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

This morning, we celebrated the start of the 2016 Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day with a lovely and inspiring Opening Ceremony. Walkers ready to take the first steps of their 60-mile journey were joined by crew members and supporters as everyone renewed the shared promise of ending breast cancer forever, one footstep at a time.

We were honored to welcome some special Atlanta 3-Day participants to the stage as part of the Opening Ceremony. These men and women shared their own inspirations—both heart-warming and heartbreaking—for being part of the 3-Day. #WeAreThe3Day

Roslyn Konter – My Sister img_6171 “I walk for my wonderful sister-in-law, Sherry Konter, who would have been 62 this year had she not been taken by this insidious disease almost 16 years ago. I also walk for my mother, Bobbie Pollard, who was a 36-year breast cancer survivor when she died at almost 85. I’m Roslyn and I AM the 3-Day.”

Jake Stefan – My Friend img_6175 “Why do I crew? Well, simply put, it is because I walked 60 miles once, and y’all are crazy! But really. I crew for you, all my 3-Day friends. You are fighting the good fight to put an end to this nasty disease. You are fighting to protect my family, my friends, and me. I’m Jake and I AM the 3-Day.”

Mary Sorrel – My Family img_6170 “Fifteen years ago, when a friend who had recovered from breast cancer asked me to walk with her, I didn’t hesitate for a minute. My father died of liver cancer and my brother-in-law had recently died of a brain tumor. All these miles later, I’m still walking, and while we haven’t found a cure, we know so much more than we did. Just last year, my husband was successfully treated for prostate cancer. I believe that if Komen can unlock the cure for breast cancer, it will lead to breakthroughs for all cancers. I’m Mary and I AM the 3-Day.”

Megan Blair – My Mother img_6178 “I walk because breast cancer threatened to take my momma from me when I was only 18 years old. I walk because there was a time when she couldn’t. I walk because now… she can! I walk because of her strength, relentless courage and because of her fight. I walk so that my babies will never have to know what it’s like to fear losing their momma to breast cancer. I’m Megan and I AM the 3-Day.”

Angela Baldwin – My Children img_6165 “I walk in honor of the many friends who have fought and won their battles against breast cancer. I walk in memory of the loved ones that have been lost. I walk so that someday, my children will never have to fear losing a loved one to cancer. I’m Angela and I AM the 3-Day.”

Kurt Grainger – My Wife img_6166 “I’m walking for two reasons. First, it helps my late wife, Gail, complete her bucket list. When she was told her breast cancer was terminal, she set the goal to walk in EVERY 3-Day city. Atlanta is the last one on her list. I also walk for my daughter, Britain Grainger. We have to find a cure. I’m Kurt and I AM the 3-Day.”


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

The Philadelphia 3-Day Coaches Talk About…The Philadelphia 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’ve prepared to return to each of the seven splendid 3-Day locations this year, we’ve been taking a few minutes 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!

Since last year’s Philadelphia 3-Day, the Philly team has welcomed a new coach! It’s actually more of a “welcome back” for Philadelphia Participant Support Coach Tisho, who has been a 3-Day coach in the past. And, since she wasn’t around for any of our past “Meet the Coaches” posts, we started Tisho (whose name is pronounced ‘Tesha’) off with a few get-to-know-you questions:

  • Describe your job in 10 words or fewer – “Helping Philly 3-Dayers have their best event ever.”
  • We’re about one week from the Philly event. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “It’s all about money and travel.  Helping people with last minute fundraising ideas, getting matching gifts applied, figuring out hotel arrangements and giving advice on what to pack. It’s crazy busy but super fun because everyone is getting so excited.”
  • What are 3 fun facts that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I lived in Freshman dorms for 8 years in a row. 2) My husband gave me a box turtle for my birthday the first year we met (1993). 3) I used to be an instructor for the US Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) and got to shoot an MP5 submachine gun at their National Firearms Unit (and still have the signed range silhouette to prove it).”

    "Tisho and her husband dressed up when they were on the sweep crew. This power couple fully understand the playful side of the 3-Day." - Melanie, on Tisho

    “Tisho and her husband dressed up when they were on the sweep crew. This power couple fully understands the playful side of the 3-Day.” – Melanie, on Tisho

And now we’re ready to let all three of the Philadelphia coaches—Joanne, Tisho and Melanie—take the spotlight! Click here to see what we knew about them already, and keep reading to see what they each had to say about each other.

Joanne (Philadelphia Local Events Coach)

“Joanne is so passionate about this event that it’s contagious. As an active participant and longtime 3-Day walker she understands our participants’ concerns and is able to address them on a very personal level. Words to describe her? Enthusiastic, caring and connected!”– Tisho

“Joanne has the local knowledge of Philadelphia and is well connected in the community. She is caring, honest, committed to the cause.” – Melanie

Melanie and Joanne

Melanie and Joanne

Tisho (Philadelphia Participant Support Coach)

“Tisho is playful, creative and caring. She’s a successful fundraiser herself and can offer creative strategies to participant in need of fundraising help.”– Melanie

“Tisho has been inspirational to me. She is always ready, willing and more than able to help and jump into any situation that faces her.  With her as the new kid on the block, it’s been great. She’s walked. She’s crewed. She’s helped on staff. She’s wonderful, uplifting, funny and I’m proud to be a part of her team. I hope she loves being on this end of it as much as I do!” – Joanne

Melanie and Tisho

Melanie and Tisho

Melanie (Philadelphia Crew & Volunteer Coordinator)

“This is my third year working with Melanie. I love her. She has a wry sense of humor and sees things so differently than I do. She is so focused on the job in front of her and that is why the Philly event is so successful year in and year out. We went on a route drive this past summer because of our new Day 2. Having her being my set of eyes and knowing where people should or should not be placed for cheering stations was the most crucial information I could have asked for. Plus she kept me laughing, talking about her awesome kids and husband. BONUS!” – Joanne

“One of Melanie’s most admirable traits is her ability to remain calm under pressure. Before joining the staff I was a Crew Captain for several years, many of them with Melanie as my Coach.  Even the time my crew’s bus caught fire on the way to set up the lunch stop and we had to evacuate on the streets of Philadelphia, Melanie kept a completely cool demeanor and took care of everything. She is a reassuring presence who reminds everyone around her to keep working hard to make every event the best one ever.” – Tisho


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

Philadelphia 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.

We’ve previously shared route updates for Michigan, Twin Cities, Seattle and Atlanta, and today, the Philadelphia 3-Day route is the star of the show!

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

3day_2016_social_cityhashtags_localhashtag_phl2New for 2016 – Missy, the Event Planning Manager for the Philadelphia 3-Day, shared some info about updates to the 2016 Philly route. “Day 1 of the Philadelphia 3-Day route is exactly the same as it was last year, and Day 3 has only a few changes, including new locations for a couple of pit stops.” The real excitement about Philadelphia’s 2016 route changes comes on Day 2. “Saturday’s route is completely new, including all new route stops,” Missy shared.

Staying mostly within the Philadelphia city limits, this new Day 2 route incorporates some highlights that Philly walkers have visited before, plus others that we’ll be visiting for the first time. Missy also teased, “There’s a special surprise at the beginning of Day 2, but we won’t spoil it here.” Missy also gave a heads-up that there is a substantial hill just before lunch on Day 2 (keep an eye out for sweep vans if you need one), but added, “Main Street Manayunk and the second half of the day will make it worth it!”

Highlights from the whole weekend include: Germantown Ave., “Bra Street,” Historic Rittenhouse Town, 30th Street Station, City Hall, Dilworth Park (where the LOVE statue has been relocated), Philadelphia Art Museum “Rocky Steps,” Cynwyd Heritage Trail, Manayunk, Boathouse Row, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, Italian Market, FDR Park and the Navy Yard.

In Their Words – Here’s what Kerry and Carol, two of our 3-Day Advisory Council members, had to say about the 2016 Philly updates:

Kerry (2nd year Philadelphia walker) kerry_phl_2 Kerry walked for the first time in last year’s Philadelphia 3-Day and returns to Philly this year as a three-year survivor. She said, “I am from the Philadelphia area, so I love any opportunity to see the city from a walker’s perspective.” As all of our 2015 Philadelphia 3-Dayers will remember, the weather last year was less than pleasant, but Kerry still saw the silver lining on Day 3. “Because the weather was cold and rainy and windy, I was told [by veteran Philadelphia walkers] that the cheering stations had fewer people than normal during the first two days. So I loved Day 3, going through the city on a beautiful day, getting cheered on by the community!”

Carol (14x participant) carol_phl Carol is a Philadelphia local and a long-time Philly 3-Dayer. This year, she is also one of our full 3-Day Series walkers, hitting the sidewalks in all seven 3-Day locations, but her heart belongs to Philly. “Because I am from here I have always been a little biased towards Philadelphia.” Carol is quick to welcome all of this year’s Philadelphia 3-Dayers to her town. “If you’re coming to Philadelphia for the first time, welcome! Don’t forget your camera and be prepared to feel the love. If you are a repeat offender, welcome back! I hope you are as happy with the changes to the route as I am.”

With regard to the Philadelphia route itself, Carol has some personal highlights. “I love walking by all the historic sites. The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Constitution Center are all very wonderful places to see. The XOXO statue outside the Constitution Center is such a bonus and makes a really nice photo op. I also love walking by the art museum; the first year I walked, I ran up the ‘Rocky steps’ after walking 15 miles!”

As for the route features that are new for this year, Carol said, “I am really excited about the addition of the Italian Market. Just recently on a training walk, we talked about how fun it would be to walk through this area on event. I’m also excited to be going back to Manayunk. It is a great area for community support and beautiful scenery. Being local to the Philadelphia area, I was sad when I learned that they were taking away LOVE Park. It was a place that I not only visited on the 3-Day, but even as a teenager and many times over the years. I am very excited that the changes in this year’s 3-Day event will incorporate the new location of the LOVE statue.” Even though it will be her fifth 3-Day walk of the year, Carol’s enthusiasm for the Philly walk is contagious. “This is truly the City of Brotherly Love (and sisterly affection!) as you will see when you join us this year!”







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