2017 Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day Wrap Up

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Mother Nature could not have provided better weather for our last 3-Day of the month, with the sun rising on a warm and sunny day for Opening Ceremony on Friday. The ceremony was a heartfelt one, led by local favorite (and Philly top fundraiser!) Kathy DiRusso, our Honors Speakers, as well as breast cancer survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer.

As Katy Perry’s “Roar” echoed over the grounds of Willow Grove Park Mall, our walkers headed out on the route to start their 60-mile journey.

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At Pit Stop 1, they took a deep dive under the see for “Fin-tastic Fun,” and their first grahamwiches of the day! They had already walked 2.4 miles, and were heading towards Bra Street, a local cheering section that is a favorite of local and out-of-town walkers alike. It was the perfect spot for team photos, and to feel the love from Philly.

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Before they knew it, they had already made it to lunch at the New Covenant Church, which provided a perfect balance of sun and shade for our walkers to relax, dig in to their meal, and even do some stretches. They had already walked 10.8 miles after all! We also met our Youth Corps at lunch via Facebook Live, so check the 3-Day Facebook page to hear their stories.

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That afternoon, there were more local pit stops before coming to Pit 4 at the Flowertown Picnic Area. Here, walkers could receive “3-Day Awards,” including special stars for survivors. As they entered the park, the Youth Corps had set up hop scotch to give them even more fun as they walked!

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Then, after a successful 19.7 miles on Day 1, they came home to camp at Germantown Academy. Many visited the massage chairs at the Bank of America Tent, or played games on camp’s Main Street before our Camp Show for the evening. Then we honored the top fundraisers for Philadelphia, as well as awarding the Milestone and Local Impact winners for the year.

Day 2 began as pretty as Day 1 had ended, and walkers were dropped at Fort Washington State Park to start their day surrounded by more beautiful nature.

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After 6.7 miles, they arrived at Pit Stop 2 in Pastorius Park, to be greeted by some well-known figures. Historical American heroes like Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin greeted our walkers, helped them add their own John Hancock to the “Declaration of the 3-Day,” and took lots of photos.

From there, it was on to lunch at Kendrick Park & Playground, where walkers stopped for a dance break with Youth Corps. They had already walked 16.2 miles by the time they reached Pit Stop 3 at Houston Playground!

From there they passed several local cheering stations with everything from DJs to free pizza to breast cancer bracelets, and of course, plenty of cheer from the community! This helped propel them through a hilly second half of the day.

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They ended the day back at Germantown Academy for Friends & Family night at camp. There they played games and relaxed in the massage chairs at the Bank of America tent, had a group dance party and tucked in to the famous 3-Day mac n’ cheese before lights out on Day 2.

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Day 3 started off cooler, as walkers were bused to the Philadelphia Zoo. The staff gave our walkers a wild kick-off to their day thanks to visits with animals including cheetahs, Bald Eagles, hippos, giraffes and more!

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After that, there were several amazing cheer stations along Kelly Drive, including one at the beautiful Gillin Boathouse along the river. On the way to lunch, many walkers also took a slight detour to run part of the Rocky steps and get their inner champion going.

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Then they lunched at the spacious ground of the Rodin Art Museum, passing through Love Park as they exited. From there, they explored more of downtown Philadelphia, even passing Independence Hall, as they walked their final 8 miles of the 3-Day.

Before the finish line, though, they made a stop at Pit Stop 2 on Passyunk Avenue. After 13.4 miles on the day, walkers paused at either (or both!) Geno’s or Pat’s for a classic Philly Cheesesteak sandwich to give them an extra boost.

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The drumline from the Philadelphia Eagles welcomed the walkers to the Finish Area at the Navy Yard, where many danced down the Mohawk pink carpet to cross the final finish line in style. Then, at Closing Ceremony we all took the time to thank the 400 walkers and 250 crew members who helped raise more than $1.1 million towards Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal.

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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As we hugged and celebrated and danced in the sun, 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, Philadelphia.

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

 

The Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day Honors Our Opening Ceremony Speakers

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We began our 2017 Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day with an inspiring Opening Ceremony as the sun started to rise on a beautiful day in the City of Brotherly (and Sisterly!) Love. Our Opening Ceremonies this year are led by participants, with special recognition given to our breast cancer survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer.

Crew members, walkers, and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep and mile at a time. Take some time to get to know our Opening Ceremony speakers.

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Becky Harney – My Sister

I walk for the strongest, most courageous person I know – my constant supporter, my big sister, Jenn. I walk because cancer stole her lifetime from her, and robbed the world of a wonderful wife, daughter, sister, mother, friend. I walk to hold on to the hope that together, we can defeat breast cancer. I’m Becky and I am More Than Pink.

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Betty Bottmeyer – My Friend

I walk for several people who have gone through breast cancer…my family and friends, near and far. And I walk to remember those who have passed. We carry them in our hearts and they give us strength to go on. I walk because in my lifetime, I want to find a cure for cancer. I’m Betty and I am More Than Pink.

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John Slosarik – My Wife

I walk for my wife of 23 years, Sharon, who is the 4th generation of women in her family to have battled breast cancer. Sharon is now living with metastatic breast cancer as well as the knowledge that our 19-year old daughter is BRCA positive. With each step, I celebrate generations of strong women in our family and in yours, who believe in the power of love and a world without breast cancer. I’m John and I am More Than Pink.

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Jennifer Slosarik – Myself
When I was four years old, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I was 18, I was diagnosed with the BRCA-1 gene mutation, which means I have over a 90% chance of developing breast cancer before I am 50 years old. I began this walk to support my mother who continues to live with stage 4 breast cancer. And today, I also walk for myself. I’m Jennifer and I am More Than Pink.

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Emily Robbins – My Grandmother

I walk for my grandmother, who is a breast cancer survivor. I also walk because someone I’ve known my whole life lost their second battle with breast cancer in February, and because my mother has had multiple lumpectomies over the past 13 years. I am an advocate for finding a cure for breast cancer, so that one day, men and women around the world do not have to worry about it. I’m Emily and I am More Than Pink.

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Jesse Kornblum – My Mom

As I stand here about to embark on my first 3-Day without my mom, I’m feeling many different emotions. I remember my mom’s strength, her greatness, energy, passion, love, friendship and her unforgettable smile. But I’m also grateful because I am able to join together with all of you this weekend to fight breast cancer! I’m Jesse and I am More Than Pink.

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Royce Epstein

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. But today I stand before you, in remission – a Mohawk employee, a Komen advocate, and a survivor. I am grateful for the support of my company, and I am humbled to be here with all of you today. There is one word I want you think about as you embark on this 3-Day Walk: it’s AVANTI, which means “Forward” in Italian. I have it tattooed on my leg as a reminder to Keep Moving Forward, this weekend and forever, wherever your journey takes you. I’m Royce, and I am More Than Pink.

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Kathy DiRusso – Ceremony Host

My 3-Day journey started in 2002 in Boston, where I walked in memory of my Aunt Carol, who we lost to breast cancer in 1991. The following year, we lost my cousin Tricia at the young age of 41. Both women were taken too soon from this earth – both left behind two amazing sons who have made their mark on this planet in a way both mothers would be quite proud. Today, I begin my 25th 3-Day in their memory. I’m Kathy, I am More Than Pink… and I’m honored to welcome you to the 2017 Philadelphia 3-Day!

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Philadelphia 3-Day Route Preview

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The Philly 3-Day is coming up this weekend, and it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful three days for walking, having fun, and making memories. Our whole 3-Day team can’t wait to host our walkers, crew and supporters for a wonderful weekend together! There are some new spots on the route, but there are also plenty of favorite destinations and iconic sights you won’t want to miss!

Our Opening Ceremony will once again take place at the Willow Grove Park Mall, giving our walkers a fun and festive atmosphere to kick off their sixty miles.

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The highlight of Day 1, according to Coach Joanne Taylor, is the perfect photo spot: Bra Street.

“Bra street is on Day One and I am so excited! That’s early in the morning, within the first few miles of the route. The weather is going to be so good, so it will be better than ever! Make sure to take photos!”

Walkers will also be making strides through Chestnut Hill and Flourtown, which provide beautiful views of nature.

Then, throughout Day 1, and indeed most of the weekend, we will be walking along the picturesque Wissahickon Trail. Walkers will end Day 1 on the trail and enter our new camp site at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington.

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Camp will be outside this year, for the first time since 2009, and Joanne and the other coaches are excited for walkers to see the new location. There will be plenty of space, as camp is set up near the athletic fields of the school. Everyone will be cheered into camp on Day 1 as there is a cheering station right as walkers arrive at camp at the end of the day.

To start Day 2, walkers will exit camp via the Wissahickon Trail, and can expect lots of local support at our cheering stations!

“Philly really came through this year!” Coach Joanne enthuses. “We have an amazing amount of cheering stations!”

That includes eight private cheering stations on Day 1, nine private cheering stations on Day 2, and six private cheering stations on Day 3. There are also two public cheering stations on each of the three days. Get ready for lots of excited locals!

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Another highlight of Day 2 is Maneyunk, which is a hilly part of Philadelphia (which might be a little challenging for some walkers!) but Coach Joanne loves it because it’s such a unique part of the city.

“We have a cheering station at the fire station there, where there might even be a fun DJ. It’s just a really cool area!”

There will also be a few picnic areas, parks and playgrounds on the Day 2 route, so feel free to let your inner kid loose and have some fun! Overall, we will be walking along about nine miles of trails and through natural areas on the 3-Day.

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To start Sunday morning, walkers will be bused from camp to the Philadelphia Zoo and be walking throughout Philadelphia that day. That includes Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

“That IS Philadelphia!” according to Coach Joanne.

Walkers should also look out for the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia Affiliate, who will have a cheering station at the bottom of the Rocky Steps. Let them cheer you on for some fun photos!

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There will be more Philly support from our local NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles. Their drumline will be out on Broad Street on the afternoon of Day 3, leading into our Closing Ceremony at the Navy Yard.

Coach Joanne promises, “For all the walkers that walk by around 2 or 3 pm, there will be a drumline there for an hour or so, supporting the walkers on their way in!”

Aside from community support, Coach Joanne promises that this weekend will show off Philadelphia at its best. For locals and out-of-towners, it will be a beautiful weekend of fun!

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“It’s a unique city. You have suburbs in the middle of a large urban area, so it’s very cool,” explains Coach Joanne. “Our walkers couldn’t come at a better time of year!”

For more of our favorite sights from the Philadelphia 3-Day, check out our photo slideshow!

What are you looking forward to most on the Philadelphia 3-Day? Tell us in the comments! And, if you have any more questions, your Philly 3-Day coaches are here to help!