For the 2017 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re honored to be featuring the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to participants who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts leading training walks, attending 3-Day community events. They have also supported the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, been making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.
Please join us in congratulating the 2017 Seattle 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Judy Kent.
All those that know her love and support Judy, including fellow participant, Susan Grasdahl.
“Judy is amazing, we are so lucky to have her at Camp! Each year brings change and some challenges to be met, Judy always meets it with “we got this” and that approach has become our motto! Judy leads with kindness, enthusiasm, dedication, hard work and of course her quick wit! Be it rain , heat , wind, concerts, bike races or sprinklers going off at dawn… no worries, Judy’s got this! She is an inspiration to us all!”
Her sister in law, Maryann O’Donnell, echoes that praise! She says Judy has been a dedicated 3-Dayer since 2002.
“She was preparing to celebrate her 50th birthday and wanted to do something to celebrate her 50 years of being relatively healthy. She called me with the idea of us walking the 3-Day in Seattle. We prepared by raising money, we trained on separate coasts (since I live in Virginia) and we anxiously arrived with two water bottles in tow, for that first event. What an emotional roller-coaster that was for both of us!
“We each brought different strengths and personalities to that walk. I am the emotional one, often high strung but always with a smile on my face. Judy …is an accountant…she sees an issue…analyzes it…and executes a solution. One could say she perseveres until the job is complete, a trait that got us through that first 60 miles and has continued with her throughout the next 15 plus events.
O’Donnell continues, “Judy was proud to be a part of the 3-Day when Komen took over the event. She first worked on the Food Service crew, then quickly became the Food Service captain until a few years ago, when she became the Camp senior captain. In the off season, she fundraised, helped others with training walks, sewed chef hats, sewed pink aprons, helped organize people to get involved and even badgered her high school friends to fly from California to be on her crew. She has gone above and beyond what she had wanted to accomplish on that first walk in 2002. I am thrilled to be a part of this recognition of her accomplishments for the 3-Day. I know she is really a very humble person who doesn’t want to be in the limelight, but is so deserving of this award.”
After all that praise, we had to hear from Judy herself! When we asked her these questions, she didn’t know she would soon be selected as our winner!
What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?
I was prodded into doing the event in 2002 (then with Avon) by my sister-in-law Maryann O’Donnell, who also still works on the crew. I was turning 50 years old and needed a physical challenge. Also, it was the time in my life to start “giving back.” Breast cancer poses such a threat to women as we get older and I wanted to get out in front of it doing my part to make diagnosis, treatment and survival rates better.
What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?
I absolutely love the camaraderie that exists among the new and veteran crew members. We all want to help the walkers have the best experience ever.
What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?
The most important thing about fundraising is: “Don’t be afraid to ask everyone and anyone!” Over the years, I have heard so many stories from walkers about how pleasantly surprised they were by the support they received when they just had the courage to ask for donations.
What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?
Train, train, train! Make sure you train carrying a full water bottle either in a waist of back pack. Make sure you take a long walk wearing the clothes you plan on wearing on event so you can check for chafing, wicking, etc. Also, please make sure you have the shoes and socks that work best for your feet.
What are 3 fun facts about you?
- This year our family will have 3 generations on event. My niece, Liz Matthews, is captain of Traffic control and her daughter, Zoey, is serving with the Youth Corps
- My husband and I make our own wine and beer as a hobby, and we work at a winery in Woodinville.
- I still use a “dumb” phone – I can only talk and text with my phone!
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?
- No matter tired I am, the walkers are even more tired.
- Always be ready and available to listen. It may be a walker with a problem or complaint (or maybe even a rave review), a crew member with a question or a staff member with a request. Listen carefully and then do your best to solve the problem.
- For Seattle, always bring rain gear.