An Update from Chrissy Mathews at Komen

Both at the Komen Impact Forums and here on the blog, I promised regular updates on the 3-Day program and our work at Komen. Here’s what’s new:


We finished up our first ever Komen 3-Day Impact Forums in February. Over the course of four weeks we visited our seven 3-Day cities as well as three former cities (Washington, D.C., Tampa and Phoenix). The forums were hosted by me, other leaders within Komen and our local Affiliates when available. Overall, feedback was very positive. The consistent requests we heard from you across all cities were:

  • More time for Q&A with Komen
  • More information to help your fundraising efforts
  • Regular updates and stories on those served by Komen’s mission

As a result, some of the efforts you will see coming to your inbox over the next few months are:

  • More infographics—These will be focused on local fundraising impact and insights to aid your fundraising efforts. We want to give you hard data on what your donations can fund, for example: $2,300 can provide…, etc.
  • Komen’s annual report—Komen’s fiscal year ends March 31. We are currently finishing up our annual report which we will share with you along with a few quick takeaways to help you better understand where your dollars are going and what progress we have made.
  • Fundraising App—we have started developing a fundraising app for the 3-Day. This app will sync in real time with your 3-Day Participant Center making it easier to fundraise, recruit team members, send thank you notes, update your personal or team page, HALLELUJAH! You’ll be able to easily use your mobile phone to send emails, texts and more to boost your fundraising or build your team.
  • Regular mission updates and insights—We are working closely with our Mission team at the Komen national office to gather regular updates on mission projects (e.g., “the boob spa,” targeted therapies and metastatic research projects as we mentioned at the Impact Forums). These will also include personal commentary and stories from some of our researchers, grantees and staff. Our goal is to make this a monthly communication. More to come…


Great news! We have formed our first ever Komen 3-Day Participant Advisory Council. The purpose of this group is to provide a collective “voice” of our 3-Day community to provide feedback and insights as we develop plans to enhance on-event experience, participant support, etc. An invitation to apply for the council was sent to everyone who attended an Impact Forum. From there, we reviewed all applications and chose 1–2 people from each 3-Day city. We purposely looked for participants with varying experiences with the 3-Day (walker, crew, new, veteran, big teams, individual participant, etc.) to ensure we had as many perspectives at the table as possible. This council will be hugely instrumental for us to ensure we are addressing your needs, prioritizing appropriately, making the right changes and communicating as effectively as possible for you. Council members will also be a great resource for you to share your insights and needs, knowing those will be brought to the strategy discussions each month.

So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce our 2016 Participant Advisory Council Members:

  • Anthony Anderson, Arizona 3-Day Crew, 10-year participantAnthonyA
  • Gary Bertolini, Michigan 3-Day Crew, Team Ropa Sucia, 8-year participantGary Bertolini
  • Maureen Budach, Twin Cities 3-Day Walker, Team Mickey’s Hope, 10+-year participant
  • Kerry Calaiaro, Philadelphia 3-Day Walker, Team Best Bosom Buddies, 1-year participantKerry Calaiaro
  • Sylvia Campbell, Tampa Bay 3-Day Walker, Team 211, 10-year participantSylvia Campbell
  • Dottie Cornelius, Seattle 3-Day Walker, Team Island Girls, 7-year participantDottie Cornelius
  • Beth Heyer, Atlanta 3-Day Walker, Team Tits & Giggles, 1-year participant
  • Melissa Loder, Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Walker/Crew, Team Independent, 10+-year participantMelissa Loder
  • Marianne Masterson, San Diego 3-Day Walker, Team STRIDE, 7-year participantMarianne Masterson
  • Charles McCollum, Atlanta 3-Day Crew, Team Badges for Boobies, 5-year participantCharles McCollum
  • Tina McDonough, Seattle 3-Day Walker, Team Valley Girls & Guys, 15-year participantTina McDonough
  • Beth Northman, Michigan 3-Day Walker, Team BC Babes, 10+-year participantBeth Northman
  • Rainy Reinbold, San Diego 3-Day Crew, 10+-year participantLaurie Reinbold
  • Thomas Riggs, Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Walker, Team Presbytittyans, 3-year participantThomas Riggs
  • Kim Williams, Twin Cities 3-Day Crew, Team Kindred Spirits, 8-year participantKim Williams
  • Carol Zimmer, Philadelphia 3-Day Walker, Team Girls Gone Walking, 9-year participantCarolZimmer


As an example of one the things the council will be involved in: Last week we had the opportunity to visit Seattle to reevaluate routes for this year’s walk. Tina and Dottie were kind enough to join us and share key insights and feedback for each section of the routes on Days 1, 2 and 3. Their insights from a participant perspective were exactly what we needed. We are all very excited about changes to come— we will keep you all informed!


As you know, we launched with two targeted growth strategies for the 3-Day this year: our Reunion for former participants and the Bring Your Besties travel program for new walkers. Both provide a free plane ticket for eligible registrants, as long as the participants meet their $2,300 fundraising requirement.

  • Overall, we have slightly more participants registered than we did at this time last year. However, we are not done. We need to register another 3,000 people between now and May in order to improve on 2015.
    • The Bring your Besties travel offer closes on March 24, so please keep asking your friends and family to register. We want to introduce as many new walkers to the 3-Day as we can. So far, we are bringing more new walkers to the 3-Day than we have in more than three years, so let’s keep going!
  • We still have work to do. I encourage you to continue recruiting and building your teams. If you’ve recruited 1 person that’s AWESOME… now try to get 3-4 people. J My team is growing… Komen staff at the national office and affiliate offices are growing teams too!

At the Impact Forum (and here on the blog), I made the commitment to add a 3-Day city in 2017 if we significantly raise participation in all 3-Day cities. As we stand today, we still have a lot of work to do these next two months, bringing in even more walkers, if we want to add a city next year.

I will have another update for you in the upcoming weeks. Thank you for all you are doing. Together we are making great progress! Let’s keep it up!



Growing the 3-Day: Two Exciting Travel Programs

(NOTE – The 2016 3-Day travel promotions have expired. If you have questions about your registration or traveling to the 3-Day, please contact the coaches at 800-996-3DAY or

Many of you have been participating in the 3-Day for a decade or more. Why? Because of that “3-Day Bubble.” No matter how tough it was the first time, how crappy the weather beat you down in 2008, or how many times you hit a personal milestone and said “this just might be my last year,” you keep coming back to spend just a little more time in that beautiful pink bubble

For us, the 3-Day is the way the world should be for three glorious days. This 3-Day community and culture has become what it is because of you. Komen didn’t create this—you did.

Now, for those who have been with us for years, you have seen the 3-Day Series grow to great heights and you’ve seen in recent years diminishing returns. We want to grow again.

So we’ve set a pretty ambitious goal for 2016: to double the size of our program. Double. This is aggressive, but so is our goal to end breast cancer forever. You don’t make big progress with little goals. We can do this.

So, how do we plan to grow?

Sunday, August 9, 2015: Participants walk the 60 mile Susan G. Komen 3day event that goes from Novi to Dearborn, MI.

150th Event and 3-Day Family Reunion – The 2016 Michigan 3-Day marks our 150th event! It’s an incredible milestone! We plan to kick off an epic reunion celebration in Michigan and continue it in every 3-Day city all season long. More details can be found at

We want to bring our entire 3-Day family back together to celebrate this reunion. Many folks participated in the 3-Day for years but haven’t been back because traveling to one has been a burden and barrier.

So, for this year only—in celebration of the 150th 3-Day event that they helped us reach—we are reaching out to those individuals and teams to cover their travel costs, should they raise $2,300 to walk in the 3-Day closest to them. Check out all of the details at to see if you are eligible.

Bring Your Besties – We are also excited to announce Bring Your Besties, a free travel program for new walkers in 2016! Invite as many first-time walkers as you can to join you this year and we’ll pay their roundtrip airfare to and from the 3-Day, as long as they meet their $2,300 fundraising requirement.3-Day_BestiesOffer

I am from Illinois. I’ve lived in Texas for 8 years now. My best friend, Ashley, and I have known each other since grade school. She is the “sister from another mister” for me. I talk to this woman every morning on my way to work, but I only get to see her when I go home for Christmas each year.

Last year, her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. And as usual none of us could be together as often as we wanted to be… I couldn’t hug Ashley when she needed it. I could only pray her and her mom through everything.

Now, with the Bring Your Besties program, I’m rounding up Ashley and our families to walk with me at the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day this fall! They will fundraise and train, and instead of waiting for another Christmas, I will get to spend three whole days in November immersed with my favorite people. Not only that, but I get to share the gift of YOU—the unconditionally loving and supportive 3-Day family—with my loved ones who don’t even know they need this community. I cannot WAIT to share them with all of you.

Guys—if we ALL bring ONE new walker with us this year we will already have doubled the size of the 3-Day and doubled our fundraising. This is a way to make the 3-Day more accessible to everyone.

Is investing in travel wise?

Yes. And I will tell you why:

  • For years we have invested in TV and radio ads. Many of you heard about the 3-Day ten years ago through a television ad. And while we love advertising our great event, with the growth of social media, we’ve found that paid ads just aren’t as effective as they could be to bring new walkers to the 3-Day family. You know us to be responsible stewards of the money you raise—devoting 80 cents of every dollar to our mission programs—so we want to ensure that we’re maximizing every dollar. In this case, that means even paying for travel to bring someone to the event and let them experience “the bubble” for themselves.
    The majority of you participated in a 3-Day one time and were hooked. You’ve continued to participate for years. The targeted investment of a one-time flight potentially yields years of participation and fundraising from that person. Plus, we significantly grow the 3-Day.
  • Ultimately, our goal is to add more cities to our 3-Day Series. If we can significantly raise participation tides in our current cities in 2016, we’re looking at adding at least one new city in 2017. And, we want you, the 3-Day community, to have a voice in which city we add.

2015_3DAY_SD_GF-1036We all want the same things: more people = more fundraising dollars = bigger impact = a day where no one dies from breast cancer. We are not settling for smaller plans that yield incremental growth. NASA didn’t aim to just break the sound barrier; they had a goal to walk on the moon. A BIG GOAL. Double the 3-Day. Everyone bring your besties and let’s grow the 3-Day!

I am very excited and recruiting my team as I write this blog. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you, 3-Dayers, for filling voids in my heart I didn’t know I needed last year as a co-survivor. And I want to thank you for continuing to be you—the most passionate, genuine and FUN group of people I’ve had the privilege of calling a new family. Together, we can do this. Here’s to a strong 2016 3-Day season!

~ Chrissy


Your Dollars at Work: 3-Day Funds and Komen’s Mission Objectives

Participants often ask me how 3-Day funds are put to use. It’s a logical question: If you’re working hard towards raising at least $2,300 each year to walk, you want to know how those dollars get put to work.

If you’ve done the 3-Day before, you’ve probably heard that 25% of the net proceeds goes to local Affiliates to fund community education and treatment assistance programs while 75% of the net proceeds is used by Komen on a national basis to fund research programs and global strategies. But what does that really mean? Here’s some detail to help make this more concrete.3DAY_2016_KomenInfographics_3_fp (002)

First, let me explain how Komen is structured: There is the national office based in Dallas, which receives funding through national partnerships, individual giving, and national programs like the 3-Day. And, there are also more than 100 Komen local offices called Affiliates, that receive funding through local events like the Race for the Cure, sponsorships, etc.

The funds you raise through the 3-Day (managed by our national office) and the Race for the Cure (managed by our local Affiliates) are unique as both programs have global, national and local impact.

At the end of each 3-Day season we total all of the funds raised on a national level to distribute to the national and local mission. So, the 3-Day’s local proceeds (that 25%) are divided at the end of each season among the 7 host city affiliates, so that 3-Day dollars have a direct impact in 3-Day cities. In most 3-Day cities, there is a single affiliate office, but in Dallas and Michigan, there are several who divide the funds to maximize reach and opportunity in their respective service areas.

Why is this important? Susan G. Komen has funded nearly $889 million in research and nearly $2 billion in community grants. Through this, we have made great strides in decreasing mortality rates from breast cancer, increasing 5 year survival rates, and improving access to screening and treatment for countless women and men. It is this combination – a balance between funding community needs and research priorities – that is so important, and a big reason that 3-Day and Race for the Cure funding is so unique.

In the coming year, a few of our primary mission goals are:

  • We are focusing major research efforts on metastatic research, primarily what causes the disease to spread from the breast.
    • Nearly half of Komen’s funding in 2015 went to metastatic research (23 grants, $16 million)
  • We are collaborating with other national and international breast cancer organizations to refine goals and minimize redundancy
  • We are working towards making health resources equally available to all, with a focus on disparities and why the risk of breast cancer is higher amongst African-American women.

Komen President and CEO, Dr. Judy Salerno, said at the Komen Impact Forum in Dallas, “I believe that in a generation we will see more treatments and more cures. You, [our 3-Day community], have been a part of this every step of the way. And we must support you so that we can be successful in achieving this goal.”

We want to make it easier for you to talk with your supporters and donors about Komen’s mission in action. So we’re creating a library of sharable resources on The first set is available today: Three infographics talking more about 3-Day funding and our mission in action. (Note: these infographics are in .jpg format below, which you can save to your computer and share on social media. If you would like printable .pdf versions of the infographics, you can find them here.)3DAY_2016_KomenInfographics_33DAY_2016_KomenInfographics_2 3DAY_2016_KomenInfographics_1

Soon, we’ll be sharing more specific details of how each local 3-Day affiliate is putting Komen funds to use in that 3-Day city.

This is just the start of the tools you have told us you need. This will be an on-going project from here forward as your needs change and the 3-Day program begins to grow. As I mentioned in my last blog post, we are forming a 3-Day advisory council (2 participants from each 3-Day city) to help you, the 3-Day family, have a collective voice as we work to meet needs, improve your event experience and grow the 3-Day into the strongest program it can be.

Stay tuned to the blog for more info! Thank you for being you!

– Chrissy Mathews