For the 2018 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be continuing 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, supporting the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.
Please join us in congratulating the 2018 Atlanta 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Andi Counts.
Her teammate Janice said, “I love Andi and I’m so blessed to have her as a friend and a teammate. After our 3-Day event, she invites everybody over to her house for ‘pink on the porch’ where we have great time reminiscing about the 3 Day.”
Her friend Anne says that, “Andi’s commitment to the breast cancer cause is stellar! She is a great walking partner – we call them therapy walks sometimes…lots of time to talk as well all know. What I admire about Andi is that she supports this cause for her friends, giving selflessly all around the year.”
With such high praise, we just had to hear from Andi herself.
What was your inspiration for the 3-Day?
In 2005, a friend and previous walker asked if I wanted to join her the following year. Registering was mainly to add some fun to the exercise routine I had recently begun after years of being a couch potato and to do something good in the process. Who knew I’d still be walking 13 years and 15 walks later? Who knew I’d lose a close 3-Day friend and have many more survivor friends diagnosed during those same 13 years?
What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after? The 3-Day gives more than it takes — even though it does take a lot to train, fundraise and keep on showing up. It’s a tidy package of social connections, philanthropy and exercise all tied up in a pink bow. In all the years of walking beside someone new, I’m always amazed by the depth, strength and enthusiasm for life of my fellow walkers. 3-Dayers are an interesting and entertaining bunch of folks who leave me a better person after each encounter.
What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?
Fundraising has been easier for me than for some due to a large network of generous friends. I’ve found that paper letters work better than emails since that paper reminder stays in their stack of bills or on the fridge until they act upon it — with no reminders necessary. I’m not shy about asking anyone I come in contact with for a donation. No one is annoyed about being asked and gives, or not, as they wish. Large donations come from the most surprising asks, and donors are mostly consistent from year to year. When I started doing two walks per year, I asked for double the amount and many did! The same thing happened during the years my son walked and we had to fundraise for two.
What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?
Get out and meet other walkers, ask questions, learn all their tricks, and then modify to make it all work for you.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I’m a native Atlantan who has lived three miles away from two different Georgia mountains — Stone Mountain and Kennesaw — and have enjoyed climbing them both frequently.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?
1. Breast cancer can attack anyone at any time.
2. The men of the 3-Day are simply amazing.
3. It is okay to take candy from strangers, pink is my favorite color and plastic tiaras have magic powers!