2016 Atlanta 3-Day Wrap-up

We’ve turned the corner on the 2016  Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, with the conclusion of the fourth event of the year. And as we find ourselves heading back down the hill with our last 3 events of the 2016 season, we reflect on the incredible weekend we had on the Atlanta 3-Day.

The 2016 Atlanta 3-Day kicked off early Friday morning with an emotional Opening Ceremony set against the picturesque backdrop of Stone Mountain Park. Amber Livingston from Susan G. Komen® was joined on stage by Dr. Sheri Prentiss, and the two inspirational hosts motivated the crowd of eager walkers. We also heard personal testimonials from six of our incredible Atlanta participants who shared their own inspirations, for walking and crewing, making us smile, cry and reflect on the one singular goal we all share. Energized by the bravery of the beautiful Survivor’s Circle, the walkers set out, determined to face the 60-mile road ahead.img_6196 img_6307 The first few miles were spent migrating through Stone Mountain Park before reaching pit stop 1 and the Pirates of the CariBOOBean. Next, the walkers exited the park and walked through Stone Mountain Village to the first grab & go.img_1015 Atlanta is home to an extensive network of off-road trails for pedestrians and cyclists called the PATH, and out of grab & go A in Stone Mountain, walkers took one of the PATH trails into Clarkston, through a heart-meltingly adorable preschool cheering station, and into pit stop 2. img_6484From there, it was back onto the trails and onward to the lunch stop, a “Boob-kini Beach” party in Avondale Estates. After lunch, walkers continued into quaint downtown Decatur, where they were greeted by another cheering station before hitting the second Grab & Go.img_6523 img_6383 After that, the route made its way into Atlanta city limits. The spooky-sweet Halloween-themed pit stop 3 and “Mardi Bras” of pit stop 4 helped power the walkers through the end of Day 1—even during a brief rain shower—and into camp at the Georgia World Congress Center.img_6647

Friday night in camp, after some outstanding live entertainment, Dr. Sheri joined Amber on stage again to thank the 3-Day’s sponsors (Bank of America and Mohawk Flooring) and introduce friends from the Komen Greater Atlanta affiliate. We played our own 3-Day version of a “Who Wore It Best” relay race, and the comical game was followed by a stirring speech from breast cancer survivor Grendel, and the always-inspiring Youth Corps speeches.

The sun was out and shining brightly on the 3-Dayers for Day 2, which was spent entirely inside Atlanta city limits, allowing walkers to see many corners of this vibrant city.img_1122 From camp, walkers headed north toward Midtown and up into Lindbergh, with the first two pit stops and a packed cheering station all within the first 7 miles.img_6711 Pit stop 3 was set up at the home of Komen Greater Atlanta’s offices, and the local Komen staff was out in force to rally walkers in and out of the stop with a marvelous cheering squad. After leaving pit stop 3, walkers moved through the beautiful residential area of Buckhead, then out to Paces Ferry Road and past the Governor’s mansion.img_1171 Lunch and a grab & go were up next, and then the walkers moved onto the north Belt Line trail, a beautiful, shaded pathway.

That's Gatorade, we promise!

That’s Gatorade, we promise!

img_1236 The route moved back through downtown, past the art museum and into Midtown to Midtown Bank where pit stop 4 was set up. The bank employees even came out with tremendous spirit and some extra snacks and water to support. The final stretch on Day 2 brought walkers up close with some of downtown Atlanta’s most visited spots, including the World of Coca-Cola museum, Georgia Aquarium and Centennial Olympic Park, before leading them back into camp.

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 Victoria Wolodzko, and Catherine Oliveri from Susan G. Komen headquarters who talked about Komen’s bold new goal—to decrease breast cancer deaths by 50% in the next 10 years. The 2016 3-Day has also been a season-long celebration of the 3-Day’s 150th walk (which was in Michigan in August), and with glasses of yummy sparkling grape juice raised, Amber led us in a toast, followed by surprise cupcakes for everyone. The camp show went on to recognize some Atlanta 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.

On the morning of Day 3, the Atlanta walkers headed out from camp and onto the Georgia Tech campus.img_6877 They moved back through Midtown to Piedmont Ave. and worked their way around the outside perimeter of Piedmont Park, ending up on the eastside Beltline Trail until they got to pit stop 2 and a Cheering Station at the beautiful Historic Fourth Ward Park.img_1341 img_1343 From there, walkers made their way east to the lunch stop then continued winding their way on and off the PATH trail, coming through Inman Park and up to pit stop 3 at the Historic Water Tower. With only a few miles to the finish, walkers trekked past the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., through downtown and past the state Capitol, and south to Turner Field, the site of the Atlanta 3-Day’s Closing Ceremony.img_6985 img_6994

Surrounded by the cheers of family and friends gathered around them, the Atlanta 3-Day’s 600 walkers and 225 crew members marched victoriously into the Closing Ceremony arena. Amber and Dr. Sheri were our hosts once again, and they thanked the many wonderful supporters, sponsors and local jurisdictions that made the event possible. Soon after, we brought in the final group of Atlanta 3-Dayers, our breast cancer survivors, and together, we saluted their courage and strength, and celebrated the Atlanta 3-Day’s remarkable $1.7 million raised.img_1386

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We at the 3-Day are truly humbled by the passion, dedication and spirit of every single person who touches this event. We can’t say thank you enough. To those of you who we’ll see again in one of the three remaining events this year, we look forward to it, and to the many of you who will make Atlanta your pink home for three days again next year, we can’t wait to see you again. In the meantime, we carry each of you in our hearts. Onward to Philadelphia!

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

This morning, we celebrated the start of the 2016 Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day with a lovely and inspiring Opening Ceremony. Walkers ready to take the first steps of their 60-mile journey were joined by crew members and supporters as everyone renewed the shared promise of ending breast cancer forever, one footstep at a time.

We were honored to welcome some special Atlanta 3-Day participants to the stage as part of the Opening Ceremony. These men and women shared their own inspirations—both heart-warming and heartbreaking—for being part of the 3-Day. #WeAreThe3Day

Roslyn Konter – My Sister img_6171 “I walk for my wonderful sister-in-law, Sherry Konter, who would have been 62 this year had she not been taken by this insidious disease almost 16 years ago. I also walk for my mother, Bobbie Pollard, who was a 36-year breast cancer survivor when she died at almost 85. I’m Roslyn and I AM the 3-Day.”

Jake Stefan – My Friend img_6175 “Why do I crew? Well, simply put, it is because I walked 60 miles once, and y’all are crazy! But really. I crew for you, all my 3-Day friends. You are fighting the good fight to put an end to this nasty disease. You are fighting to protect my family, my friends, and me. I’m Jake and I AM the 3-Day.”

Mary Sorrel – My Family img_6170 “Fifteen years ago, when a friend who had recovered from breast cancer asked me to walk with her, I didn’t hesitate for a minute. My father died of liver cancer and my brother-in-law had recently died of a brain tumor. All these miles later, I’m still walking, and while we haven’t found a cure, we know so much more than we did. Just last year, my husband was successfully treated for prostate cancer. I believe that if Komen can unlock the cure for breast cancer, it will lead to breakthroughs for all cancers. I’m Mary and I AM the 3-Day.”

Megan Blair – My Mother img_6178 “I walk because breast cancer threatened to take my momma from me when I was only 18 years old. I walk because there was a time when she couldn’t. I walk because now… she can! I walk because of her strength, relentless courage and because of her fight. I walk so that my babies will never have to know what it’s like to fear losing their momma to breast cancer. I’m Megan and I AM the 3-Day.”

Angela Baldwin – My Children img_6165 “I walk in honor of the many friends who have fought and won their battles against breast cancer. I walk in memory of the loved ones that have been lost. I walk so that someday, my children will never have to fear losing a loved one to cancer. I’m Angela and I AM the 3-Day.”

Kurt Grainger – My Wife img_6166 “I’m walking for two reasons. First, it helps my late wife, Gail, complete her bucket list. When she was told her breast cancer was terminal, she set the goal to walk in EVERY 3-Day city. Atlanta is the last one on her list. I also walk for my daughter, Britain Grainger. We have to find a cure. I’m Kurt and I AM the 3-Day.”

 

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

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

Since last year’s Philadelphia 3-Day, the Philly team has welcomed a new coach! It’s actually more of a “welcome back” for Philadelphia Participant Support Coach Tisho, who has been a 3-Day coach in the past. And, since she wasn’t around for any of our past “Meet the Coaches” posts, we started Tisho (whose name is pronounced ‘Tesha’) off with a few get-to-know-you questions:

  • Describe your job in 10 words or fewer – “Helping Philly 3-Dayers have their best event ever.”
  • We’re about one week from the Philly event. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – “It’s all about money and travel.  Helping people with last minute fundraising ideas, getting matching gifts applied, figuring out hotel arrangements and giving advice on what to pack. It’s crazy busy but super fun because everyone is getting so excited.”
  • What are 3 fun facts that we didn’t know about you? – “1) I lived in Freshman dorms for 8 years in a row. 2) My husband gave me a box turtle for my birthday the first year we met (1993). 3) I used to be an instructor for the US Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) and got to shoot an MP5 submachine gun at their National Firearms Unit (and still have the signed range silhouette to prove it).”

    "Tisho and her husband dressed up when they were on the sweep crew. This power couple fully understand the playful side of the 3-Day." - Melanie, on Tisho

    “Tisho and her husband dressed up when they were on the sweep crew. This power couple fully understands the playful side of the 3-Day.” – Melanie, on Tisho

And now we’re ready to let all three of the Philadelphia coaches—Joanne, Tisho and Melanie—take the spotlight! Click here to see what we knew about them already, and keep reading to see what they each had to say about each other.

Joanne (Philadelphia Local Events Coach)

“Joanne is so passionate about this event that it’s contagious. As an active participant and longtime 3-Day walker she understands our participants’ concerns and is able to address them on a very personal level. Words to describe her? Enthusiastic, caring and connected!”– Tisho

“Joanne has the local knowledge of Philadelphia and is well connected in the community. She is caring, honest, committed to the cause.” – Melanie

Melanie and Joanne

Melanie and Joanne

Tisho (Philadelphia Participant Support Coach)

“Tisho is playful, creative and caring. She’s a successful fundraiser herself and can offer creative strategies to participant in need of fundraising help.”– Melanie

“Tisho has been inspirational to me. She is always ready, willing and more than able to help and jump into any situation that faces her.  With her as the new kid on the block, it’s been great. She’s walked. She’s crewed. She’s helped on staff. She’s wonderful, uplifting, funny and I’m proud to be a part of her team. I hope she loves being on this end of it as much as I do!” – Joanne

Melanie and Tisho

Melanie and Tisho

Melanie (Philadelphia Crew & Volunteer Coordinator)

“This is my third year working with Melanie. I love her. She has a wry sense of humor and sees things so differently than I do. She is so focused on the job in front of her and that is why the Philly event is so successful year in and year out. We went on a route drive this past summer because of our new Day 2. Having her being my set of eyes and knowing where people should or should not be placed for cheering stations was the most crucial information I could have asked for. Plus she kept me laughing, talking about her awesome kids and husband. BONUS!” – Joanne

“One of Melanie’s most admirable traits is her ability to remain calm under pressure. Before joining the staff I was a Crew Captain for several years, many of them with Melanie as my Coach.  Even the time my crew’s bus caught fire on the way to set up the lunch stop and we had to evacuate on the streets of Philadelphia, Melanie kept a completely cool demeanor and took care of everything. She is a reassuring presence who reminds everyone around her to keep working hard to make every event the best one ever.” – Tisho

 

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