The Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day Honors Our Opening Ceremony Speakers

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We began our 2017 Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day with an inspiring Opening Ceremony as the sun started to rise on a beautiful day in the City of Brotherly (and Sisterly!) Love. Our Opening Ceremonies this year are led by participants, with special recognition given to our breast cancer survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer.

Crew members, walkers, and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep and mile at a time. Take some time to get to know our Opening Ceremony speakers.

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Becky Harney – My Sister

I walk for the strongest, most courageous person I know – my constant supporter, my big sister, Jenn. I walk because cancer stole her lifetime from her, and robbed the world of a wonderful wife, daughter, sister, mother, friend. I walk to hold on to the hope that together, we can defeat breast cancer. I’m Becky and I am More Than Pink.

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Betty Bottmeyer – My Friend

I walk for several people who have gone through breast cancer…my family and friends, near and far. And I walk to remember those who have passed. We carry them in our hearts and they give us strength to go on. I walk because in my lifetime, I want to find a cure for cancer. I’m Betty and I am More Than Pink.

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John Slosarik – My Wife

I walk for my wife of 23 years, Sharon, who is the 4th generation of women in her family to have battled breast cancer. Sharon is now living with metastatic breast cancer as well as the knowledge that our 19-year old daughter is BRCA positive. With each step, I celebrate generations of strong women in our family and in yours, who believe in the power of love and a world without breast cancer. I’m John and I am More Than Pink.

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Jennifer Slosarik – Myself
When I was four years old, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I was 18, I was diagnosed with the BRCA-1 gene mutation, which means I have over a 90% chance of developing breast cancer before I am 50 years old. I began this walk to support my mother who continues to live with stage 4 breast cancer. And today, I also walk for myself. I’m Jennifer and I am More Than Pink.

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Emily Robbins – My Grandmother

I walk for my grandmother, who is a breast cancer survivor. I also walk because someone I’ve known my whole life lost their second battle with breast cancer in February, and because my mother has had multiple lumpectomies over the past 13 years. I am an advocate for finding a cure for breast cancer, so that one day, men and women around the world do not have to worry about it. I’m Emily and I am More Than Pink.

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Jesse Kornblum – My Mom

As I stand here about to embark on my first 3-Day without my mom, I’m feeling many different emotions. I remember my mom’s strength, her greatness, energy, passion, love, friendship and her unforgettable smile. But I’m also grateful because I am able to join together with all of you this weekend to fight breast cancer! I’m Jesse and I am More Than Pink.

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Royce Epstein

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. But today I stand before you, in remission – a Mohawk employee, a Komen advocate, and a survivor. I am grateful for the support of my company, and I am humbled to be here with all of you today. There is one word I want you think about as you embark on this 3-Day Walk: it’s AVANTI, which means “Forward” in Italian. I have it tattooed on my leg as a reminder to Keep Moving Forward, this weekend and forever, wherever your journey takes you. I’m Royce, and I am More Than Pink.

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Kathy DiRusso – Ceremony Host

My 3-Day journey started in 2002 in Boston, where I walked in memory of my Aunt Carol, who we lost to breast cancer in 1991. The following year, we lost my cousin Tricia at the young age of 41. Both women were taken too soon from this earth – both left behind two amazing sons who have made their mark on this planet in a way both mothers would be quite proud. Today, I begin my 25th 3-Day in their memory. I’m Kathy, I am More Than Pink… and I’m honored to welcome you to the 2017 Philadelphia 3-Day!

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Philadelphia 3-Day Route Preview

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The Philly 3-Day is coming up this weekend, and it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful three days for walking, having fun, and making memories. Our whole 3-Day team can’t wait to host our walkers, crew and supporters for a wonderful weekend together! There are some new spots on the route, but there are also plenty of favorite destinations and iconic sights you won’t want to miss!

Our Opening Ceremony will once again take place at the Willow Grove Park Mall, giving our walkers a fun and festive atmosphere to kick off their sixty miles.

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The highlight of Day 1, according to Coach Joanne Taylor, is the perfect photo spot: Bra Street.

“Bra street is on Day One and I am so excited! That’s early in the morning, within the first few miles of the route. The weather is going to be so good, so it will be better than ever! Make sure to take photos!”

Walkers will also be making strides through Chestnut Hill and Flourtown, which provide beautiful views of nature.

Then, throughout Day 1, and indeed most of the weekend, we will be walking along the picturesque Wissahickon Trail. Walkers will end Day 1 on the trail and enter our new camp site at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington.

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Camp will be outside this year, for the first time since 2009, and Joanne and the other coaches are excited for walkers to see the new location. There will be plenty of space, as camp is set up near the athletic fields of the school. Everyone will be cheered into camp on Day 1 as there is a cheering station right as walkers arrive at camp at the end of the day.

To start Day 2, walkers will exit camp via the Wissahickon Trail, and can expect lots of local support at our cheering stations!

“Philly really came through this year!” Coach Joanne enthuses. “We have an amazing amount of cheering stations!”

That includes eight private cheering stations on Day 1, nine private cheering stations on Day 2, and six private cheering stations on Day 3. There are also two public cheering stations on each of the three days. Get ready for lots of excited locals!

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Another highlight of Day 2 is Maneyunk, which is a hilly part of Philadelphia (which might be a little challenging for some walkers!) but Coach Joanne loves it because it’s such a unique part of the city.

“We have a cheering station at the fire station there, where there might even be a fun DJ. It’s just a really cool area!”

There will also be a few picnic areas, parks and playgrounds on the Day 2 route, so feel free to let your inner kid loose and have some fun! Overall, we will be walking along about nine miles of trails and through natural areas on the 3-Day.

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To start Sunday morning, walkers will be bused from camp to the Philadelphia Zoo and be walking throughout Philadelphia that day. That includes Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

“That IS Philadelphia!” according to Coach Joanne.

Walkers should also look out for the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia Affiliate, who will have a cheering station at the bottom of the Rocky Steps. Let them cheer you on for some fun photos!

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There will be more Philly support from our local NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles. Their drumline will be out on Broad Street on the afternoon of Day 3, leading into our Closing Ceremony at the Navy Yard.

Coach Joanne promises, “For all the walkers that walk by around 2 or 3 pm, there will be a drumline there for an hour or so, supporting the walkers on their way in!”

Aside from community support, Coach Joanne promises that this weekend will show off Philadelphia at its best. For locals and out-of-towners, it will be a beautiful weekend of fun!

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“It’s a unique city. You have suburbs in the middle of a large urban area, so it’s very cool,” explains Coach Joanne. “Our walkers couldn’t come at a better time of year!”

For more of our favorite sights from the Philadelphia 3-Day, check out our photo slideshow!

What are you looking forward to most on the Philadelphia 3-Day? Tell us in the comments! And, if you have any more questions, your Philly 3-Day coaches are here to help!

 

 

Philadelphia Coaches’ Favorite 3-Day Memories

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We are just days away from the 2017 Philadelphia 3-Day, and the excitement is building in the City of Brotherly Love! That excitement is especially pouring out of our coaches; Tisho, Joanne and Emily can’t wait to host all this year’s walkers. They are sharing that enthusiasm with us by remembering 3-Days past, revealing their favorite spots along the route and in their city.

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What are your favorite memories of the Philadelphia 3-Days past?

Coach Tisho: In 2011, it was the first year I walked Philly and my husband’s first year on the Route Safety Crew Team. We didn’t know a soul there and I hadn’t joined a team yet so we went to dinner on Thursday night with a bunch of the Route Safety crew members he’d met at his crew kick-off meeting. They were the most welcoming bunch. The entire walk I would see them at intersections and they would say “Hey it’s Stu’s Wife!” Total embodiment of City of Brotherly Love. We’re still friends with almost all those crew members.

And then also, cheering the walkers in at the Participant Finish Area last year (my first year as a Philly Coach). Such fun to see people I had been working with all season complete their walk!

Coach Emily: I loved the 150th event celebration last year, and I love seeing familiar faces out on the route!

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What are your favorite spots on the route this year?

Tisho: I love all the cute towns we walk through – Ardmore and Chestnut Hill are the first two that come to mind. Great little villages that really welcome our walkers.

Emily: I love walking through Chestnut Hill and walking along the Schuylkill River.

Coach Joanne: You can’t help but love boathouse row and the Rocky steps. But I do love going past Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. It just evokes images of days gone by.

What can 20-mile walkers look forward to especially?

Joanne: I think joining the 3-Day as a 20-mile walker is an awesome stepping stone to a full 3-Day experience. Being able to come to camp Saturday night and then walk into the Closing Ceremony should and hopefully will inspire the walkers to sign up right there and then for the whole shebang!

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Tell us a great Crew memory!

Tisho: The first year that I crewed in Philly (2013) I was the captain for Pit Stop 1. All but one member of our crew was completely new and we had no idea what we were doing but we had such a fun time! And I’m proud to say were highly successful in putting on one heck of a Pit One Pajama Party!

In 2012 I crewed my first 3-Day in DC. My cousin Liz, who was 12 (and just 7 when we lost her mom, my Aunt Barbara, to breast cancer) was on the Youth Corps. She loved every minute of it and we had the most magical bonding experience that weekend. I was asked to carry the Aunt flag at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and at Closing we could bring one person on stage to join us and Liz came out with me. I’ve shed a lot of tears at the 3-Day but never as many as I did on that stage. Seeing my brave girl in front of all those people, honoring the memory of her mother. It fills me with pride just thinking about it.

Joanne: I was the co-captain in 2008 of Pit Stop 3. Boy was that an eye opener! When you’re a walker, you just take for granted that the western shelters magically appear and that the water and Gatorade fill themselves up in the containers! But the best part of that day was getting some Mummers to come out and do some photo ops with us. I will never forget it.

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What are you looking forward to most for this year’s walk?

Tisho: The new route! There are so many exciting changes and new venues! And I really love that we are bringing our awareness message to a whole new set of communities. Awareness is such a critical part of this event.

Joanne: This year we have three brand new routes and I’m most curious for the feedback! I think Melanie (on our production staff) did a bang-up job creating a wonderful experience for our walkers and crew and I hope they’re as excited about it as I am!

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What are your favorite spots in Philly to eat, visit and play?

Joanne: If you get a chance, go to Villa di Roma on 9th Street. Awesome Italian restaurant (obviously). Also, if you love chocolate, don’t miss Max Brenner’s. That’s in Center City not far from City Hall!

Tisho: I love all kinds of food so Reading Terminal Market is like heaven to me!

What are your favorite memories from Philadelphia 3-Days past? What are you looking forward to most for this year? Tell us in the comments!