April Fundraising Calendar

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It’s a new week and a new month and we are very excited to see the start of April! Spring is hitting its stride, which means a lot of outdoor fun is coming in terms of training walks, fundraising events and more. The Susan. G Komen Greater Fort Worth Race for the Cure and the Komen Mid-Michigan Race for the Cure are also taking place this month, and plenty of other exciting events for you to gather your 3-Day family around.

Plus, there are all kinds of holidays and events happening in April, so let’s get going!

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April is National Poetry Month and Humor Month, among others, so there are plenty of fun ways to use those holidays to your advantage:

  • Give your next round of fundraising letters a twist, and write them as a poem! It will make your potential donors smile, and help you stick in their minds as the 3-Day comes closer.
  • Gather your team together to go to a comedy show! Make it a reward for hitting training goals, and use laughter to bond together as a team.
  • You could also go to a poetry reading or a beat poetry slam for a more out-of-the-box bonding experience.
  • Also, keep an eye on our Facebook page for jokes, memories and maybe even a poem or two from our coaches.

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There are a whole heap of training walks, New Walker Meet-Ups, Get Started Meetings, Video Conferences and more happening in April. What can we say, we’re happy it’s spring and wanted to get moving and learning with you all! Some of those events are highlighted in the calendar above, but you can find the complete list on our website here. We will also be calling out more local events on our Facebook page, so keep an eye out.

For any Texas walkers, April 22nd also marks our Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth Race for the Cure. It’s the perfect event to gather your team for an extra special training morning that still supports breast cancer research. If you’re in the area, there is even a team of 3-Day participants who will all be racing together!

Then on April 23rd, there will be the Komen Mid-Michigan Race for the Cure in Lansing, MI, which also has participants from the 3-Day! You can donate, or join the team and get some easy training steps in.

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Other key days this month include:

  • April 1: April Fool’s Day: Did you fall for our joke this year? Check out the blog for more fun graphics sure to make you smile!
  • April 7: Walk to Work Day: If you have co-workers on your team, this is the perfect time to get them together for a training walk to or from the office. It’s also a great opportunity to recruit more of your work friends, or even friends who work nearby, to walk with you.
  • April 16: Easter Sunday: Looking for a fun and festive fundraising event? Host an Easter Egg Hunt at your house! Ask neighborhood families, as well as your friends, to make a donation to be a part of the hunt, and make all the eggs pink in 3-Day spirit!
  • April 17: Income Tax Due Date: This is hardly a holiday that most people get excited about. However, it’s also the perfect time to thank donors from last year who haven’t donated to your 2017 3-Day yet. Remind them to file their donation from last year on their taxes, and let them know you’ll be walking again!
  • April 20: Volunteer Recognition Day: The 3-Day would be nothing without our amazing volunteers, and other supporters who take time out of their days to make your 60 miles truly special. If you know a 3-Day volunteer, send them a thank you note! If you don’t, it’s still a great time to remind people of the value of service and giving back to the community…maybe by walking or crewing a 2017 3-Day! Also, keep an eye on our social media channels as we will be celebrating volunteers all week long, from Monday, April 23 through Friday, April 29 by sharing stories and inspiration from our very own 3-Day volunteers.
  • April 22: Earth Day: Throughout the next few months, we will be showcasing all the beautiful sights and spots along all our 3-Day walks. We know we’re very lucky to be hosted by just some of the beautiful cities in America! In honor of all the beauty of nature, in our 3-Day cities and beyond, hold a training walk and extend it to non-3-Day walkers too! Everyone will love the chance to get moving outside, and you might even recruit some new team members or donors in the process.

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What are your fundraising and training goals for April? How will you work to achieve them?

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Sister, Sister: Meet Angela and Shelly

The bond between sisters is truly unique and special, but the bond between “Titsters” is even deeper! Just ask Angela and Shelly, a sister duo who are part of the 3 Day family. Angela is currently battling breast cancer, and Shelly walks for Team Titster in the Twin Cities 3-Day in her honor.

From a young age, these two were joined at the hip, which meant Angela getting all her hair cut off when Shelly wanted to play “beauty parlor” or putting on plays and concerts together in their neighborhood. These “Titsters,” Angela’s childhood name for her sister, have been there for each other through it all.

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That journey and support also includes Angela’s ongoing fight with breast cancer, one that Shelly has been a part of since Angela’s diagnosis. Angela was initially diagnosed with cancer when she was seven months pregnant, and her sister “was there immediately to ensure she was there for the birth of my baby girl and to hold my hand during my first chemotherapy. During that chemotherapy, all we did was laugh at videos, reminisce on memories, and I think about that more than being sick after the treatment.”

“After I completed my treatment after my first round of breast cancer, I went to a pretty dark place. The mental and physical struggle after treatment can be more challenging than anything. Woman and men feel more alone than ever. They have constant help, messages, and support during treatment, but what happens after is way more crucial. During treatment, we are in survival mode and cannot fully comprehend that we are going through cancer. Once treatment is done, the messages and help dwindle but the pain is still there. Our body is adjusting and still combatting the toll of chemotherapy, surgeries and radiation. Mentally, we never recover. The constant thought of recurrence always lingers and life is never the same. At the same time, we gain strength in a different way and look at the world and see that life is a gift. We cherish memories differently, we see the kindness of family and our community, and know that every day counts.”

Angela’s treatment will continue for the rest of her life, as she was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer in January of 2016. Stage IV research made up nearly 40% of Susan G. Komen’s overall research investment in 2016, with more than $166 million in funding for over 400 research grants and more than 40 clinical trials focused on metastatic disease to date. Aside from research and monetary support, Angela says she is constantly amazed by the support she receives from her family and even the community at large.

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“What is so enlightening with all these clinical trials is that everything is so new at this point. And it is scary regardless, but what I like to tell people is that every day is a gift, but also a battle. Cancer is not going to control my life. It’s always going to be a part of me, but it does not define me.

“I’m also confident that I will live my life to inspire people and show people that despite being diagnosed with cancer, it doesn’t define you. I keep a happy journal, and at the end of every day I write my favorite part of the day, whether it’s a wonderful moment with my kids or a great conversation with my sister.”

3day20153Angela also credits Shelly as her rock, even from states away.

“The bond I have with my sister has helped me tremendously with this struggle and she truly showcases the bond that sisters have. She was there to comfort me and help me understand this it’s okay to still cry, but more importantly to laugh. We live in different states and I know that signing up for the 3-Day was just another way to show that she’s always there to face my battles with me, even if we cannot do it together.”

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Part of Shelly’s support has come through her involvement in the 3-Day, which began as a crew member and has continued as a walker and fundraiser for the team she formed last year, Team Titster. Her first year on the 3-Day was a monumental one.

“When I signed up to be in the crew, part of the sign-up mentioned possibly being a part of the Opening or Closing Ceremony, speaking and carrying the sister flag,” Shelly explained when talking about speaking at her first walk. “The day before the walk at Crew Training, I met a bunch of very friendly, fun gals, who when I spoke on stage the next morning, cheered me on, even though I was nervous, and even though I was a stranger to them up until the day before. That has been my experience with everyone connected to the walk. Just good people.”

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For her second year with the 3 Day, Shelly took to the trails and walked in her sister’s honor.

“When I decided to walk the next year, I was a little intimidated by the fundraising. But I found that when I reached out to my network to let them know why I was walking, and asked them to consider donating, people were more than willing to support me and Angie and the cause. I also found that almost every one of them had a connection to breast cancer. That alone is sad, but it motivated me even more to walk for those who also had loved ones battling or had battled the disease.”

Shelly helped her fundraising cause by casting a wide net for her initial email ask with a link to her page, along with a write up about Angela and a picture of “my little sister hero.” She also writes a 3-Day blog and shares that along with thank you cards to all her supporters to help them feel like they were there for her journey along the 60 miles.

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When she started Team Titster in her third year on the 3-Day, Shelly expanded her fundraising email list and worked on her social media to raise even more. She targeted her competitive spirit and eventually raised more than $2,000 more than her first year. She was also the #7 Top Fundraiser for the Twin Cities 3-Day.

This success is no surprise to Angela, who has always been inspired and supported by their sisterhood.

“Shelly has always been my role model, and is someone that I’m inspired to be like. She is always the first person I want to talk to when I’m having a bad day, but more importantly, I want to talk to her in my great days.”

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The love is certainly mutual, with Shelly calling Angela a super hero.

“Angie is small in stature but big in personality, perseverance and mostly in heart. She is feisty and fun, outgoing and stubborn, and those are all things we have in common. […] I realize that I have the best sister in the world. She doesn’t judge me, she’s been there for me when others have not been, and I am so proud of her in every way possible. Angie is my heart.”

That heart is going to finally experience the 3-Day for the first time this year. Angela will be making the trip from Chicago to the Twin Cities 3-Day in 2017 to cheer on Team Titster, which Shelly hopes to grow this year as well.

“I’m excited to be there the first time to cheer on my sister and Team Titster!” Angela enthuses. “I’m also happy to be able to volunteer and see the 3-Day. I’m thrilled and a bit nervous for the emotional experience but more importantly, I can’t wait to see and listen to the inspiring stories, and to hold the hands of Team Titster and fellow walkers.

“I know this walk means a lot to Shelly, and I know that every mile she walks, she truly is walking in my shoes to take some of the pain away. I’ve always looked up to my sister. She has more determination, heart and spirit than anyone I’ve ever met. I’ve also come to realize that those qualities are what inspires me to fight harder every day.”

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Shelly echoes that determination, saying that the 3-Day is “emotional (lots of crying, both happy and heart wrenching), challenging (walking and training to walk 60 miles is no easy feat), and unforgettable (experiences and memories that are priceless and make you want to come back).”

Both Angela and Shelly will continue to come back as walkers, volunteers or supporters, until a cure is found.

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“There is still no cure for breast cancer,” Shelly states simply. “That in itself gives me purpose and determination to keep doing the walks. My favorite button on my 3-Day water pack is ‘Every Blister Saves a Sister.’ I am prone to blisters, no matter how much training I do, (last year, I had 11 by the end of Day 3) so walking until there is a cure is something I feel like I can do, and will try to keep doing until there is no more breast cancer. Blisters do not hurt, physically or emotionally, as much as cancer does. And of course, my sister inspires me, not just to do the walk, but she inspires me every day.”

The power of sisterhood on the 3-Day is real, and every step makes a difference.

 

New Not-to-Miss 3-Day Infographics

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We are now less than six months away from the first 3-Day of 2017, so it’s time to kick your training, recruiting and fundraising into high gear! When you’re reaching out to people for donations, or to ask them to walk with you, it’s natural that people might have questions about the impact of the 3-Day.

Luckily, Susan G. Komen has created new infographics that make it easy to answer these questions, and to learn more about the cause you are working so hard for. You can see the full range of infographics on the 3 Day website, or easily download some of the newest additions below.

These are eye-catching and to-the-point breakdowns to motivate you, and those around you, to continue working and walking towards a cure.

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Fact Sheet

You can also get artistic at your next team meeting or night off from training with our 3-Day coloring page. It’s also a fun way to get your family involved in your cause. Host a coloring night and talk to your at-home team about why you’re walking!

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If you want more information about Susan G. Komen and the 3-Day, reach out to your local coaches with questions, or check out the 3-Day website to find answers to Frequently Asked Questions, along with more information about the 3-Day experience.