The 2014 Susan G. Komen Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day has come to a close, and what a weekend it was! We’re so proud of all of our walkers and crew members for creating another incredible little world, and bringing us one step closer to our goal of a world without breast cancer.
With the sun rising over Collin Creek Mall in Plano, we started the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day on Friday morning after an inspiring Opening Ceremony. Before long, walkers were at the superhero-themed pit stop 1 at Aldridge Elementary School, then were treated to back-to-back Cheering Stations in Richardson. Hooray for Day 1! Pit stop 2 was a “Mardi Bras” celebration at Cottonwood Park, and then onto lunch at Valley View Park. The North Texas Susan G. Komen affiliate added some sidewalk-chalk motivation to a local intersection, and walkers were rallied at a third Cheering Station on Forest Lane. The community was out in full force on Friday, including a special appearance by the Smoothie King, who shared samples with all the passing walkers.
With Susan G. Komen’s headquarters based right here in Dallas, walkers arriving to pit stop 3 found themselves in the “Komen Korral”, complete with hay bales, a hydration “saloon” and over 40 volunteers from Komen and Bank of America, supplying an endless stream of cheers (there was plenty of cowbell, to be sure). And it was “fourth and goal” at the football-themed pit stop 4, the walkers’ last stop before camp at Brookhaven College.
Friday night’s camp show brought us a powerful speech about not giving up, by 39-year-old Rachel W., a stage IV breast cancer survivor, which had the crowd both laughing and crying. We also recognized Dallas/Fort Worth’s top fundraisers, top training walk leader, and Milestone Award winner.
Walkers left camp on Day 2 rallied by the spirited chants of some area cheer squads, then continued through Brookhaven Country Club, with loads of local support, including a 28-year survivor greeting everyone outside her house. A local drill team danced the walkers into pit stop 1 before the route continued through quaint downtown Carrollton, where walkers enjoyed the first Cheering Station of the day. Also in Carrollton, the pleasantly pink Vintage House had treats out front for the passing walkers; it was a nice full-circle tribute from a local business that also hosted several pre-event meet-ups throughout the year.
Continuing through the neighborhoods of Carrollton, including the scenic “purple trail” through Carrollton Park, walkers found themselves passing the halfway point of their 60 mile journey, and approaching Day 2 lunch at Country Place Elementary. Some gloomy clouds and wind looked a little bit ominous during midday, but they quickly blew through as walkers were able to power over the blue bridge, “cowboy/cowgirl up” with pink foam cowboy hats handed out at pit stop 3, and still be greeted with plenty of late-day motivation at pit stop 4.
Back at camp, it was friends and family night, so participants and their guests were able to gather together for the camp show entertainment, including an exhilarating performance by Nikia B. of her original song “Champion.” The song was followed by with more inspirational speeches from co-survivor Jim Hillmann and young survivor Krissie Dowd, and the incredible Dallas/Fort Worth Youth Corps. And of course, Day 2 would not be complete without the famous 3-Day Saturday night dance party, and the party we saw in DFW was one of the biggest we’ve had all season.
Sunday morning briskness put some color in our cheeks as walkers began Day 3 with a short bus ride to the picturesque Ursuline Academy, where they picked up the day’s 15-mile route. With beautiful parks and neighborhoods around every corner, walkers powered through to lunch at Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas. At this green, shaded urban gem of a location (how great were those bistro tables?), a line of food trucks offered delicious dining options to walkers and supporters. After lunch, it was a breezy 4 miles, continuing on past the dramatic bronze cattle drive statues near City Hall and on to Pit 3.After triumphantly crossing under the arch into the Participant Finish Area, walkers and visitors enjoyed music and relaxation, and many witnessed a romantic finish-line marriage proposal just before the last walker made it home. Closing Ceremony was bursting with energy and passion from Dr. Sheri and the crowd, with hundreds of loved ones looking on. Susan G. Komen president and CEO, Dr. Judith Salerno spoke, personally thanking the Dallas/Fort Worth walkers and crew for their remarkable commitment to fighting for the cures to breast cancer. And as we raised the final flag in tribute to our promise to never give up, that incredible feeling of hope could be felt, as big as the Texas sky.