Michigan Coaches’ Favorite Memories

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It’s officially the two-week countdown to our 2017 Michigan 3-Day! Who is getting excited? Our Michigan 3-Day Coaches sure are! Coaches Jennifer, Gina and Heather can’t wait to welcome all the Michigan walkers to their home state—whether you’re a fellow local or flying in from out of town—and get started on the journey with you.

While we count down the days, the coaches shared some of their favorite memories of 3-Days past, why they can’t wait for this year’s walk, and more!

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What are your favorite memories of the Michigan 3-Days past?

Gina: The community! Our Michigan community is one that is unique, spirited and wonderful all wrapped into one. For 3 days, you’ll find the streets lined with supporters cheering on our participants, and sharing in the vision of a world without breast cancer. Just like we need our Michigan participants, we need those who lift our walkers and crew members and share in their 3-Day journey through cheers heard all weekend.

Jennifer: Well, many of my favorite memories happen behind the scenes with my co-workers when we are being very silly. It happens when you work long hours like we do but we have so much fun doing it. One memory that stands out is surprising team Breast Man Walking with fountain diet cokes on the route.  We had passed them and came across a convenience store so we swung in and I literally popped out of the bushes with diet cokes in my hands to surprise them with a treat.

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Tell us a great Youth Corps memory!

Jennifer: I love seeing the kids blossom over the course of the weekend. They seem a little shy on Thursday but by Sunday they are cheering and dancing and having so much fun. How can you not smile about that?

Gina: I just love the Youth Corps, our friends in yellow! Some come to the 3-Day more shy than others, but by the end of the weekend they are the ones dancing on stage and greeting the walkers into camp. Our Youth Corps kids form lasting friendships and many go onto to become walkers themselves. It’s a beautiful thing to give back and be part of something bigger than yourself and our Youth Corps is learning this lesson from a young age.

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Do you have any memories or fun stories about your fellow coaches?

Gina: I have known Jennifer for many years and have been recently blessed to meet Heather. What I can say about them both is that there is never a dull moment. Can’t wait to see what adventures the Michigan 3-Day brings! I know for sure we’ll work hard but have lots of laughs.

What are some of your favorite Michigan spots?

Heather: My favorite place to eat is J. Baldwins on the Eastside in Clinton Township. My favorite place to play would have to be my cottage in Lexington.

Jennifer: Along the route, I love Plymouth for sure!  And on Sunday, the very long line of cheerleaders.

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What are you looking forward to on this year’s walk?

Heather: I’m looking forward to getting the behind-the-scenes experience as a staff member as opposed to my past experience as a walker. Kind of like getting a glimpse of Oz behind the curtain!

Jennifer: Working with my new partner in crime, Coach Heather!

What are your favorite Michigan 3-Day memories? What are you looking forward to this year? Share with us in the comments!

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Meet Your Michigan 3-Day Coaches

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Hey Michigan—are you ready? With just a little over two weeks to go, we’re preparing to give you the best 3-Day experience, which will be led by your amazing Michigan 3-Day coaches team. Get to know this rock star team who will be guiding your sixty miles of greatness!

Coach Gina Guerreso says she and her fellow coaches “are compassionate and dedicated with a little bit of spunk! Who doesn’t like a little spunk?”

We certainly do!

Especially when it comes in the form of Coach Gina, and her fellow Coaches Heather Snyder and Jennifer Hanskat.

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The Michigan 3-Day coaches and other 3-Day staff members are getting excited to see you soon!

Gina says, “Both Jennifer and Heather are so relatable as coaches. They pour their heart and sprinkle love into everything they do and ensure an incredible experience for our Michigan 3-Day participants.”

This dedication to the 3-Day began at different times and locations for all the ladies.

Heather says the 3-Day was “always something I wanted to do. Then, in the February of 2015, when a friend formed a team, I jumped on board. I started training ASAP and fundraising PDQ (that’s ‘Pretty Darn Quick’). I’m so glad I did! I completed all 60 miles with no injuries and raised $4500. After that, I was hooked!”

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Jennifer and her husband

Gina and Jennifer got hooked a few years earlier, Gina in 2004 and Jennifer in 2002. Then, in 2003, Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer, but she returned to the 3-Day in 2004. She has been walking and/or crewing since, joining our 3-Day staff in 2005. They make a key part of our Michigan 3-Day family! And they truly are a family.

“The love and support our 3-Day family gives to each other all year long is nothing to be taken lightly. We are a family, and like many families, we share the same values, passion and beliefs which propel us forward in our 3-Day journey,” Gina explained.

Heather, who is the newest member of the team, echoes that sentiment, saying, “Jennifer is a “get it done” personality. She will offer to help, take on extra tasks, and make it happen. Then Gina is always comforting, compassionate, and the soft touch on the team. But clearly she is a “can do” little spirit as she leads hundreds of crew and volunteers. I’m lucky to have been accepted into this awesome circle of women!”

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The Michigan 3-Day coaches pause and pose on event with other staff members.

What else propels them? All three coaches love music (Heather especially recommends “Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit for your walking playlist), a good dance party or sing along, and bright colors! All three would love to have the superpower of flight, but Jennifer would also choose the power of invisibility or being able to “be able to heal, both physical wounds and emotional wounds.”

In her new home state of Michigan, Jennifer recommends stopping by The Library and Buddy’s Pizza. However, if you need a chocolate fix, she says you have to visit Twelve Oaks Mall and the Sanders store! All the coaches have serious Michigan pride, but still have some far-off destinations on their next vacation list.

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Jennifer and her husband when they finished the Philadelphia 3-Day in 2014.

Heather has Fiji and a future birthday spent in Italy on her list, while Jennifer wants to plan an extended visit to Australia. Gina has her eye on Europe, with Italy and Spain at the top of her list!

Before they can jet off though, they are working hard to have the Michigan 3-Day all ready for their tremendous walkers and crew! Stay tuned for more memories from the coaches this week on the blog, and be sure to follow along with them on Facebook too!

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The Michigan 3-Day coaches and other 3-Day staff members are getting excited to see you soon!

Ways to Support Your 3-Dayer on Event

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Our first 3-Day of 2017 is just a few weeks away and that means 3-Dayers across the country have been ramping up their fundraising and training for their last big push. They can’t do it alone though!

If you are local in any of our event cities, please come out and cheer for your 3-Day walkers and teams along the event route! Our “Walker Stalkers,” or 3-Day supporters mean everything to our whole 3-Day family! Stand along the sidewalk, outside your home or even favorite restaurant, and let the walkers know how much their steps mean to you. You can also join some of our favorite, and famous, cheering stations along the route.

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If you aren’t able to be physically present for the event, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to show your love. For example, you can still send your 3-Dayer words of support and encouragement with snail mail sent directly to their tent on event.

In a world of texts and emails, a letter, card or note is a personal and emotional way to connect with your 3-Dayer while they walk those 60 miles.

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Does your 3-Dayer have a sweet tooth? You can now also send Sweet Treats to your favorite 3-Dayers walking in Michigan!

If you have a walker in our other 3-Day event cities, you will be able to send them Sweet Treats starting on the following dates:

It will be the perfect dessert to end each of their long days of walking.

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Last but not least, you can send them social media love! We will be sharing live videos, photos, interviews, announcements and more throughout every one of the 3-Days so show your love with likes, comments and more!

Keep an eye out for Facebook Live videos, as well as photos on our Instagram and updates from our Twitter feed. You might see the familiar face of your favorite 3-Dayer!

How do you support your 3-Dayers? Tell us in the comments!