Congratulations to the 2017 Michigan 3-Day Milestone Award Winner

Please join us in congratulating our 2017 Milestone Award Winner; Jim Hillmann. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Milestone Award is given at each event to a walker or crew member who has an outstanding history of participation in the Komen 3-Day. At the Michigan 3-Day camp show, we presented Jim Hillmann with this special honor.

We talked to some of Jim’s teammates about what a special guy he is – and here’s what they had to say. “Jim, also known as Lime with the Coconuts, is the embodiment of the 3 day. His journey with this walk began in 2008 to honor his mom.. She lost her 8 year battle with breast cancer in 2004. He has vowed to make the 3-Day a part of his life until he can walk in celebration that is a cure. He never meets a stranger, and he is genuinely interested in everyone’s story. He has a way of absorbing every story he is given and making it a part of his journey. He has thousands of stories of thousands of walkers who have walked alongside him and told their story to him–he listens, absorbs, and shares them, lending weight and validity to each and every one. If you’ve ever walked alongside our Lime, you’ve heard about Zoie and others. The walkers of the 3 Day are truly a part of his extended family. He builds us up, makes us feel better, and gathers us in and brings us along when we feel as if we cannot take another step. He is our adopted brother, father, uncle, friend.”

Jim with his dear friend Zoie, a Youth Corps Member

Now let’s hear a little bit about Jim’s story from his perspective. We asked him these questions, but he had no idea he would be selected as our winner!

What was your inspiration in joining the 3-Day, Jim?

My mother, who died from breast cancer in 2004 after an eight year battle.  It was her second time with breast cancer that took her life.

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?

During my first walk in 2008 in San Francisco, I quickly realized that the 3-Day community was very special and I knew I had found a place where I could make a difference in people’s lives, specifically to those affected by breast cancer. Over the next several years, my passion and desire continued to grow as I met more in the community, sharing my story with them and hearing theirs. These conversations along the routes, in camp and throughout the year, deeply touched my heart, further fueling my passion to help. It was in 2011, however, when I fully realized the depth, strength and love of the 3-Day community to help others. During that year, I met a nine  year old girl on Belmont Hill who lost her mother to breast cancer the prior year.  Based on a photo I took of the girl and the reaction by the community when I posted it, my life was forever changed. The community reached out to the girl, and her two sisters, and provided them with love and support in so many ways.  The depth to which they supported her, and continue to do so, is something I will never forget. It is these experiences that bring me back each year, with the hope that one day it will no longer be necessary as we have a cure. On that day, we can rest.

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?

To walk in all 14 events in 2011, I needed to raise over $32,000, a number I could not comprehend when I began.  I quickly realized, the money would not come from simply asking relatives and friends but would have to come from other sources. At that time I decided that the best method to raise additional funds was to pick passions that I had and figure out how to make money from them. For example, I love photography, so I did photo shoots. Along with my son, we loved to geocache, so my daughter, a graphic designer, designed a geocache coin and pin.  I also made the effort to create one new fundraiser a year, hopefully one that would create new streams of contributors.  Finally, I knew that there would be “great” ideas that failed miserably and “silly” ideas that would excel. The bottom line, “Never be discouraged by a fundraiser that fails, but learn from it and create something even better next time.”

A teammate said about Jim’s fundraising, ” Jim does not have a fundraising “season” as most of us do. His fundraising level has hit epic and above–he collects cans, he makes coins and pins, he plays bunco, he attends baseball games–his list of ideas is endless, and he is happy to share them with those of us who are not natural to the fundraising world. He is our Lime, and we are his Coconuts.”

What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?

Never doubt the positive impact your are making in the lives of those affected by this relentless disease. Each dollar raised and step that is taken, puts us closer to a cure, so never give up on what we are trying to accomplish – to end breast cancer. A survivor in Dallas 2012, who I met while she was cheering us on, told me something that I love to tell others when they ask about walking. When I thanked the survivor for her support.  She told me, “You cannot fully understand how much your walking (meaning all of us) means to myself and other survivors.  Your walking gives us hope.  Thank you.”

 What’s a fun fact about you? 

Our family was blessed to be able to work overseas for our company for a total of nine years, providing us with the opportunity  to not just visit other cultures but to live and be a part of those cultures, providing us with new perspectives on other countries and on our own.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?

1.  A community focused on one goal can accomplish the impossible.

2. Never doubt the impact one person can make in the lives of others.

3. A goal worth achieving is one worth giving one’s all for.

Jim, we’re confident that you’ve achieved your goal of being an unstoppable force in the fight to end breast cancer. On behalf of all of us walking, crewing, and supporting the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, thank you.

Congratulations to the 2017 Michigan 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Dan Sinclair

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For the 2017 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be featuring the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to participants who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts leading training walks, attending 3-Day community events, supporting the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Please join us in congratulating the 2017 Michigan 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Dan Sinclair.

“My first ever 3-Day was in 2002 when I was a student of Massage Therapy and I needed 50 hours of civic volunteer hours to complete that part of my training at school. And I was told that I could complete all that time in a single weekend. Little did I know how much that weekend would impact my life. When the 3-Day returned to Michigan in 2004, I was ready! Only to find out that they no longer used a massage therapy team for the walkers. While the crew coordinator was explaining this to me he noticed I was wearing a “Harley” tee shirt and asked if I rode? I explained I’d been on motorcycles most my life and his reply was “Have I got a deal for you”. In 2005 my daughter was a walker and I was on crew. She quickly introduced me to her walking friends and suddenly, I had a 3-Day family and was given the moniker of their “3-Day Dad” and over the years that family has taken a special meaning to my life. In 15 years, I went from not knowing anyone that has had breast cancer to becoming close friends with so many people who live with it daily and then losing a lifelong friend to this monster. At age 60 I did my first walk in Denver with some of my Michigan Crew members and discovered traveling and seeing the country through PINK shaded glasses is one fine way to live. So now I crew everywhere I can and walk at one event each year.

My passion is the water, boating, swimming, scuba diving or just plain sitting at the beach. I taught safe boating classes during the Michigan winters and was off to the marina in the spring. I was fortunate enough to have a wife that shared my passion for boating and allowed me to follow my dream. In 1986, we came across “Luv-It”, a boat big enough for the family to be comfortable on and this year we are enjoying our 31st season on board her.

Being retired Navy, I’ve seen parts of the world that most people are not fortunate enough to witness first hand, some spectacular, some downright devastating and everything in between. So, when I came across the 3-Day Community, I thought, “If only the world could be like this”.

So, year after year I come back and add my “two cents” in hopes that it makes someone somewhere take their mind off their troubles, their sickness, their pain and smile just a little bit…

There is a cure out there and together we will find it.”

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What do some of Dan’s friends have to say about him?

“I have had the absolute privilege of working, and walking, side by side with Dan for 14 years now.  I’ve witnessed first hand the impact he has had not only here in Michigan but in the other event cities as well.  He is ever present and always smiling.  His willingness to help fellow crew and walkers knows no bounds.  It is not uncommon to find him using his massage therapist skills to help walkers stretch and work out kinks, sometimes right on the side of the road.  That always makes for a hilarious double take when one of the Medical crews drives by!  He makes a point of getting to know new faces, making them feel welcome and sharing his story.  Whether it is 30 seconds at an intersection or 30 minutes in the dining tent, you will always feel like you’re an old friend!” – Jenn Frederick

“I don’t know a 3-Day withOUT Dan – He took me under his wing at the opening ceremony of my very first 3-Day, many many years ago.  Made me feel welcome as a rookie route safety.  And has taught me everything I know about crewing and captaining.

He is our 3-Day Dad  (I’m probably not the only one who will say this)

Best. Hugs. Ever!

Passionate.  Caring.

A mentor.  A role model.

A shoulder to cry on

A friend to laugh with

A great storyteller

Loved by MANY!” – Jeanette Jones

 

 

Introducing the 2017 Michigan Susan G. Komen 3-Day Honor Speakers

We began our 2017 Susan G. Komen 3-Day season in Michigan with an inspiring and beautiful Opening Ceremony as the sun rose above the Walled Lake Western High School. 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. In every city this year, we will be having one of our amazing participants co-host the Opening Ceremony. Take some time to get to know our Opening Ceremony speakers, who moved us to tears and action as we began our 60-mile journey.

Renee Barney – My Family

It is my honor to walk the 3-Day, and I am continually humbled and amazed at the generosity of people. This year is my tenth year walking, and all three of my daughters are participating with me because we’re fighting for a world without breast cancer. I’m Renee, and I am More Than Pink.

Nancy Sinelli – My Daughter

I am walking for my incredible daughter, Gina Guerreso, who has shown me and our family what the words courage, strength, positivity and determination truly mean. She has been an example to all of us and we will hold her in our hearts as we walk each step of this 60-mile journey. I’m Nancy, and I am More Than Pink.

Lisa Zenker – My Aunt

My sister and I started walking in 2011 because our mom fought breast cancer for 15 years. We had an amazing childhood with such great memories, but we grew up knowing breast cancer. A few months after our first 3-Day, our mom lost her battle. This 3-Day, I will walk with my Aunt Judy and Aunt Linda close to my heart. They’ve both survived breast cancer in recent years and I’m so proud of them. I’m Lisa and I am More Than Pink.

Gretchen Pitluk – My Mother

There are many reasons why I walk, but today, I have the honor of remembering my mother, Suzanne Pitluk, who passed away from breast cancer in 2011. She was a mother, sister, and many other titles, but most importantly, she was a warrior against breast cancer. This weekend, as I walk with my daughter, Mia, we will channel my mother’s passion, love, and fighting spirit. I’m Gretchen and I am More Than Pink.

Hannah Shore – My Grandmother

In 2008, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily, because of early detection, she is now a 9-year survivor. This is my first 3-Day, and I walk for both of my grandmothers. I’m Hannah and I am More Than Pink.

Kathie Lienemann – My Sister

I walk with my sister who was diagnosed at age 35, but today is a 19-year survivor. I walk because every year when I get my mammogram, I’m afraid. Afraid I’ll hear those words. I walk because it is time to end it. I’m Kathie and I am More Than Pink.

Beth Northman – Ceremony Host

I started walking in the 3-Day not knowing anyone that had been affected by breast cancer. But in the past 16 years, I’ve had eight teammates diagnosed with breast cancer, the most recent had surgery just a few months ago and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. I continue to walk for these brave women, my friends, and for all those who have battled breast cancer. I’m Beth, and I am More Than Pink.