2016 Michigan 3-Day Wrap-up

The start of a new Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season is always exhilarating, and this year’s kick-off was no exception. The 2016 Michigan 3-Day’s determined walkers gathered to face the challenge of walking 60 miles in 3 days toward a world free from breast cancer. This Michigan event was especially exciting because it also marked the 150th Komen 3-Day walk. A milestone like that can’t go uncelebrated, and so walkers and crew members who gathered at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi early on Friday morning and were treated not only to a beautiful pink sunrise before the Opening Ceremony, but also some special swag that Komen rolled out to mark this memorable 150th event year. The rest of you upcoming 3-Dayers, don’t worry; we’ll be celebrating this huge 150 occasion at every 2016 3-Day walk.IMG_2148

At the Opening Ceremony, participants recognized some familiar elements (Promise Ribbons, ceremony participants, Survivor’s Circle) as well as some brand new parts to the ceremony celebration, which we look forward to sharing with our walkers and crew members in each 3-Day city. Chrissy Mathews from Susan G. Komen® and Dr. Sheri Prentiss, back for another year as national spokesperson, encouraged and inspired the walkers from the stage, then the route was opened and the Michigan 3-Day walk began!  IMG_2268

This year’s Michigan walk included a brand new Day 1, so even participants who have been with the Michigan 3-Day since its beginning were treated to a refreshed route and new stops. The walkers journeyed through Novi and were rallied on by the always entertaining Boo-bees at pit stop 1.IMG_2429 From there, it was north to Walled Lake, where everyone was grateful for the beautiful waterfront views at the Grab & Go, the friendly residents who came out and cheered, and any hint of cool breeze coming off the water (have we mentioned it was really hot and humid on Friday?).IMG_2535 A little farther up the route, Pit 2’s crew, who was “demolishing breast cancer,” kept the walkers nourished and safe, and before long, the walkers arrived at the lunch stop where they were welcomed by the Walled Lake cheerleaders (varsity teams from two local high schools) and an updated menu. Yum! The second half of Day 1 took walkers through more of Novi’s residential areas before returning to Suburban Collection Showplace, which was also the site of the 3-Day camp.IMG_2387

To give everyone a little burst of nostalgia as we celebrated our 150th walk, we created a 3-Day Museum in camp where people could walk around and view some “artifacts” from the past 3-Day events in Michigan. This will be a “living” museum that will be a little different in each 3-Day location this year, showcasing unique memorabilia from each event.IMG_2799 On Friday night, we gathered in the dining tent for the camp show. We heard an uplifting speech from Cindy, a long-time 3-Day walker and survivor, and we were fascinated by the Komen grantee who talked about his company’s innovative no-compression mammography (which he termed, “the boob spa”). The Michigan 3-Day Youth Corps also joined us from the stage, sharing their inspiring reasons for participating.

Day 2 started out beautiful and, thankfully, a bit cooler as the route headed out from camp. 3-Dayers who walked in Michigan last year may have noticed that Saturday’s route was mostly the same as 2015, except reversed.IMG_3226 Firefighters from the Novi Fire Department’s Station 3 came out early to cheer the walkers starting out, which is always a great motivation. After that it was onto a portion of Hines Drive into the lovely city of Plymouth. Walkers enjoyed a cool break at the Lunch Oasis, and from there, it was just a few blocks to the Kellogg Park cheering station, which was in full swing with its welcome signs, photo backdrops, and the famous pink fountain.IMG_3600 Down the road a bit, pit stop 3 had snacks, shade and imaginary gold medals for all of the “Olym-pink” 3-Day champions. After Plymouth, walkers headed back up into Northville, where the Buy Michigan festival was also happening in the quaint downtown area.IMG_3688 At pit stop 4, walkers refreshed before heading into the Survivor Stretch, the last section of the route before camp, where walkers are encouraged to reflect on the journey that breast cancer survivors have gone through and celebrate their strength and courage. Supporters from Komen Detroit and Komen Michigan had a big cheering station along this stretch, giving the walkers that last little burst of inspiration to fuel them back to camp.IMG_3666

During Saturday’s camp show, Victoria Wolodzko, Susan G. Komen’s Vice President of Research and Community Health Program Operations (in other words, Head of Mission) was on stage to praise the great things that have already been done with the funds raised by the 3-Day, and to encourage everyone to keep walking, since there is still work to be done. The Saturday camp show was also where we recognized the Michigan 3-Day walkers and crew members who led the pack in fundraising, and we presented the Milestone and Local Impact Awards (read up on all the Michigan 3-Day award winners here). The atmosphere was full of joy as the Michigan 3-Day family was treated to a big group toast, delicious cupcakes, and brand new “bubbs” for the 150th walk celebration. Cheers!IMG_3796

On Sunday morning, walkers climbed onto waiting buses that took them to a drop-off location in Livonia, and within a couple of miles, they came upon block after block of local cheer teams forming a tunnel of spirit. IMG_4045 2014_3DAY_MI_JF_2198The route moved through Livonia, including its historic downtown district, and from there, they ventured southeast into Dearborn. The residents of York Street pulled out all the stops again this year with their festive cheering station.

Walkers were treated to another surprise at the lunch stop, where every walker was given their very own pink Hero cape to wear for the rest of the day. Feeling extra super, walkers took in the sights of Historic Dearborn before hitting the final stretch up to Ford Headquarters, the site of the Closing Ceremony.IMG_4358

The victory march into the Closing Ceremony arena is always an emotional experience, and Michigan’s walk was no exception. Chrissy and Dr. Sheri joined us again from the stage and announced to the 600 walkers, 300 crew members and all the gathered friends and families that the 2016 Michigan 3-Day raised another $1.6 million dollars toward the fight against breast cancer. Our circle of survivors stood at the center, a beautiful reminder of the power of the 3-Day family, and we raised the final flag to close the 2016 Michigan 3-Day.IMG_4386 IMG_4562 IMG_4697 IMG_4746

2016 Michigan 3-Day – Saturday Award Winners and Honorees

What a fantastic Day 2 we had here in Michigan yesterday, starting with a beautiful day out on the route, and capped off by a camp show that was packed with recognition for some fantastic Michigan walkers and crew members. Keep reading and give a virtual “HIP-HIP-HOORAY!” for all of these extraordinary participants.

Top Training Walk Leader

IMG_3958The Michigan 3-Day’s Top Training Walk Leader for 2016 is Janice Shore. Janice has been a 3-Day participant and training walk leader for 8 years, and this year, she hosted 41 training walks with 162 attendees. Janice, who describes herself as stubborn, is known as someone who keeps going no matter what. So on training walks and the event, she’s always telling people to “do as I say, not as I do,” as far as listening to your body.

Top Youth Corps Fundraiser

IMG_3069Ten-year-old Dylan Rawlins from Silver Spring, MD, who was recognized as the top Youth Corps fundraiser in Friday’s camp show, raised an amazing $4,513 for the Michigan 3-Day this year.  This is Dylan’s first year on Youth Corps.

Top Crew Fundraiser

IMG_3867Amy Nadeau from the Camp Services crew team is Michigan’s Top Crew Fundraiser, bringing in $8,021 this year, for a lifetime total of $79,491. Wow! Amy has been part of the 3-Day for 11 years, with this year’s Michigan walk being her 12th event. “I have always said my purpose in life is to make everyone else feel tall…and I do it really, really well!”

Top Individual Fundraiser

IMG_3903Huge thanks and congratulations to Bert Stein, the Michigan 3-Day’s top individual fundraiser. This year’s walk is Bert’s 12th 3-Day, and he alone raised an astonishing $22,559 this year. His lifetime fundraising total over the last 12 years is equally remarkable: $218,785.  Bert’s friend of 45 years and his 3-Day walking buddy, Sye, says Bert is the Energizer Bunny: he winds him up and lets him go. Bert gets up at 5:30 AM every day and never seems to stop. At age 83, Bert is in the process of retiring from being a CPA.

We also gratefully acknowledged the next two top fundraisers. With $9,390 raised this year and a $76,109 lifetime total over 7 years/events, Nancy Turken was the second highest individual fundraiser. And rounding out the top three was Nancy Schulman who raised $8,747 for the Michigan 3-Day this year, and $56,884 total over her last 9 years/events.

Top Fundraising Teams

The funds raised by Michigan 3-Day teams are a big part of what drives Susan G. Komen to be able to do so much good in our communities. The top five fundraising teams in the Michigan 3-Day this year are:

5. Juju’s Angels for the Cure – $21,910 – 10 team members, first year as team – Team Captain: Jennifer Curtis.
4. Team LIVErnois – $34,525 in 2016; $55,167 lifetime – 13 team members, second year as a team – Team Captain: Amy Woznick
3. Coconutter Strutters – $44,362 in 2016; $417,055 lifetime – 18 team members, 10 years as a team – Team Captain: Vanessa DeKoekkoek.

A small margin separated the top 2 fundraising teams (which also happen to be the two largest teams in at the Michigan 3-Day this year). The fundraising totals from these two teams for this year alone is impressive, but in 2016 both teams also achieved the prestigious milestone of surpassing the $1 million lifetime mark. Congratulations, teams!

2. Hines Pink Pathers – $86,837 in 2016; $1,056,341 lifetime – 65 team members, 10 years as a team – Team Captain: Janice Shore.
1. BC Babes – $91,015 in 2016; $1,041,439 lifetime – 70 team members, 12 years as team – Team Captain – Beth Northman.IMG_3835

 

Milestone Award and Local Impact Award

These two other special awards distinguish 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 goes to a participant in each 3-Day city who has been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day in their community throughout the year.

IMG_3928Michigan’s 2016 Milestone Award winner is Amy Nadeau, who was also the top crew fundraiser. Amy has participated for 11 years, always as part of the crew, often as a crew captain; she has never walked, but her husband did last year to celebrate her 10 years as a survivor. The fact that Amy has never been required to raise any money makes her lifetime total of over $73,000 that much more remarkable. But Amy remains humble, never taking credit for her fundraising, always saying, “I work with very generous people.” She leads with love and humor and her crew teams adore her. Amy first signed up to do the 3-Day when she and her husband saw a TV commercial for it six months after Amy completed her breast cancer treatment. Her advice to walkers is: “Don’t be too concerned about walking every step. It is more important to take the time to savor the experience–you will never have another experience quite like this. You’ve done the hard part with your training and fundraising; now enjoy!”

Amy’s fellow crew member and friend, Tracy, shared this: “Amy is one of the most committed, caring, AMAZING persons, and I am proud to call her my friend. She is passionate and steadfast. She works hard to take care of people both on and off event. She will send care packages and notes to check in on folks and help them know that they are thought of and loved. Amy is also a fundraising machine! She has raised SO much money and by turn, awareness, for the cancer fight and research. No matter what her goal, she puts forth the effort needed to go above and beyond what is required. Amy is a great example of the good that is out in our world. Whether it is battling cancer for herself or her husband or friends, her armor is on and she is ready to take on whatever comes their way. Hearts do not come much bigger than Amy’s. Small and mighty is an apt descriptor of my friend. I am blessed beyond measure that we were on the same crew team so many years ago and we are still friends to this day. My world is richer for having her in it and I am the lucky one!”

IMG_3942For the Michigan 3-Day, the 2016 Local Impact Award was presented to Rhoni Hamel. Rhoni has been part of the 3-Day for 11 years, with this Michigan walk marking her 12th event, and she has raised a lifetime total of $54,692. Rhoni’s enthusiasm and commitment for the 3-Day reaches far beyond the event weekend itself and her own personal fundraising and training. She has said that from the moment Closing Ceremony is over, she is counting down the days, hours and minutes until her next Opening Ceremony. Rhoni is a dedicated supporter of the Michigan 3-Day year-round. Ann Love, the Local Events Coach in Michigan who presented the award to Rhoni, is especially grateful for her help with street team activities in the months before the walk. An ambitious fundraiser, Rhoni is currently coordinating a fundraising cruise trip that will donate a portion of the proceeds directly to Komen. In addition, each year she gives of her own time and money to shuttle traveling walkers to and from the airport on 3-Day week so that they do not have to incur additional expense to get to their hotels. It is not unusual for her to make 5 or 6 trips (it was 9 this year!) a day—up to 6-10 hours of driving—to the airport once the event draws close. Rhoni’s fellow participant Robin said about her friend, “What a wonderful lady. She amazes me! I love the shuttle she runs to the 3-Day from the airport, which costs people nothing except ‘a big 3-Day hug,’ in her words. When I walk and I’m tired and I feel I just can’t keep going, I see her and I can walk 20 more miles. She’s just amazing and a true 3-Day sister.”

 

Our warmest appreciation and congratulations go out to all of these irreplaceable Michigan 3-Day walkers and crew members. Thank you for making this event and the Michigan 3-Day family so special!

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

The 2016 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® began this morning in Michigan with a beautiful and stirring Opening Ceremony. 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.

As part of the Ceremony, we were honored to welcome some special 3-Day participants to the stage, where they shared their own inspirations—both heart-warming and heartbreaking—for being part of the 3-Day. #WeAreThe3Day

 

“This morning, I carry the ‘My Father’ flag in memory of my dad, who I lost last week. I inherited so much of my character and drive from him, so while I walk in remembrance of those we have lost to breast cancer and in honor of those who have survived, I dedicate this 3-Day to my dad. I’m Cathy and I AM the 3-Day.”IMG_2189

 

“This is my sixth 3-Day. I walk in memory of my friend Jenny and my mom’s friend Kathy. I walk to continue the battle our friends have lost, and to honor all the friends everywhere who have traveled the same journey. I’m Heidi and I AM the 3-Day.”IMG_2195

 

“My aunt. My mom. My aunt again. My cousin. My mom again. Then my cousin again. I can’t stand the thought of the next generation of my family going through this and losing more than they already have. My cousin’s 48th birthday would have been last Friday and that is why I am here today. I’m Amy and I AM the 3-Day.”IMG_2197

 

“I walk for those who can’t walk. I walk for my coworker, a breast cancer survivor of 17 years. I walk for the sister of a coworker who has breast cancer. I walk in memory of my cousin, who passed away at 37. I walk to bring awareness to women and men, young and old, everywhere I go. I’m Charmaine and I AM the 3-Day.”IMG_2202

 

“When I was young, I promised my mother that when I was old enough, I would join her on the 3-Day. This year is that year! The 3-Day has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. Now I can finally take part in this incredible journey as her teammate. I asked to carry the My Children flag today, in the hope that one day, any children I might have can live in a world without breast cancer. I’m Logan and I AM the 3-Day.”IMG_2210

 

“I am walking this year because my mom passed away on March 19th. I’m walking to honor her strength and grace and to raise money to help others. I’m Blake and I AM the 3-Day.”IMG_2211

 

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