plymouth, where the famous “pink fountain” provided an unforgettable backdrop for photos and reunions with supporters. There were some beautiful spans of route going through the nature areas along Hines Drive, and walkers were given some of the most enthusiastic welcomes we’ve ever seen, courtesy of three local football teams who came out to cheer the walkers into camp.
And before we knew it, Day 3 was upon us, and the walkers’ sights were focused on reaching the 60-mile prize. After a short bus ride to the route, walkers were greeted by nearly 300 youth cheerleaders from local teams and leagues, who formed a pink pom-pom-lined human tunnel stretching the length of a football field. Further up the route, friends and family came out to set up dozens of private cheering stations all along the lovely Hines Drive walkway (thankfully no longer under water!).
Closing Ceremony was emotional as always, as we celebrate the magnificent accomplishment of 60 miles walked and $2.4 million raised by Michigan 3-Day participants. Dr. Sheri, as well as the ceremony participants from Opening on Friday, reminded us that we’ve made incredible strides in our fight, but we will never give up until we have put an end to breast cancer. The journey ahead—six more 3-Day events, 360 more miles, millions more steps—is a challenging one, but one that the 3-Day family will meet with passion, dedication and unwavering fortitude. We can’t wait to share it with you.