2017 Susan G. Komen Seattle 3-Day Wrap-Up

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On Friday morning of our first West Coast 2017 3-Day, the sky cleared for a bright blue fall sunrise next to the Space Needle at Seattle Center. Our 500 walkers and 175 crew started their journey with a poignant and emotional Opening Ceremony led by local participants.

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Our first Pit Stop of the 3-Day was at Daejon Park after 3.3 miles of walking in perfect weather conditions! Walkers took in the Seattle waterfront as they enjoyed the beach theme of the pit stop, complete with “shark attack” photo opps and a treasure chest of fun 3-Day treats!

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From there, they passed through Mercer Island Park, and an amazing local cheering station before arriving at lunch at Downtown Bellevue Park. With fountains, tiered grassy areas for lounging and eating, and a bright sunshine, it could not have been a more relaxing lunch spot.

That afternoon, walkers passed through more of the Seattle suburbs including Bellevue and Redmond, before arriving home at camp that night. Throughout the whole day (and indeed the whole weekend) the Seattle Police Department worked with our route safety team to keep all the walkers safe as they made their way home.

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Our walkers ended their day at the picturesque Marymoor Park, which had turned into a 3-Day wonderland for the weekend! From the Bank of America putt putt golf course and massage chairs, to performances by local singers, to our amazing 3-Day Food Service Crew serving up a delicious dinner, our walkers were welcomed home in style after 22.3 miles.

That night at camp show we celebrated our Local Impact Winner, Judy Kent, and Milestone Winner, Erin Havens, for Seattle. Our top fundraisers were also recognized by Bank of America. Congrats to Top Crew Fundraiser John McHale, Top Individual Fundraiser Loretta Englishbee and Top Fundraising Team, the Valley Girls & Guys!

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After a good night’s sleep, the sun rose on another beautiful fall day of walking.

The day kicked off at Grasslawn Park, where some four-legged friends joined the ranks to cheer on our walkers! By Pit Stop 2 at Spinney Homestead Park, our walkers had already clocked 6.9 miles for Day Two. Pit Stop 2 was a fan favorite for its Dr. Seuss theme. It helped remind the walkers that every person is a person, no matter how small – and every step is a step towards the cure!

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Then at lunch at Juanita Beach Park, we met our amazing Seattle 3-Day Youth Corps via Facebook Live, and heard their stories of dedication and strength. Walkers were already halfway done with their second 20-mile day, and taking it all in easy stride!

Right after lunch there was a local cheering station in the beautiful Heritage Park, as the whole community got involved to cheer on our walkers. Plus, it was a great spot for photos!

At Pit Four, and mile 18.5, our walkers could “wet their whistle” at an Old West themed stop. They were cheered on their way to the final miles of the day by the local Susan G. Komen Puget Sound Affiliate, who also brought coffee for an extra caffeine boost at the end of the day.

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It was friends and family night at camp, so local supporters came to camp at Marymoor Park to play at the Bank of America putt putt and game areas, and continue to cheer on their amazing walkers! Our 20-Mile walkers also joined the 3-Day family that evening before the whole group turned in for their last night of camping.

Day Three dawned a little cooler, but with perfect walking weather for our September Sunday. We began at the University of Washington before walking through Cowen Park to our first Pit Stop of the day. Our walkers were already 3.6 miles closer to the finish line!

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From there, there were more miles in nature through Seattle’s gorgeous parks before lunch close to the water at Lake Union Park. With only six miles left in Day Three, walkers then made their way through the iconic Olympic Sculpture Park.

We had a little liquid sunshine as the Sunday afternoon wore on, but our walkers powered through and finished the 60 miles with smiles on their faces. Our closing ceremony was full of love, congratulations and (of course) a lot of dancing feet!

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Our journey is never truly done, though, as was evidenced throughout our closing ceremony. We are all still working, and walking, towards Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal to reduce the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.

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Photo via Simply Darling Duo

As we hugged and celebrated and danced together, one message rang loud and clear; that though our feet may ache, our spirit and dedication will live forever; through aches, and pain, and blisters. We are shouting loudly and proudly that in this fight, where we seek to live in a world free of breast cancer, WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP. Thank you, Seattle. We are so very proud of each and every one of you.

If you’re ready to be a part of this incredible journey again in 2018, sign up now at The3Day.org/Register.

Congratulations to the 2017 Seattle 3-Day Milestone Award Winner

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Please join us in congratulating our 2017 Seattle Milestone Award Winner; Erin Havens. 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 Seattle 3-Day camp show, we presented Erin with this special honor.

To get to know Erin better, we asked the 3-Day community for stories about her, and the response was glowing all around!

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Participant Veronica Claudio says, “I have been blessed to know Erin since I was very young, as she was one of my mom’s dearest friends. Our families spent lots of time together back in the day – from family camping trips, poker nights, and holidays. When my mom, Claudia was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was only 7 years old. I remember Erin was often at our house helping my mom or accompanying her to chemo appointments. Or sometimes, just singing karaoke. They both loved to do that together!

“In 2005, my mom had planned to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk, and Erin was one of the first team members of CC’s Crewzers. Just before the walk, my mom’s cancer came back. My momma is a true fighter, and while still determined to complete the walk, she realized the only way she could do was with the help of a wheelchair, and teammates like Erin who took turns pushing her for parts of the 60 miles. I have watched Erin become an incredible advocate for a cure to breast cancer and breast cancer awareness through her tireless efforts for Komen. I believe losing Claudia, my momma, and her good friend, is a big part of her determination to fight breast cancer through her volunteering and raising money.

I have cheered Erin on in her trademark pink tutu at cheering stations, handed her countless Lil’ Smokies, and have hugged and cried with her at nearly every 3-Day walk she has participated in. I lost my beautiful momma to metastatic breast cancer when I was 15 years old and Erin has remained a part of mine and my family’s life for many years. I am honored and proud to call her a friend and an “extra mom.” I chose to walk after many years of cheering and supporting the walkers and I was honored that Erin also decided to walk with my dad and I as part of CC’s Crewzers.”

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Veronica continues, “I was blessed to have 15 years with my beautiful mom and am honored to walk on the team she started in 2005 with Erin. I don’t know anyone that has given so generously of her time, talents, and resources to this cause and I am so grateful and privileged to be able to have had Erin as a part of my life.”

If all those wonderful stories weren’t enough, participant Tiffany Davenport also raves about Erin!

“I’m so happy for Erin!  She absolutely deserves to be honored for her dedication, passion and commitment to the cause! I got to work with Erin on the Youth Corps last year and I am so thankful! She is so much fun and brings such light and energy to the event!”

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Marnie Hayes kept the love-fest going!

“I first met Erin at a getting started meeting about 9 years ago, when I first joined the 3-Day family. Erin has been very involved in the 3-Day the entire time I have been part of the three-day. Not only does she have connection with the little Smokey guys…”GO SMOKIES!” her daughter was also part of the Youth Corps. I have gotten to know Erin as both a walker and a crew member as I was honored to be part of the Youth Corps with her last year. It is very apparent in Erin’s dedication that she has a true passion for the cause.”

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Those are some seriously kind words! Now let’s hear about the 3-Day and Erin’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 dear friend Claudia was fighting breast cancer and asked me to walk with her. I told her I would donate, but didn’t think walking 60 miles sounded like something I wanted to do. She asked me to please attend an informational meeting, and of course I signed up that night!

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

I love the survivors who give me hope, the walkers who share stories, the crew who keeps me safe and well fed, the strangers along the way who lift me up and remind me how important it is to keep fundraising for the cures, and the opportunity to share the memories of my friend who lost her battle with this disease.

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

Asking often and making sure that everyone knows WHY this walk is so personal to me. Every fundraising post on Facebook should tell people YOUR why.

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

Enjoy every minute! Connect with other walkers and share stories, reach out to single walkers, high-five all the people at cheering stations, eat all the grahamwiches, and be sure to stick around at night to hear the Youth Corps share their stories during the camp show.

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What are fun facts about you?

I hate spiders but am fascinated by bats; one of my toes was crushed by a randomly falling steel pole 5 months before the 3-Day; I sneeze no less than 5 times in a row every time; people think I’m insane for doing 21 3-Day events, but I assure them I’m not alone!

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

Don’t get your Advil PM mixed with your regular Advil, if you lose a toenail you can get a fake one, wearing a tutu results in fewer blisters, and the people you meet on the walk become family.

Congratulations to the 2017 Seattle 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner

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For the 2017 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re honored to be featuring 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. They have also supported the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, been making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Please join us in congratulating the 2017 Seattle 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Judy Kent.

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All those that know her love and support Judy, including fellow participant, Susan Grasdahl.

“Judy is amazing, we are so lucky to have her at Camp! Each year brings change and some challenges to be met, Judy always meets it with “we got this” and that approach has become our motto!  Judy leads with kindness, enthusiasm, dedication, hard work and of course her quick wit! Be it rain , heat , wind, concerts, bike races or sprinklers going off at dawn… no worries, Judy’s got this! She is an inspiration to us all!”

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Her sister in law, Maryann O’Donnell, echoes that praise! She says Judy has been a dedicated 3-Dayer since 2002.

“She was preparing to celebrate her 50th birthday and wanted to do something to celebrate her 50 years of being relatively healthy. She called me with the idea of us walking the 3-Day in Seattle. We prepared by raising money, we trained on separate coasts (since I live in Virginia) and we anxiously arrived with two water bottles in tow, for that first event. What an emotional roller-coaster that was for both of us!

“We each brought different strengths and personalities to that walk. I am the emotional one, often high strung but always with a smile on my face. Judy …is an accountant…she sees an issue…analyzes it…and executes a solution. One could say she perseveres until the job is complete, a trait that got us through that first 60 miles and has continued with her throughout the next 15 plus events.

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O’Donnell continues, “Judy was proud to be a part of the 3-Day when Komen took over the event. She first worked on the Food Service crew, then quickly became the Food Service captain until a few years ago, when she became the Camp senior captain. In the off season, she fundraised, helped others with training walks, sewed chef hats, sewed pink aprons, helped organize people to get involved and even badgered her high school friends to fly from California to be on her crew. She has gone above and beyond what she had wanted to accomplish on that first walk in 2002. I am thrilled to be a part of this recognition of her accomplishments for the 3-Day. I know she is really a very humble person who doesn’t want to be in the limelight, but is so deserving of this award.”

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After all that praise, we had to hear from Judy herself! 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?

I was prodded into doing the event in 2002 (then with Avon) by my sister-in-law Maryann O’Donnell, who also still works on the crew. I was turning 50 years old and needed a physical challenge. Also, it was the time in my life to start “giving back.” Breast cancer poses such a threat to women as we get older and I wanted to get out in front of it doing my part to make diagnosis, treatment and survival rates better.

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

I absolutely love the camaraderie that exists among the new and veteran crew members. We all want to help the walkers have the best experience ever.

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

The most important thing about fundraising is: “Don’t be afraid to ask everyone and anyone!” Over the years, I have heard so many stories from walkers about how pleasantly surprised they were by the support they received when they just had the courage to ask for donations.

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

Train, train, train! Make sure you train carrying a full water bottle either in a waist of back pack. Make sure you take a long walk wearing the clothes you plan on wearing on event so you can check for chafing, wicking, etc. Also, please make sure you have the shoes and socks that work best for your feet.

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What are 3 fun facts about you?

  1. This year our family will have 3 generations on event. My niece, Liz Matthews, is captain of Traffic control and her daughter, Zoey, is serving with the Youth Corps
  2. My husband and I make our own wine and beer as a hobby, and we work at a winery in Woodinville.
  3. I still use a “dumb” phone – I can only talk and text with my phone!

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

  1. No matter tired I am, the walkers are even more tired.
  2. Always be ready and available to listen. It may be a walker with a problem or complaint (or maybe even a rave review), a crew member with a question or a staff member with a request. Listen carefully and then do your best to solve the problem.
  3. For Seattle, always bring rain gear.