2016 Susan G. Komen Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Wrap-up

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Friday morning, pink globes of light shone in the dark, illuminating a site where hundreds of people who have been touched by breast cancer began to gather. At Collin Creek Mall in Plano, as the sun rose in the sky, we heard touching stories from Honor Speakers, watched in admiration as survivors raised our flag, and were reminded by 3-Day Specialist Amber Livingston and Dr. Sheri Prentiss why our footsteps hold so much promise.

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Then, as the music pumped, we began our march towards a world without breast cancer. Our first Pit Stop was Mardis Bra themed, and as festooned crew handed out shiny beads, we stretched, munched on grahamwiches, filled up on sports drink, and then stopped for a quick play on the nearby playground. Just a few steps out of Pit Stop 1 were hundreds of children from Aldridge Elementary, lining the sidewalk eagerly giving out high fives and words of enthusiasm.2016_3day_df_gf_-70

Cheering stations lined the sidewalks at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Richardson, Texas, and then, at mile 7.3, the bridge at Cottonwood Park served as the perfect backdrop for selfies.

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The stride continued to our lunch stop and then Anderson Bonner Park, where we wrapped up the day with more photo opps with the fun, metal people at Churchill Park. Brookhaven College became our home away from home for the night, and this Farmer’s Branch campus was a sight in pink. After we welcomed in our last walker, we had a rollicking camp show, complete with a hilarious game from Bank of America, and a speech by Dr. Weibo Luo, who shared his personal reasons for being a breast cancer warrior. After that, we bundled up in our cozy pink tents, laying tired heads on pillows in preparation for an amazing day two.

The energy was contagious on the brisk morning of Day 2, and after stopping by Mardis Bra again at Pit Stop 1, we headed to Pit Stop 2, which was ‘Wizard of Bras’ complete with a rest spot with a miniature tornado, flying monkey, and wicked witch.

Cheering stations including Park Hill Junior High School and the 3-Day cheer corps lined the blocks of the city, waving pom poms as we paraded by. Our lunch spot was the Wild West at 10 miles, and walkers feasted on sandwiches and salads, powering up for what lay ahead including puppies! Just shortly after of our lunch spot were the Guide Dogs of America, with yellow labs and black labs in training eagerly awaiting pets from excited walkers. After seeing puppies, it was onward to Pit Stops 3 and 4 (with some Grab and Go’s in between), at the scenic Vitruvian Park (mile 18.7), leading into the Survivor Stretch, and then through a tunnel of Team Komen volunteers, all in matching pink and handing out goodies.

From this amazingly uplifting stretch of the route, it was into the closing miles for Day 2, with a drum corps beating cadence into the sky. We welcomed our last walkers against a beautiful blue and yellow sunset, celebrating being one day closer to the end of breast cancer. Then, we heard from Catherine Olivieri, VP of Human Resources at Susan G. Komen, who shared with us the reason that she works with Komen, after losing her own mother, a breast cancer survivor, three years ago. We then celebrated our top fundraising award winners and milestone and local impact award winner. The spirit of 150 3-Day celebrations was filled with joy, as crew passed out cupcakes, sparkling juice, and special 150th gifts. Family and friends lined the perimeters of the tent, and whoops of joy filled the air as we clapped and clapped and clapped, finally ending our night with an exuberant dance party kicked off by Youth Corps. Then, we went back to our pink tent city, laying our heads on our pillows, dreaming of a day we can say, the world is free forever from breast cancer.

Sunday began with a quick bus ride from camp at Brookhaven College to Curtis Park. We were impressed by the cheerful smiles on walkers’ faces, even though feet and legs were feeling pretty sore. Our Pit Stops had cold, freshly brewed sports drink and a smorgasbord of snacks, from fresh bananas and oranges to the ever popular grahamwich.

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At miles 8-10, the stunning neighborhoods of the historic West End kept our eyes busy, especially as some houses paid special tribute to our walkers with elaborate decorations.

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Around 13 miles, we walked by a momentously historic location, the spot where John F. Kennedy was assassinated. We walked through the Kennedy memorial at the Grassy Knoll on to the Mobil Red Pegasus, and a scenic park where bull statues are crashing through the park, stopping to take plenty of photos.

Our day ended with us walking through Fair Park and at the  Cotton Bowl, where the gray skies broke slightly to reveal patches of light. In our emotional Closing Ceremony, as survivors raised their hands together, and walkers and crew dried their eyes, Dr. Sheri and Amber shared that we raised more than $2.4 million. This was all thanks to the tireless fundraising and support from our 900 walkers and 300 crew.

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Dallas/Fort Worth, they say everything is bigger in Texas, and the passion we saw for ending breast cancer forever proved it. As walkers, crew, and spectators streamed out of Fair Park, a triple rainbow arched from our stage to the sky, saying in perfect harmony that the world knows that together we are now 60 miles closer to ending breast cancer forever.

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2016 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Award Winners and Honorees

Saturday evening’s camp show at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® is all about celebration: walkers celebrate completing an amazing 40 miles, crew members high-five over giving hours upon hours of service to their fellow 3-Dayers, and everyone celebrates each other. It’s true that every walker and crew member could rightfully be given a medal for their accomplishments, but since that isn’t really possible, we do like to take time at the end of Day 2 to recognize some walkers and crew members for outstanding achievements. We were pleased to award the following outstanding walkers, crew members and teams in Dallas/Fort Worth:

Top Individual Fundraiser

Our top fundraiser this year, Liz Fagan, raised an impressive $12,011 this season. In her three years with the 3-Day, she has raised over $17,000. Liz Fagan is an emergency room physician who won the EmCare Commitment to Care award, which is voted on by patients. You’re truly dedicated, Liz.

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Top Team Fundraiser

We’re thrilled to announce that Top Team Fundraising award winner is Pink Soles in Motion, who have raised an astonishing $150,000 this year, with 85 team members! In their amazing 11 years as a 3-Day team, they have raised $1,469,646. WOW!

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Top Crew Fundraiser

Our Top Crew Fundraiser this year is Pamella Whitham, who has participated in 13 events. In her time with the 3-Day, she has raised over $55,000 for Susan G. Komen. Pamella loves Paris and her home in Malibu, where she is a realtor. She loves time with her husband, children, garden, ducks, and chickens, and especially, her eight grandchildren. You’re a star, Pamella!

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Top Training Walk Leader: Mary Tengra

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Join us in congratulating Mary! Every year you’ll see Mary in a new outfit and hat on the event. She’s worn everything from a birthday cake to a sphere of pink Styrofoam cups on her head. Her talent and creativity keeps people searching for her outrageous outfits at Opening Ceremony every year. Mary is a 20-year breast cancer survivor; she has been a dedicated team captain of NO WALKER LEFT BEHIND since 2011 and welcomes new walkers to her team every year. She’s a no-nonsense leader telling new people, “be prepared to participate in group fundraiser and tell your family they’re going to be just fine without you while you’re out training with us.” Mary has a way of embracing walkers like family and as her team name reflects, there are NO WALKERS LEFT BEHIND. One of her teammates said: “I’ve been walking w/ Mary for 5 years and we have never gotten lost, turned around maybe, walked longer than we planned maybe, skipped a couple turns maybe but never lost….” Here’s what a few other teammates have said about Mary:

  • “When you say to Mary, ‘I thought we were not doing hills today!’ her response is, ‘this is not a hill it’s an incline.’”
  • “And finally when planning our 3-day décor, nothing for Mary is too big, too bright, too over-the-top, has too many feathers, has too much bling or is just way too uncomfortable.”
  • “Mary, we love you and Thanks for being more than a Captain; Thanks for being a true friend!”

Milestone Award and Local Impact Award

These two other special awards are presented to participants who stand out and shine extra brightly in a sky of very bright 3-Day stars. The Milestone Award is given at each event to one participant who has an extraordinary history of involvement with the 3-Day, and the Local Impact Award recognizes a participant in each 3-Day city who has been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day in their community throughout the year.

Milestone Award Recipient: Catrina Gibson

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Catrina has participated in 11 events and this year will make 12 & 13, being in Dallas/Forth Worth and San Diego. She has raised over $59,000 and leads the team Pink Soles in Motion. Her dedication to Komen and the memory of her beautiful mother who she lost in 2000 has given her the drive and determination to never give up when it comes to fundraising and recruiting walkers to join the fight. A verse that she lives by is: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9). Catrina, thank you for never giving up and coming back to raise money and walk for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day year after year. Here are some fun facts about Catrina:

    • When Catrina arrives to an early morning training walk and there’s a great song on the radio, you can catch her jamming in her car until it’s over.
    • She tortured herself for five days of Orange Theory Fitness workouts for a great looking t-shirt.
    • She has mastered removing the under layer of clothing while walking.

Teammate Sandy Sauceda said about Cat, “One of the best memories I have with Cat at the 3-day is when she convinced me to walk wearing our Cure Bear costumes.  This is not like me but I had so much fun.  She brings that out in people. We walked more together as a group that year and chanted and laughed so much!  She Inspires! She has been a TWL for 8 years and has lead most of our walks, especially the 18 miler (nobody is crazy about that) but she is always game.  She gets all going and makes sure that we have what we need (walker stalkers) to make it.  She is dedicated! She gives even when it is hard. Life gets crazy and being a captain of a large team is stressful. Catrina is always there taking on more than her share to make the team successful.  She cares!”

Local Impact Award Winner: Dr. Sheryl Cowan

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Dr. Cowan has been a 3-Day participant since 2009 and has walked in 9 events up to this year. She registered for all seven of the 2016 cities and raised the money to participate in every one. Due to her commitment to her community and patients, she will attend four in person and walk the rest around the city of Plano where she lives. She has raised over $48,000 and contributes the generous donations she receives from her colleagues to her team mates on STEPS, which stands for Screening, Treatment, Educations and Programs. Sheryl held a board position with the Komen Dallas County Affiliate and her commitment to Komen and breast health never waivers. She has created an amazing, family-oriented atmosphere with Team STEPS as well as others and has rallied the troops to not only help each other, but she has led the charge to help the local community, especially during the 2015 tornadoes that swept through Texas.

Here’s a little bit about Sheryl from her teammates: “Sheryl carries business cards with her at all times. Wherever she goes she finds a connection with people through health or fitness or a family member touched by cancer. She gives them her card as a personal contact if they are in need of medical help, as a way to tie them in with Team STEPS through our Facebook page, or to offer an opportunity to walk the 3-Day in honor of someone with breast cancer. Sheryl is very much a believer that everyone has something to contribute to a team so that the team can achieve its goal. The goal of the 3-Day is to raise funds and walk 60 miles. She connects people who need help with fundraising, people who have aches and pains that need stretching, solo walkers who need motivation. She finds that strength in each person which is why our members keep coming back. They feel needed and appreciated. “Although we began as a group of walkers under the name Team STEPS, we have grown to be a team of walkers passionate about “saving lives and curing diseases”. Our training walks, under Sheryl’s leadership, are inclusive of teams from all over Dallas and its suburbs. We consider everyone an important part of the 3-Day family no matter the team they register under and invite them to train with us. Sheryl has said that she is not the “cutesie/tutu type” personality. Her team was built to train any walker who wants to walk the 60 miles to reach that goal.”

Please join us in giving a round of applause and a high 5 to all of these extraordinary 3-Day participants. With your help, we’re 60 miles closer to ending breast cancer forever!

Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Honors our Opening Ceremony Speakers

We began our 2016 Dallas/Fort Worth Komen 3-Day with an inspiring and beautiful Opening Ceremony as the sun rose above the Collin Creek Mall. Walkers, crew members and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep at a time.

As part of the Ceremony, we were honored to welcome some special 3-Day participants to the stage, where they shared their own inspirations—both heart-warming and heartbreaking—for being part of the 3-Day. Hear their compelling and touching reasons for being a part of our 2016 walk. #WeAreThe3Day

Janet Muldrew – My Sister
Breast cancer has stricken three of my five sisters. In 2006, we started walking in the 3-Day and raising money for Susan G.  Komen, to help find a cure and put an end to breast cancer. I’m Janet and I AM the 3-Day.

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Alicia Morrison – My Children
I’ve seen way too many friends, family members, and loved ones bravely face breast cancer. I walk for my children. I walk today with hope that they never have to fight that battle. I’m Alicia and I AM the 3-Day.

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Patti Rieder – My Mom
I walk for my mom who was a 7-year breast cancer survivor, only to be taken from us by ALS. Her strength, support, generosity and love is why I have become the woman I am today. I love you, Mom, and will continue to be a 3-Day walker to honor you. I’m Patti and I AM the 3-Day.

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 David Loder – My Wife
I walk for my wife who is an 18-year survivor. Thanks to each of you here today, there will be many more survivors in the future. I’m David and I AM the 3-Day.

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Susan Hennessy – My Family
I walk for my sister-in-law, Colleen. I walk because the day a family member receives a cancer diagnosis, your whole world changes. You immediately think of the years you may lose with them and of the heavy burdens they now must bear. I dream of a future in which no mother, father, sister, brother, or other loved one has to battle cancer. We’re all here today, united in the fight against cancer. We support the fighters, admire the survivors, honor the angels, and never EVER give up hope. I’m Sue and I AM the 3-Day.

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 Emily Edgar – My Friend
My best friend from childhood began walking the 3-Day with me in 2012. Only 7 months later, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, one that had no cure just 20 years ago. But today, she is cancer-free and so thankful for Susan G. Komen, because money from these events funded the research that saved her life. I also walk for my boss, who was diagnosed at 36. After a double mastectomy, hysterectomy, chemo, and radiation, she was declared cancer-free. But last year at 42, the cancer was back, stage 4. She is currently receiving experimental treatment and her tumor markers are down. I walk for my friends. I’m Emily and I AM the 3-Day.

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