Please join us in congratulating our 2017 Atlanta Milestone Award Winner; Christi Ann Witlberger! The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Milestone Award is given at each event to a walker or crew member who has an outstanding history of participation in the Komen 3-Day. At the Atlanta 3-Day camp show, we presented Christi Ann with this special honor.
To get to know Christi Ann better, we asked the 3-Day community for stories about her, and the she got rave reviews!
Her parents and fellow walkers, Carl and Colleen Ferland, have been supporting Christi Ann on her 3-Day journey for more than a decade! Both of her grandmothers had breast cancer, and so when Christi Ann got involved to help, her parents jumped at the chance to be a part of her cause.
“We own some Denny’s restaurants and she came up with the idea to place a jar at the registers to collect from our customers to help with our fundraising. This has been a huge success for us!
The employees have really gotten behind us and started having bake sales, garage sales and contests to collect the most donations. Christi has been the team captain for all these years, she has been dedicated to organizing each year’s packets to go out to all the restaurants and track the donations each week. She sends encouragement messages to the restaurants to keep the enthusiasm high. She tries very hard to keep us all straight with reminders to register and do our on-line check in by due dates and is the first one ready to catch the bus on the mornings of the walk. We are very proud of Christi’s dedication and commitment to the 3-Day!”
Talk about being a great team player! Now let’s hear about the 3-Day and Christi Ann’s story in her own words. 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?
My grandmothers! Both of my grandmothers are breast cancer survivors and I felt like I could honor them by becoming a part of something that could help put an end to this disease. One night I saw a commercial on TV for the walk and I decided at that moment that this was it. I called my mom and told her WE were signing up for this. She went along with it and we just keep coming back for more and now we walk as a family: My dad, my mom and my sister walk alongside with me!!!
What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?
I enjoy coming back every year because I know that each and every year I walk and fundraise we are closer to a cure. I enjoy the time I get to spend with my parents and sister. The memories we make and the conversations we have are priceless and worth every blister!!!!
What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?
Teamwork! I have not done this alone. Through the use of my dad’s restaurant franchise, we have been able to raise money each year for the 3-Day. Our Denny’s employees and customers are amazing and have helped us succeed each and every year.
What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?
It’s an amazing and life changing experience. Take it ALL IN. You will laugh and you will cry. You will learn a lot about yourself. You will challenge yourself and your body. When you think you can’t possibly walk one more mile, YOU CAN!!!!! The 3-Day is a family and they will be with you every step of the way!!!!!
What’s a fun fact about you?
I hate running but I am training for my second half marathon this coming March.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?
Just keep going!!!! Carry toilet paper in your backpack 🙂 and the Grahamwiches are tha bomb!! You should have one at every Pit Stop, but beware…..they go fast!! 🙂