A Love Letter to the 3-Day Family From the Susan G. Komen® Staff

Dear 3-Day Family,

When we think of the word love, we think of you. As everyone is experiencing life in different ways these days, one thing that never falters is the compassion, commitment and community that is the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. This Valentine’s Day, we, a few members of the Susan G. Komen staff, want to show you our love and our thanks for all that you do!

Paula Schneider and Daughters

One of my favorite moments each year is the opportunity to enter the Pink Bubble of the 3-Day community. I am constantly impressed by the passion each of you have for this cause and by the commitment you have for each other. On behalf of my colleagues and everyone touched by breast cancer, I want to send you all our love today and to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Paula Schneider, President and CEO, Susan G. Komen

Victoria Wolodzko (left)

Our mission to save lives from breast cancer is fueled by the passion of our communityand no one can set the world on fire like our 3-Day community! Every minute I’ve spent on the route has filled my heart in so many ways, and I hope on this Valentine’s Day, each of yours is filled to the brim knowing that what you do makes a difference to so many. Thank you for making our mission possible, driving research forward, supporting patients today, and fighting for a better tomorrow. Sending you love today, and always.

Victoria Wolodzko, SVP, Mission, Susan G. Komen

Lori Maris

May you feel the joy and pure unconditional love of the Komen 3-Day pink bubble on this Valentine’s Day!


Lori Maris, SVP, Community Development & Operations, Susan G. Komen

Stephanie Myers (left)

I could not be prouder to be a part of this 3-Day community. You all have shown me vulnerable moments that have, in turn, become inspiring stories that will stay with me for my lifetime. You are the most generous, thoughtful, bad-to-the-bone cancer-fighters out there, and I am better for knowing you. The 3-Day community never ceases to amaze me in the very best wayshappy Valentine’s Day to all of you.
Stephanie Myers, Sr. Manager 3-Day, Susan G. Komen

Kari Bodell

The 3-Day community is the very model of camaraderie, friendship and love, and the Komen team is sending you all of our affection this Valentine’s Day. We wish we could deliver chocolates and roses to each and every one of you! Thank you for sharing your stories, sharing your hearts, and sharing your passion for ending breast cancer with us. We love you!

Kari Bodell, VP, Development Programs Strategy, Susan G. Komen

Carrie Stovall (right)

This Valentine’s Day, I want to thank each and every one of you for continuing to spread love to the world during this challenging time. I have witnessed this over the last year with the community supporting each other, lifting each other up, and providing love when we have been apart. I know you have given this to me as you have inspired me and made me laugh regularly. Thank you for your continued passion for saving the lives of our loved ones, friends, and members of our community facing breast cancer. Let’s keep spreading our love to the world!    

With lots of love for the Pink Bubble,
Carrie Stovall, VP Events, Susan G. Komen

From our hearts to yours this Valentine’s Day, and always, thank you for all you do to support women and men affected by breast cancer and for your help in ending breast cancer forever.


Your friends at Susan G. Komen

Carolyn P.’s Heart is Filled with Generosity in 2021 | Word of the Year

Hope you’re having a wonderful February 3-Day family! After kicking off this series in January with Riley W. sharing why she chose GRATEFUL, today we’re honored to introduce our second “Word of the Year” writer, Carolyn P. Carolyn, a 13-time walker who will be walking the Chicago 3-Day in 2021, selected “Generosity” as her 2021 word of the year.

Tell me about your 3-Day experience—how many/where have you walked/crewed? 

I started Feet to Beat Breast Cancer with a small group in 2005. For each of the next 14 years, we built the team by encouraging friends and family members to join us for the Atlanta 3-Day. In 2019, we traveled to walk the San Diego 3-Day, and in 2021, our 40-member team will surpass our $1,000,000 fundraising milestone at the Chicago event!

What is your 2021 word of the year? 


Why is that your word of the year? 

2021 is a time when people everywhere desperately need generosity in all forms. To me, someone showing generosity is happy to give time, energy, money, food, forgiveness, respect or kindness to people who need it—without asking anything in return. The positive impact of generosity may be difficult to measure, but anyone who has been on either side of a generous act would agree that more of it would dramatically improve our world.

Why do you participate in the 3-Day? 

The Feet to Beat Breast Cancer team motto speaks directly to why I participate. “In memory of loved ones lost; in honor of courageous survivors; in support of those fighting the battle; in hope for a future free from this disease. Side by side we walk, every stride, one step closer to a cure.” This plays out in our everyday life. I fondly remember two dear teammates who used to share the road with us, and I celebrate the survivor status of my mom, sister, and many dear friends. I am offering support to a family of a young mom with metastatic breast cancer, and I pray that we are on the verge of a major breakthrough in the research. 

What does the 3-Day family mean to you? 

I was asked this recently, and the first word that came to mind was “home.” I stumbled onto the Susan G. Komen 3-Day just following the birth of my two boys. For the past 15 years, I have had the honor and good fortune of sharing the experience with a growing team of men and women I honestly can’t imagine my life without. While some members of this world-class group I knew outside the 3-Day, many I would never have met—what I would have missed out on! For those I did know, being part of this community has strengthened our relationship. As if I need icing on my already fabulous Pink-Bubble Cake, in 2021, I get to enjoy all of this with two sisters, my youngest son, two nieces, and one nephew. It goes without saying that 3-Day crew, staff, local volunteers, and host city create a positive and supportive environment. It truly feels like “home.”

How does your word of the year connect to the 3-Day?

There’s a quote we use on our team page every year, and it expresses generosity perfectly. “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” —Nelson Henderson. We may never know the full impact with an act of kindness on the 3-Day, how sharing our story might inspire a stranger, or learn the name of the young woman who will get a life-saving mammogram because of the money we raised. But that’s not why we do these things. We are generous. We are happy to give time, energy, money, respect or kindness to people who need it—without asking anything in return.

If you could share a message with the Pink Bubble, what would it be?

  • Be present. Listen. Feel every emotion that comes up along the 3-Day journey.
  • Be inclusive. Somebody along the way needs you. Be there. Don’t be afraid to reach out of your comfort zone.
  • Be generous. Let the needs of others motivate you. Your generosity may just inspire others to give more of themselves, and there is something very satisfying about giving what you can to help someone else.
  • Be appreciative. Appreciate your supporters. With all the demands on their hard-earned dollars, it is an honor to have their support. Appreciate your fellow walkers and crew, staff, local volunteers, and the cheering crowds. They are helping make this a life-changing experience.
  • Have fun. Laugh at yourself, dance at the Pit Stops, wear a crazy costume, celebrate making it up that hill, high-five the police officers, relish that graham cracker PB&J, and find the joy of a porta-john (ok, that’s a stretch).

Carolyn, thanks so much for your generosity and for giving you whole heart to your 3-Day family. Keep living your chosen word of the year, and next month, we’ll introduce a new person and share their word, why they chose it, and learn about their Komen 3-Day journey along the way.

Other Word of the Year Blog Posts

Riley W. Chooses To Walk Into 2021 Being GRATEFUL | Word of the Year

Why These Fundraising Tech Tips Can Help You Reach Your Goal Faster Than You Could in 2003

The 3-Day community is nothing short of incredible. Since the 3-Day began in 2003, more than 500,000 participants have raised over 863 million dollars to help end breast cancer. Over the years, we’ve introduced new fundraising tips and tools that would WOW our 2003 selves.

When we first started the 3-Day back in 2003, cell phones looked like this. Everyone became friends with Tom when the first social media platform—Myspace—launched. We “shook it like a polaroid picture” as we listened to the #1 Billboard song, “Hey Ya!” by OutKast. And we cheered as Dory remembered P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney during one of our favorite movie releases of the year, Finding Nemo.

Fast forward to 2021. Now you can leverage social media to hit your fundraising goal, send out donation requests via text messages on your smart phone, and even deposit checks straight into the mobile app without having to rely on the mail. Don’t miss these fundraising tech tips that can help you reach your goal faster than you could in 2003. Plus, we threw in a few tips at the end that are truly timeless.

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day App

In the 3-Day mobile app, you can track your activity badges and send out pre-written or custom donation messages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, email, WhatsApp, and text. You can even schedule messages in advance on LinkedIn and Twitter so you don’t forget! One of our favorite tech additions since 2003 is the mobile check-deposit feature…which allows you to scan a check directly in the app to apply to your fundraising totals. You can also update your personal fundraising page with a special message for your supporters right there in the app.

Facebook Fundraising

When you’re logged into your participant center, you will receive reminders to connect your event fundraising to a Facebook Fundraiser. This allows your friends—or friends of friends of friends—to make donations towards your fundraising goal. In fact, when participant Amy S. walked in her first 3-Day, she set up a Facebook Fundraiser the day she registered. The very next day, she had $1,524 in her fundraising account.

Social Media Sharing

We have social media graphics and sample posts here and here to help in your fundraising efforts across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more, and we even have sharable infographics to show your donors and potential teammates the incredible work Komen does with the funds raised at the 3-Day. Pro tip: these versions are made especially for social media sharing.

Matching Gifts, Matching Gifts, Matching Gifts!

While the concept of employers matching gifts is not new, the process is significantly easier than it was back in 2003. Donors (or you, for your donors!) can look up employers here to see if they offer a match. If you need help, check out this helpful page.

QR Codes

Have you seen those square bar codes on print outs, tv, or on signs? That’s called a QR code! You can create your own QR code linking straight to your fundraising page! If you print the QR code on a sign hung in a local coffee shop or on your fundraising materials, people just have to open up the camera on their phone, hold it over the QR code, and ta-da…your fundraising page opens up automatically on their phone!

Timeless Tips

While lots has changed since we started back in 2003, many things have not. Here are some proven, time-tested things to remember.

  • Just like we did back in 2003, we have people here to help you along the way! While we can’t gather in person, here are recorded meetings and workshops to help learn tricks and tools.
  • We can’t express how important thank you cards, texts, handwritten notes, and emails for donating or other follow up after the event, including photos or a recap of your 60-miles, are for your donors. Here is a link to a tribute card and other follow up ideas to help express your thanks.
  • Looking for some classic reading material? This fundraising handbook is FULL of helpful ideas, as is this vintage blog post.
  • These downloadable business cards are perfect inserts to include in correspondence cards, at COVID-19-era fundraising takeout dinners, in donation-based craft or bake sales, or on the counter at your local retail store.
  • Fundraising rewards have changed throughout the years, but our immense gratitude for the incredible fundraising efforts of our 3-Day participants is unchanged.

3-Day veterans, what’s YOUR favorite fundraising tech tool or tip? If you need support, we’re here to help! Email us in your Coach’s Corner in your Participant Center. And just like Dory told us back in 2003, always remember: “When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming.”