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

The Atlanta coaches—Tara, Susan and Libby—are the stars of the show today! Click here to see what we knew about them already, and keep reading to see what they each had to say about each other.

Tara, Susan and Libby

Tara, Susan and Libby

Tara (Atlanta Local Events Coach)

“Tara is full of energy, funny, and totally loves the 3-Day. She truly cares about our participants and is a great resource for them. She’s an amazing listener, and will go out of her way to make sure that participants have great experiences whether it’s a training walk, meeting or the 3-Day itself. She is always able to jump in with fun ideas for our local events, and she’s the creative and crafty one who makes sure everything is planned just right. She has so much knowledge from her years of being on tour with the 3-Day, and she is so great about sharing that knowledge to ensure that everything is perfect on event.”– Susan

“Tara is exactly the motivation that our walkers need and love.  She is quick and witty and always makes the best out of every situation. Her ‘get it done’ attitude makes our team dynamic and not only productive but fun.” – Libby

Susan (Atlanta Participant Support Coach)

“Susan is your go-to girl.  She takes care of all of us and is the queen of follow-up. If she doesn’t have the answer she will quickly find it for you. She is kind and thoughtful and a perfect match to our trio.” – Libby

“Susan is top notch. She knows it all and it’s no surprise that if I have a question she is the first person I can go to for an answer. She hears from all of our walkers and is always on top of communicating with them and making sure they are all well supported. She always wants what’s best for them and I am so inspired by her commitment to them. She also is an all-around super co-worker and we connect on so many levels.” – Tara

Libby (Atlanta Crew & Volunteer Coordinator)

“Libby is so in touch with her crew and her captains that they are always willing to come and support us during pre-event meetings and events. They are like family to Libby and she knows so much about each of them. She is protective of what the crew needs and lets us know how they need to be supported and encouraged. As a team mate she is so fun to work with and joke with!” – Tara

“Libby is amazing at working with our crew and volunteers. The job requires incredible flexibility as there are so many moving parts and constant changes. She always stays calm, and is a true advocate for her crew to make sure that they are well taken care of. I love watching her interact with the crew, she is absolutely loved. She is also hilarious and so fun to work with!” – Susan

The Whole Atlanta Team!

Without even being asked, all three of the Atlanta coaches also had some lovely comments about the team overall.

Tara said, “I would describe the Atlanta team as all around KICK-BUTT. Supportive, in sync, jubilant, motivated and involved! We always have such a great time going out on event together and seeing our participants and mingling with them. We always go to the same Mexican restaurant on our event, we had a great time getting ready for our Komen Impact Forum and I personally truly couldn’t be more thankful for the support when I had baby Reid and the baby shower, and the endless advice and love they showed me during that time!”

“We are so lucky that we all live in the same city,” Susan shared. “My most favorite memories are our on-event shenanigans while we spend time traveling from place to place. Typically it involves me getting teased a bit (I may or may not be a whiz with the GPS), or finding some good Mexican food. No matter what it is, we always have fun together, and enjoy celebrating at the end of each season.”

And Libby said, “Our team is really a great mix of personalities and strengths. We really work so well together! We have gelled as a team from our first year together and we just seem to get better every year.”

 

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

2016 Seattle 3-Day Wrap-up

We’ve closed the books on the 2016 Susan G. Komen Seattle 3-Day, and not surprisingly, it will go down as one of our best events yet. With some extensive changes made to its route on all three days (more than any other 2016 3-Day event), the 2016 Seattle 3-Day had some new features that were exciting for all 600 walkers and 200 crew members, whether they were first-timers or seasoned veterans. And even through showers of “liquid sunshine” (aka, rain) on Saturday, the Seattle 3-Dayers’ spirits never wavered as they enjoyed 60 miles of this beautiful corner of the Pacific Northwest in some new and exciting ways.

As all 3-Day events do, the Seattle 3-Day began on Friday morning with a lovely Opening Ceremony held at Seattle Center near the iconic structure that makes Seattle’s skyline instantly recognizable: the Space Needle. Amber Livingston from Susan G. Komen® hosted the ceremony along with Dr. Sheri Prentiss. img_9337 img_5217Moved by their fellow 3-Dayers who shared their own inspirations, and driven by the bravery of the beautiful Survivor’s Circle, walkers set out, determined to face the 60-mile road ahead.img_9376

The first part of Day 1’s route was familiar to walkers who have been in Seattle the last several years. After exiting Seattle Center, the pink parade made its way out of the downtown Seattle area and toward pit stop 1, where they were greeted with a festive fiesta.img_9431 From there, they weaved down to the waterfront of Lake Washington (many stopped for incredible photos of majestic Mt. Rainier to the south) and set off across one of Seattle’s “floating” bridges to cross the lake.img_5308 img_9475 On Mercer Island on the east side of the lake, walkers quickly reached pit stop 2, where they were welcomed by some cheerful lumberjacks (and lumberjills) and their big-footed friend.img_9506

Lunch on Day 1 was a wild west show at Surrey Downs Park in Bellevue, and after leaving the lunch stop, even walkers familiar with the past Seattle routes noticed Day 1’s big changes. The route passed through the heart of the business district of Bellevue to pit stop 3 at Bellevue Highlands Park. img_5381From there, walkers ascended a short (yay!) but steep (ugh.) hill onto a trail which eventually exited them onto the Microsoft campus in Redmond. This is the first time that the 3-Day route has passed through Microsoft, which was exciting for walkers and the superheroes of Grab & Go B who set up there.img_5453 After exiting Microsoft, walkers picked back up with the 2015 route, heading back into Bellevue again for a short little stretch. From there, it was back into Redmond and down to Idylwood Park on Lake Sammamish. Goodies from pit stop 4 and support from friends at the last cheering station fueled walkers for the couple of miles into camp at Marymoor Park, completing Day 1’s 20.7 mile distance.

On Friday night, Amber was joined on stage by Miguel Perez, Komen’s Senior Vice President, Affiliate Network. Miguel introduced David Richart, Executive Director of Komen Puget Sound, who shared some insights into the breast cancer programs that are funded by 3-Day proceeds at the local level. David then introduced Dr. Nora Disis from University of Washington Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who is a Komen grantee researching tumor immunology and the potential for a vaccine that could actually prevent breast cancer.

Dr. Nora Disis

Dr. Nora Disis

Dr. Sheri joined Amber on stage to thank the 3-Day’s sponsors (Bank of America and Mohawk Flooring) and we played our own 3-Day version of “Who Wore It Best.” The comical game was followed by a stirring speech by breast cancer survivor speech Kathy Bressler and the always-inspiring Youth Corps speeches.

In spite of our best attempts at wishing for sunshine, we awoke to rainy skies on Saturday morning. But that didn’t stop Seattle! They ponchoed up and headed out onto a 19.9 mile Day 2 that included bits and pieces of last year’s route and a lot of different part too. img_9836 Right away, walkers who were accustomed with the previous Seattle itinerary noticed that the course was reversed out of camp, taking walkers to Sammamish River Trail and into Redmond Town Center (no more big hill to climb right out of camp! Hooray!). The walk through downtown Redmond was also changed up a bit, leading walkers to the Redmond Connector Trail and up to Redmond Way to Grasslawn Park for pit stop 1 (this lovely site has been pit 1 on Day 2 for many years).img_9730 Out of the park, walkers took a new route through residential Redmond and into Kirkland through a wooded trail and new neighborhoods. Pit stop 2 was at a new site at Spinney Homestead Park, and from there, the route took walkers down to a stretch of the Kirkland Connector Trail into Kirkland. The route through Kirkland was recognizable but reversed from last year’s course, taking walkers down into lunch at the north end of Lake Washington at Juanita Beach Park. img_5534By afternoon, the rain had eased up, and out of lunch, the reversed-from-last-year route continued through quaint downtown Kirkland and along the waterfront. A new little uphill stretch had a surprise at the top as walkers reached the Grab & Go and got to stroll through Google Park and campus.img_9847 img_5546 From there, it was onto another section of the Kirkland Connector Trail, then another stretch of reversed route.img_5658 Pit 3 was still a tropical paradise, even in Seattle’s stormy weather. img_9919Walkers trekked back up and over the interstate via pedestrian bridge into the Bridle Trails neighborhood, an area with lots of lovely horse properties, then into Redmond again and back to Grasslawn Park for a cheering station this time. Benjamin Rush Elementary was our new pit stop 4, and the exit from that stop was the start of the Survivor Stretch.img_9945 This last 1.6 mile section was the beginning of last year’s Day 2 route but (you guessed it!) in reverse, downhill (ah!) and back to camp.img_9968

Saturday is Friends & Family Night at the 3-Day, and many walkers and crew members were joined by loved ones in camp. On stage, we welcomed back Miguel from Susan G. Komen who talked about Komen’s bold new goal—to decrease breast cancer deaths by 50% in the next 10 years—and shared his family’s own personal connection with breast cancer.img_5692 The 2016 3-Day season began in August in Michigan, which was the 3-Day’s 150th walk, and we’re celebrating this amazing milestone at every 3-Day event in 2016. So with glasses of yummy sparkling grape juice raised, Amber led us in a toast (followed by surprise cupcakes for everyone), and the camp show went on to recognize some Seattle participants who reached milestones of their own, including top fundraisers and local award winners. And of course, the Saturday night dance party followed with typical flair.

In the morning on Day 3, walkers loaded into buses and were delivered to University of Washington for the start of an almost entirely new Day 3 route.img_6783 From UW, walkers hit the Burke Gilman Trail, but instead of going left (southbound), they went right (northbound) into Ravenna Park to Ravenna Blvd., then west to Green Lake.img_0001 The route skirted the Green Lake area and neighborhoods before arriving at our first pit stop at Lower Woodland Park. The route then moved into the Wallingford area and parts of the Fremont neighborhood. Then it was back down to the Burke Gilman Trail to Gas Works Park, which previously had been pit stop 1 but was pit stop 2 this year.img_0220 Out of Gas Works, instead of going to the Ballard Locks and Magnolia, walkers went to the downtown area of Fremont, over the Fremont Bridge to the trail that runs around the west side of Lake Union.img_5905 Lake Union Park at the south end of the lake was our new Day 3 lunch stop, and on the way in to the beautiful park, walkers were greeted by Dr. Sheri, Amber and Miguel and presented with awesome “I Am More Than Pink” superhero capes to wear for the rest of the day.img_5989 From lunch, we took a new route through South Lake Union, near where Amazon.com is headquartered (what a tour of Northwest tech companies we had this weekend!), and through downtown Seattle toward the bustling Pike Place Market. Descending the stairs down to the waterfront, walkers headed north to the Olympic Sculpture Garden for an Elliot Bay Sunday cheering station along Puget Sound before arriving at a new pit stop 3 at Centennial Park. Now, walkers were in the home stretch, coming up through lower Queen Anne and back to the Participant Finish Area at Seattle Center where we all started on Friday morning.img_0476 img_0266

Clad in their hard-earned victory shirts, walkers and crew members marched into Memorial Stadium at the triumphant end of their 60-mile journey.img_0505 Amber and Dr. Sheri were our hosts again for Closing Ceremony, and they thanked our many wonderful supporters, sponsors and local jurisdictions. Soon after, we brought in the final group of Seattle 3-Dayers, our breast cancer survivors, and together, we saluted their bravery and celebrated the Seattle 3-Day’s remarkable $1.8 million raised.img_6104 img_6121

We’ve said it hundreds of times, but it can never be said too much: thank you. We are truly indebted to the Seattle 3-Day family and humbled by the commitment, the energy and the spirit of every single person who is part of this event, whether as walkers, crew, cheerleaders or donors. To those of you who we’ll see again down the road this year, we look forward to it, and to the many of you who will make Seattle your pink home for three days in 2017, we can’t wait to see you again. Onward to Atlanta!

2016 Seattle 3-Day – Saturday Award Winners and Honorees

At the end of Day 2 on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, we gather to celebrate: walkers celebrate completing 40 astonishing miles of route, crew members high-five over giving hours upon hours of service to their fellow 3-Dayers, and everyone celebrates each other. Every walker and crew member could be given a medal for their accomplishments, but we do like to take time at the Saturday evening camp show to recognize some stand-out walkers and crew members. In Seattle, we were pleased to award the following outstanding walkers, crew members and teams:

Top Training Walk Leader

img_5755The top training walk leader for the 2016 Seattle 3-Day is Tath Hossfeld. Tath will be a 33-year survivor this November, and has participated in the 3-Day 24 times in the last 13 years (she’ll be doing walk number 25 in Atlanta in a few weeks). She is the captain of the team Flamingo Road, a mentor to other walkers, and a devoted volunteer. Tath has been a training walk leader for the last 10 years and this year, she led 29 walks with 114 attendees. She is meticulous about planning her training walks and goes out of her way to make sure everyone there feels comfortable, supported, and informed while also looking for ways to make them fun for everyone. Tath also won the Local Impact Award in Seattle last year.

Top Youth Corps Fundraiser

img_5502The 3-Day Youth Corps are kids between the ages of 10 and 16 who come out to cheer and support the 3-Day walkers and crew members. They are required to raise a minimum of $500 in order to participate, which makes it all the more extraordinary to share that 15-year-old Lauren Simpson, a first-time Youth Corps member from Danville, CA, raised $1,905 this year. Way to go, Lauren!

Top Crew Fundraiser

img_5719Congratulations to Cathy Youngling, the top crew fundraiser for Seattle, who raised an astonishing $10,040 this year, bringing her lifetime fundraising total to $97,333. Cathy is part of the Pit Stop 2 team, and this year’s Seattle 3-Day is her 11th event in 8 years. She is captain of the team Are We There Yet? in Seattle. Cathy is also a 21-year survivor, and is Grammy to two sweet girls who love to wear pink (not because of breast cancer but because it’s pretty with their sparkly shoes).

Top Individual Walker Fundraiser

img_5734For the third consecutive year, the top individual walker fundraiser in Seattle is Loretta Englishbee, with $26,115 raised this year. Loretta has raised nearly $400,000 alone since starting with the 3-Day 11 years ago. Unfortunately, due to a family emergency, Loretta and her Team Bee teammates were unable to join us at the Seattle event this year; her teammate Michelle and friend Kathy accepted the award on Loretta’s behalf.

Top 5 Fundraising Teams

The top fundraising teams for the 2016 Seattle 3-Day are:

5. Team Bee – $44,606 in 2016; $487,597 lifetime – 7 team members, 11 years as team – Team Captain: Loretta Englishbee
4. Sole Mates – $51,149 in 2016; $244,127 lifetime –17 team members, 7 years as team – Team Captain – Kathy Bressler
3. DHL Dynamos – $72,186 in 2016; $1,583,269 lifetime – 40 team members, 6 years as team –Team Captain: Ann-Kathrin Seit
2. Kindred Spirits – $135,385 in 2016; $2,680,407 lifetime – 79 members 13 years as team – Team Captain: Penny Kellam

img_5708And big congratulations to Valley Girls & Guys, which was both the largest team on the Seattle 3-Day (150 members) and the top fundraising team, with $320,480 raised this year. Valley Girls & Guys, captained by Tina McDonough, has raised $2,398,313 in its 8 years as a Seattle 3-Day team. Wow!

*The 2016 Seattle 3-Day marked another big milestone for the top 3 teams on this list: DHL Dynamos surpassed the $1 million lifetime mark, and both Valley Girls & Guys and Kindred Spirits flew past the $2 million lifetime milestone.

 

Milestone Award and Local Impact Award

 These two other special awards are presented to participants who stand out and shine extra brightly in a sky of very bright 3-Day stars. The Milestone Award is given at each event to one participant who has an extraordinary history of involvement with the 3-Day, and the Local Impact Award recognizes a participant in each 3-Day city who has been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day in their community throughout the year.

img_5749This year’s Seattle 3-Day Milestone Award winner is Randy Gangnes. Randy has been a 3-Day participant for 12 years, and all 12 of her walks have been in Seattle. She is the captain of In The Pink, and in her years as a 3-Day walker, she has personally raised over $67,400. When she’s not out training or fundraising for the 3-Day, Randy teaches first grade, enjoys singing, reading and traveling, and is an avid Seahawks fan and season ticket holder. Her husband Ron—who has also been a Seattle 3-Day walker for 12 years—told us, “Randy is shy and unassuming and will definitely be embarrassed by this attention.” Randy herself is also a breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with DCIS in 2003. “Komen is a way of life for us, something our family, still to this day, doesn’t understand completely,” Ron shared. “Randy is the definition of selflessness. She feels that if she can prevent just one person from having to go through what she did, then all the miles she’s walked (probably over 6,000 miles) are worth it.” Merrilyn, a close friend and long-time teammate of Randy’s told us, “Randy is my inspiration for walking in the 3-Day.  I see her passion for the cause, and witness her tireless efforts in fundraising and training, and know that I want to match her enthusiasm with my own. Randy not only walks in the 3-Day, she walks the belief in Susan G. Komen all year long. She is a true ambassador for the 3-Day and everyone who knows her understands that raising money for curing breast cancer is one of her life values. Randy is absolutely deserving of this 3-Day Milestone Award!” We couldn’t agree more!

img_5752We were delighted to recognize Kathy Bressler with the 2016 Seattle 3-Day Local Impact Award. Kathy has been a 3-Day walker and captain of Sole Mates for 8 years, and has personally raised over $30,000 for the 3-Day. Like so many others, her reasons for becoming involved with the 3-Day were deeply personal: both her grandmother and mother died from breast cancer. Kathy’s involvement with the breast cancer cause has been a life-long passion, extending even further than the 3-Day; she has served as board president of Komen Puget Sound for a two-year term while holding her position as President of Franciscan Health System’s Saint Clare Hospital. Her teammate Jennifer shared, “Kathy has always been an advocate for finding a cure for breast cancer for others, never thinking that she would be the 1 in 8.” Yes, Kathy herself was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in late 2015, and not surprisingly, she faced it head-on. “Through her journey she has never taken the role of a victim and she was not going to succumb to this disease. She has spoken often of the advances that have come from funds raised through Susan G. Komen and the 3-Day, but that there is more work to do.” Since her diagnosis, Kathy committing to growing her 3-Day team even more, and this year, they were the fourth highest fundraising team in Seattle. Kathy was the Survivor Speaker in the Friday camp show in Seattle as well.

Kathy’s Sole Mates teammates Maureen and Betsy agreed that an award about impact is perfect for Kathy: “She is a force to be reckoned with on anything she puts her mind to! She prods others into self-improvement, encourages growth and positive change, and if she really believes in you, invites you to hot yoga and to walk with her in the 3-Day!” They continued, “Kathy not only changes lives but she makes you a believer. You get a job, your children go off to college, you learn to plank, you make incredible friendships and you truly believe you can make a difference because you believe in a cause. Because of Kathy, and the impact she has made on the lives of every person she has come in contact with, you believe there will be a cure.” Jennifer echoed the statement about Kathy’s strength. “Kathy fully believes that there will be a cure if we continue to fight for one. She is truly a warrior and I can’t think of anyone who would deserve such an honor more than Kathy.”