2019 New England 3-Day Wrap-Up

We returned to New England with a splash this past weekend and could not have asked for a better three days on the East Coast! From Fenway to Boston Commons to the Freedom Trail and beyond, this weekend was one for the books.

Our journey began on Friday morning at our host hotel, the Revere Hotel Boston Common, with a special Opening Ceremony complete with stories from local walkers. Our survivors, and those living with breast cancer, were also honored before they led us out of the hotel and into the morning sunshine.

Our walk began through Boston Common and the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood, which gave walkers a real taste of the history of the city’s architecture and environment. Everyone loved both the natural calm of the Common as well as the cobblestones and homes in Beacon Hill. From there, we entered Cambridge, passing through Riverbend and North Point parks before settling in for lunch.

The weather stayed cool for our entire first day, giving walkers great weather to make quick work of a 20-mile day! After lunch, they passed the USS Constitution (or Old Ironsides to the locals) and the Bunker Hill Monument, both of which were excellent photo opportunities as well as being peeks into the history of the city.

Before being welcomed back to our hotel camp by our amazing crew team, walkers passed L Street Tavern, which many recognized from the movie Good Will Hunting. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful Day One! 3-Day BINGO, and the much-loved Bank of America massage chairs, awaited walkers and Crew at Friday’s camp. After that, it was straight to sleep in the comfy hotel beds to be well-rested for Day Two.

Saturday dawned with bright and beautiful fall weather, perfect for another day of walking! The morning was also jam packed with historical sites, including Trinity Church, Old South Church and the Boston Public Library…all in the first mile of walking! From there, we followed the Boston Marathon route in reverse, and walkers had fun celebrating “crossing the finish line” a little early in the weekend.

From there, we walked through Brookline and Brighton before arriving at our halfway celebration at lunch. Walkers lounged on the Mohawk pink mats before jumping up to dance in our celebration flash mob with Mark as Bon Jovi blared across our lunch site.

The second half of the day began with wide smiles leftover from lunch. We headed back into Boston proper, getting more city views before taking the Commonwealth Mall path back to our hotel. The shady tree-lined avenue gave relaxing shade and a respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown.

When our last walker arrived back at camp, we began our emotional Honor Ceremony and saluted those who inspire and motivate us to commit three days, year after year. We walk for them, and this ceremony celebrated that commitment. Tears were shed, hugs were shared, and we went to bed feeling fulfilled and ready to take on Day Three.

Sunday was our sunniest and warmest day yet for the weekend! The day began with a walk-through the Boston Public Garden and a stop by Cheers, the bar that inspired the titular beloved TV show. It wasn’t open yet, but walkers loved stopping for a photo!

They also posed outside Fenway Park, and declared their allegiance to home teams from across the country. We missed the game that day, but in honor of New England, 3-Dayers cheered on the Red Sox in spirit.

After Fenway, we walked through Brookline and Jamaica Plain before making our way back into the Boston city limits. We passed under the Chinatown Gate and over the Charles River, even passing the site of the Boston Tea Party. Just one more historical landmark in a weekend full of them!

Our walk ended at the Lawn on D, with lots of space for friends and family to come celebrate this amazing accomplishment. Our last walkers began our Closing Ceremony with excitement, which continued as our Crew entered the ceremony area. Then, shoes were raised to honor the strength of our survivor community, and for those living with breast cancer. They are the reason we will continue to walk, and to fundraise, for a world without breast cancer.

And fundraise we did! The 1,100 walkers and 200 crew members of the New England 3-Day raised an amazing $2.9 million in the fight against breast cancer. That’s an accomplishment worth celebrating! As we danced and soaked in the moment, many walkers already registered to return to the New England 3-Day in 2020. They know that the work is not done. And though our weekend has ended, we will not stop here. We will never quit.

Congratulations to the 2019 New England 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Ali Pepe

For the 2019 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 2019 New England 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Ali Pepe!

Ali has participated in 15 3-Days over the course of 13 years, even participating as a member of our Youth Corps! Since then, she has “walked, crewed and has put her heart and soul in to being the Youth Corps Captain since 2012 in Philadelphia and Boston,” according to Coaches Tisho and Sharyn.

3-Day friend Robin Maxcy also can’t say enough about the amazing Ali!

“The words that come to mind when I think of Ali are kind, bold, generous and always doing something bigger than herself to help others. Ali’s smile and energy is contagious to everyone she meets. I feel fortunate to have met Ali and her family at the very first Boston 3-Day many years ago. From that time frame until now, I have watched Ali grow into a beautiful, smart and empowering woman continuing to help others.”

Ali is a joy and such an asset in our 3-Day family. You can learn even more about her, in her own words, below…

What was your inspiration to do your 1st 3-Day?

My mother had done the 3-Day for years to support my aunt, her sister, who had breast cancer. I was young at the time, but when I saw my mom and aunt walk into closing for the first time, I immediately knew I wanted to get involved and support the cause. Luckily, Boston was the home of the Youth Corps, and when I was 14 years old, I was chosen to be a member. It was an experience I will never forget!

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?

After my first 3-Day, I was hooked! Not only does the event support a great cause, but the members of the walk become a second family. I can’t imagine not participating in it. This year will mark my 15th event!

Beyond that, it became an even more important event to me in 2012 when my grandmother, my mom, and my aunt were all diagnosed with breast cancer within 6 months of one another. I vowed I would participate in the 3-Day until we found a cure and there was no need for the walk anymore.

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?

I’d say the biggest thing is that I’m usually just very open about my experience with the 3-Day and my family’s experience battling breast cancer. So many people have been touched by this horrible disease and want to help. Beyond that, I just incorporate fun into my FUNdraising whether it’s a band at an event, raffle prizes, or more. People are happy to help and having the opportunity to have a good time while doing so makes it even more enjoyable.

What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?

Get to know anyone and everyone you can on the event! Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a random stranger because I can guarantee in just a few short miles, they will become a great friend. Laugh, cheer, smile, and even cry! It’s all part of the magic of the 3-Day.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I have completed the past two Boston Marathons! Both times running for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, and have raised nearly $22,000 for cancer patients and their families who are in need.

I’m also a huge Bruins and Pats fan!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?

Ohhh, this is a hard one…I think it probably has to be that you should count every blessing you have and make every moment count. I know it sounds corny, but when you hear the stories of men and women on the event, and realize how awful the disease can be, I realize how lucky I am. My mom, grandmother, and both my aunts are now all survivors, but not every story ends like mine. Unfortunately, breast cancer claims the lives of too many people, and this is why we all walk. The 3-Day really taught me to cherish the ones I love because. It also taught me that no matter how horrible this disease is, we still have hope and each other. 💜

Congratulations to the 2019 New England 3-Day Milestone Award Winners, Carol Holt & Cynthia Crisp

Please join us in congratulating our 2019 New England Milestone Award Winners; Carol Holt and Cynthia Crisp. 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 New England 3-Day camp show, we presented not one but two amazing ladies – Carol and Cynthia – with this special honor.

Together they have walked for 16 years and each participated in more than 20 3-Days each. They have each also raised more than $68,000 for Susan G. Komen and the 3-Day. And they’re not done yet! They are part of team Wild Women Originals, and teammate Jay Dorval says that even while “Coaches changed. Team dynamics changed.” and the years passed, Carol and Cynthia kept their dedication to their team and this cause. “A few of us die hards kept our focus  and our hearts strong,” and that included these amazing sisters.

Teammate Lynn Ostberg also had so many things to say about these amazing women.

“As individual walkers and fundraisers Cynthia and Carol are great, starting at the beginning and making sure friends and family dress in pink and go get mammograms together. They have lost good friends to this disease and have continued to fight and raise awareness in their memory. They are dedicated to the cause for sure and are such good stewards of the event, walking injured, having knee replacements and more.”

We are honored to have them at our New England walk this weekend, and as a part of our 3-Day family. Let’s now hear from Cindy and Cynthia themselves…

What was your inspiration to do the 3-Day?

Cindy: My maternal grandmother had breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and lived many years after until she passed away from heart disease. My cousin, however, was diagnosed with breast cancer after having her 3rd child and passed away within a year at the age of 26. Because of our family history, we were advised to start having mammograms at age 35.  My sister Carol and I were very good about having ours annually, but I had another sister, Tina, who kept putting it off.

Finally, one year when she asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I asked her to go with me for a mammogram; I would make all the arrangements. I was very excited when she agreed! When I told Carol that we were going, she asked if she could join us, then when I told my Mom, she said she’d also like to go. I called Tina back and told her I was going to have a mammogram birthday party! Her reply: “What will you do if one of us gives you breast cancer for your birthday?”

I said, “I can only hope it will be an early detection.”

As it turned out, my mother in fact was diagnosed with breast cancer…time gets away from us and she thought it had only been 2 years since her last mammogram when in fact, it had been 4 years. She had surgery, radiation and tamoxifen. Within a month a dear friend, Joanie, who had lived with our family while growing up, was diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer.

At this time, 2002, Avon ran the walk. When Carol and I saw the commercials on TV, we knew this was something we wanted to do. The following year, two of my daughters walked the Avon was which now was a 2-day walk. Then Susan G. Komen took over the 3-Day and we preferred walking the 60 miles, so we began walking the 3-Day again.

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?

Carol: My sister Cindy and I promised each other we would walk until we no longer could or a cure was found.

Cindy: When we started walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, we heard about the promise that Nancy Brinker made to her sister Susan. So, Carol and I made our own sister promise: We would continue to walk if our health allowed or until they found a cure. We never thought that 17 years later, we would still be doing multiple walks a year.

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?

Carol: One simple idea is just sending out personal letters and talking about finding a cure.

Cindy: We’ve done many things to raise money. One year we held a pig roast, hired a band and sold tickets. Another year we had a sports memorabilia auction and sold raffle tickets for a signed David Ortiz Pink baseball bat. The restaurant also donated a portion of their proceeds. […] But I would have to say, I built up a very loyal base of supporters and send out a letter every year and that is where I have raised the majority of my money.

What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?

Carol: Enjoy the walk….take your time and meet all the wonderful people!

Cindy: Take your time….it’s not a race. Talk to people. Hear their stories…and count your blessings.

What is a fun fact about you?

Carol: Cindy and I just finished walking 500 miles across Spain!

Cindy: We started walking from St. Jean Pied de Port, France. We hiked over the Pyrenees mountains into Spain and walked 500 miles over 40 days, ending in Santiago. It was amazing! I like to think of it as our 3-Day training walk.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?

Cindy: Live each day to the fullest.  Cancer isn’t choosy…it can strike at anytime to any person.  Count your blessings and take nothing for granted.

Carol: Never give up. Breast cancer touches everyone, and everyone is like family.