2016 Michigan 3-Day Opening Ceremony Speakers—We Are the 3-Day

The 2016 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® began this morning in Michigan with a beautiful and stirring Opening Ceremony. Walkers, crew members and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep at a time.

As part of the Ceremony, we were honored to welcome some special 3-Day participants to the stage, where they shared their own inspirations—both heart-warming and heartbreaking—for being part of the 3-Day. #WeAreThe3Day


“This morning, I carry the ‘My Father’ flag in memory of my dad, who I lost last week. I inherited so much of my character and drive from him, so while I walk in remembrance of those we have lost to breast cancer and in honor of those who have survived, I dedicate this 3-Day to my dad. I’m Cathy and I AM the 3-Day.”IMG_2189


“This is my sixth 3-Day. I walk in memory of my friend Jenny and my mom’s friend Kathy. I walk to continue the battle our friends have lost, and to honor all the friends everywhere who have traveled the same journey. I’m Heidi and I AM the 3-Day.”IMG_2195


“My aunt. My mom. My aunt again. My cousin. My mom again. Then my cousin again. I can’t stand the thought of the next generation of my family going through this and losing more than they already have. My cousin’s 48th birthday would have been last Friday and that is why I am here today. I’m Amy and I AM the 3-Day.”IMG_2197


“I walk for those who can’t walk. I walk for my coworker, a breast cancer survivor of 17 years. I walk for the sister of a coworker who has breast cancer. I walk in memory of my cousin, who passed away at 37. I walk to bring awareness to women and men, young and old, everywhere I go. I’m Charmaine and I AM the 3-Day.”IMG_2202


“When I was young, I promised my mother that when I was old enough, I would join her on the 3-Day. This year is that year! The 3-Day has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. Now I can finally take part in this incredible journey as her teammate. I asked to carry the My Children flag today, in the hope that one day, any children I might have can live in a world without breast cancer. I’m Logan and I AM the 3-Day.”IMG_2210


“I am walking this year because my mom passed away on March 19th. I’m walking to honor her strength and grace and to raise money to help others. I’m Blake and I AM the 3-Day.”IMG_2211


Together, we are strong. Together, we can defeat breast cancer. Together, we are the 3-Day.

Twin Cities 3-Day – 2016 Route Update!

Last year on the 3-Day® blog, we shared some detailed “Insider’s Peek at the Route” posts with you. We pulled the curtain back on the overall process of planning and executing a 60-mile route, and then got even more in-depth with each individual 3-Day walk’s route.

This year, we don’t need to dive quite so deep, since most of what we shared last year still applies. But we definitely wanted to keep you looped-in with the updates and changes that have been made to the 3-Day routes for 2016. We’re also bringing in members of the 3-Day Advisory Council to share their thoughts about the 2016 changes. These participants stand as the “voice” of the 3-Day community and their input has been instrumental in strengthening the communication and camaraderie between Komen and the 3-Day family, so we’re thrilled to have their insight here on our route updates.

Last week, we shared the Michigan route update, and today, TWIN CITIES is in the spotlight.

Need a refresher about what the Twin Cities 3-Day route was like last year? Read our 2015 “Insider’s Peek” post here.3DAY_2016_Social_CityHashtags_LocalHashtag_TC2

New for 2016 – I got the inside scoop on route updates from Kiki, the Event Planning Manager for the Twin Cities 3-Day, who told me that there are not too many big changes from last year. Day 1 is the same, as is most of Day 2, though “we’ve tweaked the beginning of the route a bit to take walkers off of the Bruce Vento Trail and see a bit more of Maplewood’s neighborhoods.” Day 3 has a couple of changes, including a new location for pit stop 1 (changed due to construction at the old site). Additionally, about one mile of the Day 3 route was cut after lunch; instead of walking through the Battle Creek Trail (which is beautiful trail, but has very limited access for sweep vans), walkers will travel along a street to get to pit stop 3 at Indian Mounds. What’s great about this new route is that it eliminates a long, tedious stretch along a busy highway and a rather steep pedestrian bridge. Kiki shared, “The new route will keep us within neighborhoods which allows us to [have a more visible presence and] spread the word of breast cancer in the community.”

The Participant Finish Area and Closing Ceremony on Harriet and Raspberry Island were new sites to us last year. Kiki said, “There was a bit of confusion for spectators trying to find their walkers at these locations, so this year, we’ll simplify things by having the Participant Finish Area and Closing Ceremony both on Harriet Island. The Victory Walk will be shorter than last year and all walkers and spectators will all be on one site. The layout of the Closing Ceremony will be different than last year too, providing much more scenic photo ops.”

In Their Words – Keep reading to see what Maureen and Kim, two of our 3-Day Advisory Council members, had to say about the 2016 Twin Cities updates:

Maureen (13x 3-Day participant – 10x Twin Cities walker)image1“The stretch on the highway and the huge hill to get to the pedestrian bridge at the end of Day 3 were brutal in the heat, so I am a fan of that change! It’s also a good idea to have the walkers out in neighborhoods instead of on the highways. It’s great that we’re doing the whole Closing Ceremony in one area; Harriet Island is gorgeous so I am glad it will be utilized.

The Twin Cities 3-Day walk in general is such a gorgeous route. I love the fact that we can be in urban areas and then pass through amazing parks, then lake areas, then historic mansions all in the same day—three days in a row! A few years ago, we had a walker from out of state, Glen, who walked all 14 3-Days and he was randomly put on our team. He told us at the beginning of the walk that he was going to pick his favorite 3-Day route/team to come back to the following year. He of course chose the Twin Cities 3-Day to come back to. He said the people are the friendliest and the route is the most beautiful!”

Kim (7x Twin Cities 3-Dayer – Event Support Crew for 2016) 2015-c“I like that the route is changing up a bit.  Over the years I’ve heard several walkers mention that the route is the same. I’m sure the walkers will prefer the view of a neighborhood rather than a highway view.  For the Closing Ceremony changes, I had heard people had issues last year getting around and finding their walkers and parking, so I hope these changes help this year’s event go more smoothly for everyone. As for ‘scenic photo ops,’ yes please!  Participants love having these opportunities to create better memory books. The more the merrier!

“I enjoy having an event in my home town. I’m a Minneapolis girl, but it’s nice to walk through my city’s twin, St. Paul, and seeing areas that I’m unfamiliar with. Personal favorites: walking around the lakes, having lunch in Loring Park, walking past the Sculpture Garden (I’m bummed that the Walker Art Center in undergoing renovations so walkers probably may not get a chance to take a picture with the Cherry and Spoon Sculpture) and walking past my college, Metro State University.  And how could I forget…I loved having coworkers cheer me on in downtown Minneapolis.

“Since participating in my first event in 2009, I have met some really great people.  Some have become lifelong friends and I want to thank the Komen 3-Day for this!”


Keep an eye on the 3-Day blog in the coming weeks when we’ll continue sharing updates about all of the 2016 3-Day routes.

The Michigan 3-Day Coaches Talk About…The Michigan 3-Day Coaches!

They’re the helpful cheerleaders on the other end of the phone call or email when you have questions or concerns. They’re the smiling faces welcoming you and your teams at meet-ups and workshops and building up community excitement for the 3-Day. They’re the guiding hands leading the crew captains and teams to greatness. That’s right, they’re your Susan G. Komen 3-Day® coaches!

As we get ready to return to each of the seven splendid 3-Day locations, we wanted to take a minute to catch up with the coaches from each event. You’ve gotten to know them pretty well over the past couple of years on the 3-Day blog and this year, instead of letting them talk about themselves, I asked their fellow coaches to do it for them!

The Michigan coaches—Ann, Jennifer and Gina—are up first! Click here to see what we knew about them already. And keep reading to see what they had to say about each other.

(L-R) Gina, Jennifer, Ann

(L-R) Gina, Jennifer, Ann

Ann (Michigan Local Events Coach)

“I’d describe Ann as nerdy, smart, and so much fun to be around! She’s great at her job because she was involved with the Michigan 3-Day for years as a participant before becoming a coach so she knows this event inside and out. Last year I was staffing the Seattle 3-Day and Ann was walking. I offered to share my hotel room with her so she didn’t have to tent it. When I checked into the hotel I requested two beds but all that was available was a room with one king bed. But we just rolled with it! It was pretty funny and I think it was Saturday night when we shared chips and salsa in bed and managed to NOT spill any salsa.  Honestly, any time I am with Ann we have fun and laugh, a lot!” – Jennifer

“Ann is fun-loving, loyal, and compassionate. She has walked the walk and talked the talk. She has been a Michigan participant so she knows the community and is genuinely invested in this event.” – Gina

Jennifer (Michigan Participant Support Coach)

“I would describe Jennifer as spunky, thoughtful, and honest. Jennifer forms amazing relationships with the participants. She takes the time to get to know them, help them, and in turn, and they love Coach Jennifer!” – Gina

“Jennifer is absolutely dedicated to the participants. She will do everything she can to make sure they are having the time of their lives. We spend a whole bunch of time together leading up to the Michigan 3-Day and on-event (usually in a rented minivan) so there is a tendency for us to get a little slap-happy.  There is no shortage of shenanigans when we are set loose on the route!” – Ann

Gina (Michigan Crew & Volunteer Coordinator)

“Gina is always positive, her smile is infectious and her love for the crew is tremendous! I don’t get to see Gina on event as much as Jennifer, so I love those moments when we get to team up. Usually, it’s when we’re setting up or tearing down camp, so hilarity is always an option! Sometimes we steal her and take her out on the route with us so that she can join in the craziness.” – Ann

“How would I describe Gina? She is kind, caring and has a huge heart. Gina has a calmness under pressure that is perfect for this event and for working with the crew.  So many things can change on this event at the last minute and Gina just handles it, calmly and without showing any signs of being worried or stressed. Gina has moved around a bit and for a few years was a coach for a different city where we both live, so we have spent more than our fair share of time together on the route and most especially with Street Team Day.  We made a great team, she can handle a roll of tape like a pro!” – Jennifer

Do you know the Michigan coaches? How would you describe these fabulous ladies?