Congratulations to the 2019 Michigan 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Melissa Melson

For the 2019 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be continuing 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 2019 Michigan 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Melissa Melson!

Her Team Captain, Janice Shore, raves about Melissa!

“The Hines Pink Pathers are so very happy that Melissa is receiving this award! Melissa is considerate and kind to all she encounters and is always willing to help with questions or problems, whether it is 3-Day related or not. Melissa really puts her heart and soul into everything she does including her commitment and dedication to the 3-Day!”

We got to know Melissa a little better, and learn more about the serious impact she has had on the Michigan 3-Day. When she was answering these questions, she didn’t yet know that she’d be our award winner!

What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?   

I am not sure what it was. It was just a feeling truthfully. I had heard about it before and the end of 2011 on the radio and was inspired by the 3-Day message and ad. I heard the advertisement on the radio and I just felt like I had to sign up. I was stuck in traffic and it just felt like the right thing to do.

My mom’s mom had breast cancer probably 20 years prior but no one else had it when I first walked. Despite not really knowing people diagnosed when I first signed up, that was soon to change, and it turns out the 3Day was leading me right where I needed to be! My mom ended up being diagnosed right after the end of my first walk with stage 2 almost 3 breast cancer. The following spring a classmate was diagnosed at age 30 with Triple negative breast cancer, and she died 3 years later. Many more have been diagnosed over these last 7 or 8 years including my stepmom as well.  Watching then fight such a hard fight made me frustrated and I needed to do something. Unbeknownst to me, the 3-Day helped me find my way to help, my purpose before I knew I needed it.

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

The people I met on my first 3-Day became the family I got to choose. It was an amazing positive and proactive environment despite having a rough first walk. I didn’t train like I should have. I didn’t have the right shoes, and I didn’t know anyone really when I started. I was about 80 lbs heavier, but the happy pink bubble draws me back every year. I could have had blisters and sore muscles from head to toe, and I would still come back year after year.

It’s also the list of names I walk for that grows each year unfortunately.  More people need me. I feel like I need to raise money for those who can’t and walk for those who are unable to. This walk gives me a way to help, a way to deal with a feeling of helplessness to help my loved ones when I cannot cure their cancer or take their pain away.

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

Start early, do a variety of things, and join a team if you need the extra support to help, give you ideas, and they can help you train and be better prepared too. I send emails and reminders. Just because someone doesn’t donate this year doesn’t mean they won’t next year, or that their busy life won’t get them sidetracked and they forget.

Contact local businesses, talk to your job to see what you can do there. You can do online fundraisers where you can reach people outside your neighborhood or social circle. Try a lot of different things because what works for one community might not work well in yours. What works for your friends might not be as successful with the people you know, so broaden your reach and try a variety of types of fundraisers until you figure out what works for you.

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

Be prepared (train, good shoes, and focus on health going in) but also have fun. Don’t rush, stop and enjoy the pink roses lol. Enjoy all the beautiful people and the 3Day family. This is a pink bubble, that is unlike anywhere or anything else in the world.

What’s a fun fact about you? 

I was just on Channel 4 news, interviewed by Paula Tutman for a recently developing passion! I’ve always cared about the environment and animals and living creatures. I think pesticides that kill bees and pollinators are not good for us either and I can do something to help pollinators and the world we live in. I found out a way to help and started my own pollinator and environmentally friendly flower garden. It is over 15 ft long and about 4 feet wide and doing pretty well considering this is my first year as a gardener.

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

  • Do what you can, the best you can.
  • One step at a time.
  • I cannot tap out until Cancer does first.
  • Great shoes go a long way.
  • Health and hydration sure make life easier!

Congratulations, Melissa!

Dancing Tunes from the 3-Day Safety Crew

The only thing we love more than a 3-Day pump-up song is our amazing 3-Day Crew. Both keep our walkers dancing along their 60-mile journey and provide unparalleled inspiration on the 3-Day weekend. And many times, crew members and cool tunes go hand in hand.

From dance parties at pit stops to safety Crew blasting tunes as you cross the street to the motorcycle Crew driving by and playing that much needed rendition of “Firework” to help propel you up that last hill of the day…our 3-Day Crew are music masters. So, who better to ask for musical recommendations as we gear up for the 3-Day season? We tapped all our crew members to collect the best beats in the land.

Barbara “Bebe” Boone is a regular on the 3-Day Safety Crew, and even if you don’t know her personally, you’ve likely seen her on the road. She always smiling, dancing and blowing kisses to participants as she rides by or is parked at stop lights. She, maybe more than anyone, knows how much of a difference a good song can make on the route.

“I have more than 500 songs on my 3-Day Spotify playlist. 😊 Three days’ worth of feet-stomping, booty-shaking, family-loving motivation. I’ve found that having a wide variety works as we have walkers, crew members and volunteers from all over the country and in every age group, so my list is from the 1920’s to today. There are always at least one or two walkers that sing along or even stop and dance as they pass.”

Want to get a taste of Bebe’s playlist, and other favorites from the 3-Day Crew? Here’s a playlist they put together, just for you:



Also, be sure to keep an eye out for Bebe on the road in Michigan, New England Philadelphia AND San Diego this year 😊

If you want more playlist inspiration, be sure to poke around on our Spotify channel for playlists from your coaches, our past events and more.

Did we miss a favorite song that the Crew has played while you were on event? Add it to the comments below so we can add it to the playlist!

NOTE: Walkers are not permitted to wear headphones or use mobile phones or texting devices while walking. It is extremely unsafe. If you need to use your phone, stop and step to the side first. And please don’t use your phone’s speaker to play music or make calls while walking.

Meet Your Michigan 3-Day Coaches

Hey Michigan—are you ready? With just one week to go until our first 3-Day of 2019, we’re preparing to give you the best 3-Day experience, which will be led by your amazing Michigan 3-Day coaching team. Get to know these rock star women who will be guiding your sixty miles of greatness!

First, meet your newest Michigan guide, Coach Jen! Fellow Coach Gina describes her as kind, patient and says that “her passion for the 3-Day shines as she works with the participants.”

Coach Heather echoes that sentiment and “can’t wait for Jen to see how amazing the Michigan 3-Day community is!”

Coaches Heather and Gina know the fantastic Midwestern community well, and you might remember them from last year 😊. Gina says that Heather is the “heart of this 3-Day. She gives 1000% to make sure our walkers are supported, loved and successful in their 3-Day journey.”

But we can’t forget Coach Gina herself! Coach Jen says Gina has been a wonderful guide for her first Michigan 3-Day.

“With so much experience on the Michigan 3-Day, Gina fills our crew members with knowledge, embodies the kindness that she asks of them and just puts a smile on everyone’s face.”

These are your coaches for the 3-Day weekend in Michigan, and they can’t wait to welcome you with the same love and support they have been sharing with each other (and all of you) for the last year.

But what can you expect from the Michigan 3-Day?

Lots of fun new updates, including a hotel campsite.

Coach Gina is especially excited for the hotel camp, saying, “Change can be exciting, and I look forward to seeing how our new ‘campsite’ adds to the already amazing spirit of the Michigan 3-Day!”

The hotel camp has LOTS to look forward to, including:

  • A comfy bed with fluffy pillows
  • Air conditioning (key with the Michigan summer heat!)
  • A LONG hot shower
  • A bit of night-time TV viewing (recommended by Coach Jen for relaxation!)

But those aren’t the only things that Michigan walkers will love. There are a few spots that Coach Jen wants everyone to keep an eye out for on the route too…

  • On Day 1, I look forward to walking by the Novi Senior Center where all the residents came out last year to cheer on our walkers. Everyone had so much fun! We’re expecting the same this year.
  • On Day 2, my favorite spot has got to be the Plymouth Town Square, where there will be a little extra pink in honor of our 3-Day walkers. All of the Saturday morning hustle bustle around Kellogg Park always makes Coach Heather smile, too.
  • Coach Heather also loves the awesome residents who come on out to North York Street on Day 3, and really “bring it!”
  • On the last day, Coach Jen looks forward to walking into Closing Ceremony at Ford World Headquarters. It will be pretty special this year because we will celebrate not only our accomplishments on the 2019 Michigan 3-Day, but all the success we’ve had over the years fundraising and generating awareness in the fight to end breast cancer!

These coaches know better than anyone how much work all our 3-Day participants put into the Michigan weekend, and they can’t wait to celebrate all your achievements.

Coach Gina says it perfectly.

“After 15 years and countless events, my 3-Day ‘why’ became much more personal over the past couple years and has renewed my energy in this fight. My own breast cancer battle brought surgeries, chemo, radiation, and my life is forever changed.

I am blessed because I had my 3-Day community by my side, and they lifted me up when I needed it most and got me to THIS moment. The 3-Day to me is a family; a family bound together by their passion, enthusiasm and drive to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.”

Your Michigan coaches count each other, and all of you, as part of their 3-Day family. And they are so hopeful that you will enjoy and make the most of this weekend.

If you need some last minute 3-Day tips, they have you covered there too.

  • Coach Heather says to drink LOTS of water…but also make sure to appreciate every moment with your friends and 3-Day family throughout the weekend.
  • Coach Jen says that if you haven’t yet met Michigan 3-Day walker George Nummer, this weekend is your perfect chance! She encourages participants to introduce themselves and spend a few minutes talking with him on event! He is such an inspiration and will participate in all seven 3-Day events this year.
  • Coach Gina brings it home again, reminding everyone to “Savor the moments. Every step, each interaction. As the saying goes, ‘It’s the little moments that make life big.’”

Here’s to a BIG weekend in Michigan with our 3-Day family! The coaches can’t wait for you…Let’s go