2018 Atlanta 3-Day Wrap Up

We could not have asked for a more perfect weekend to celebrate our final Atlanta 3-Day. Mother Nature gave us sunshine, cooler temperatures, and lots of beautiful sights to see and appreciate as our walkers and crew took on 60 incredible miles.

Friday dawned bright, with the sun coming up just as we started our Opening Ceremonies in the shadow of Stone Mountain. It was just the inspiration our walkers and crew needed to start the weekend off on the right foot (literally and figuratively!) The pep in our steps continued thanks to Stone Mountain Elementary, who came out for the second year in a row to cheer on our walkers. Their signs, high fives, and chants of “Just keep walking!” put a smile on every face.

From there, walkers continued along trails until they reached Pit 1 at mile marker 2.9. Our amazing Pit 1 Crew team has worked this spot on the Atlanta 3-Day for years, handing out a custom pin each year. This year, they celebrated Atlanta’s final 3-Day by handing out pins from all the 3-Day years past so walkers can hang onto those wonderful memories.

There were cheering stations all along the route, with Atlanta schools, businesses and local communities turning out to shower support on the walkers! By lunchtime, they had already conquered 12.6 miles as they rested at the Decatur Family YMCA. Walkers relaxed on the Mohawk pink mats (and chatted with the local Mohawk team!), while we were introduced to our amazing Atlanta Youth Corps!

The rest of the day went smoothly, passing through Decatur and into Atlanta city proper. Walkers loved the route, including passing through the historic Fourth Ward Park, before arriving home at the Georgia World Congress Center.

The night ended with a fun camp show where we honored local Atlanta participants, and awarded our Bank of America Top Fundraisers! Feet to Beat Breast Cancer (Top Team), Susan Breding (Top Individual) and Jake Stefan (Top Crew) inspired us all (Jake’s son was the Top Youth Corps fundraiser, too!). Feet to Beat Breast Cancer raised $75,697 this year and were also our largest Atlanta team. Susan raised $16,100 this year and has raised $40,432 in her lifetime on her team For Tits & Giggles. She’s also a seven-city walker this year! Jake raised $8,580 this year and has raised $84,753 in his lifetime over 12 events. You may know him for his tassel twirling!

Day Two brought us through Buckhead and Piedmont Heights and into Granite Properties – the home of the Atlanta Komen Affiliate! Their team came out in full force to congratulate our walkers on already conquering 8.4 miles on Day Two!

Lunch was shady and comfortable at the Trinity Presbyterian Church, and local Girl Scouts sent our walkers off with treats and cheers! Much of the rest of the afternoon was spent on Atlanta’s iconic Beltline Trail. This was a great way to see all kinds of Atlanta sights from the comfort of a walking trail.

We then made our way back into the city via Peachtree Street, again walking in urban Midtown before returning to downtown’s Georgia World Congress Center. Saturday was Friends & Family night at camp so our walkers and crew got a visit from loved ones…plus everyone’s favorite dinner: 3-Day mac n’ cheese!

And suddenly, it was already Day Three! We spent all of our final day walking through Atlanta proper, with our first Pit Stop bringing us back alongside the Beltline Trail at Mile 2.7

Our Youth Corps was everywhere on Sunday, cheering on walkers at Pit 2 (Mile 5.5), lunch at Mile 7.5 and beyond! If you were one of the lucky walkers who participated in their selfie contest, you know what a bunch of energy all of them were!

We were honored to be able to walk past Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park, his tomb and birth home on Day Three. These are such an important part of Atlanta history.

We were also once again supported by the local Atlanta community, with local radio station The Bull and clogging team PowerTaps both coming out to support walkers before they entered their final Pit Stop of the 3-Day!

Our final Closing Ceremony took place at the Atlanta International School, and we celebrated the fact that our dedicated community raised an amazing $1.1 million in the Atlanta 3-Day.

The Atlanta 3-Day may be over, but our journey to end breast cancer still has many miles to go, and we need you with us. Whether through Komen Greater Atlanta or by walking or crewing at a 2019 3-Day, there are many ways to continue to support the fight against breast cancer.

Thank you to everyone in this community who has made the Atlanta 3-Day possible. On behalf of the millions of men and women who rely on Susan G. Komen, THANK YOU ATLANTA for 14 amazing years.

Congratulations to the 2018 Atlanta 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Andi Counts

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For the 2018 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 2018 Atlanta 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Andi Counts.

Her teammate Janice said,I love Andi and I’m so blessed to have her as a friend and a teammate. After our 3-Day event, she invites everybody over to her house for ‘pink on the porch’ where we have great time reminiscing about the 3 Day.”

Her friend Anne says that, “Andi’s commitment to the breast cancer cause is stellar!  She is a great walking partner – we call them therapy walks sometimes…lots of time to talk as well all know.  What I admire about Andi is that she supports this cause for her friends, giving selflessly all around the year.”

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With such high praise, we just had to hear from Andi herself.

What was your inspiration for the 3-Day?

In 2005, a friend and previous walker asked if I wanted to join her the following year. Registering was mainly to add some fun to the exercise routine I had recently begun after years of being a couch potato and to do something good in the process. Who knew I’d still be walking 13 years and 15 walks later? Who knew I’d lose a close 3-Day friend and have many more survivor friends diagnosed during those same 13 years?

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after? The 3-Day gives more than it takes — even though it does take a lot to train, fundraise and keep on showing up. It’s a tidy package of social connections, philanthropy and exercise all tied up in a pink bow. In all the years of walking beside someone new, I’m always amazed by the depth, strength and enthusiasm for life of my fellow walkers. 3-Dayers are an interesting and entertaining bunch of folks who leave me a better person after each encounter.

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

Fundraising has been easier for me than for some due to a large network of generous friends. I’ve found that paper letters work better than emails since that paper reminder stays in their stack of bills or on the fridge until they act upon it — with no reminders necessary. I’m not shy about asking anyone I come in contact with for a donation. No one is annoyed about being asked and gives, or not, as they wish. Large donations come from the most surprising asks, and donors are mostly consistent from year to year. When I started doing two walks per year, I asked for double the amount and many did! The same thing happened during the years my son walked and we had to fundraise for two.

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

Get out and meet other walkers, ask questions, learn all their tricks, and then modify to make it all work for you.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I’m a native Atlantan who has lived three miles away from two different Georgia mountains — Stone Mountain and Kennesaw — and have enjoyed climbing them both frequently.

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

1. Breast cancer can attack anyone at any time.

2. The men of the 3-Day are simply amazing.

3. It is okay to take candy from strangers, pink is my favorite color and plastic tiaras have magic powers!

 

Meet Your 2018 Atlanta 3-Day Coaches

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Coach Stephanie at right

The Atlanta 3-Day is tomorrow, and guess who’s excited? We are! Your coaches, Stephanie and Jen, plus your amazing Crew Coordinator Libby and Event Planner Melanie, have been counting down the days to this weekend for a whole year.

Before we officially kick off the weekend, the Atlanta team is here to share their top tips and advice, toot each other’s horns, and get you pumped for your sunny 60-mile journey.

And there is a lot to get pumped for!

From the Opening Ceremony site at Stone Mountain, which Stephanie promises is “so beautiful and picturesque” to the charming neighborhoods on Day 3 as you make your way to the new Closing Ceremony location, every step is going to be a fun one in Atlanta.

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Coach Libby (center)

Other not-to-miss sights and experiences?

  • The natural beauty of the park where we will walk our first few miles of the 3-Day will set the stage for a memorable journey. Especially combined with the cool morning air and the energy of our 3-Day participants!
  • Finding all the Tiny Doors…this is a special art project in Atlanta that you’ll have to watch for!
  • Less hills on Day 3 this year 😊 That’s always good news.
  • The last few miles of this year’s Atlanta 3-Day journey wind through some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city with grand southern homes and rolling lawns.
  • And of course, the Atlanta International School, a new and intimate venue for our Closing Ceremony!

There is so much to see and enjoy, but Coach Jen wants to remind everyone to “relax, have fun and live in the moment!”

“The hard part is over – you’ve done the fundraising, you’ve done the training. Now it’s time to lean into it and enjoy the journey! Make new friends. Deepen old friendships. Laugh together. Cry together. And soak up every moment on your 3-Day journey!”

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Coach Stephanie also recommends enjoying the journey with new friends!

“I always tell participants to introduce themselves to people they don’t know on the event. Find out why they’re walking and share your story with them. We really are a great big family and you will meet some of the most amazing people on this event. For three days you will be surrounded by love, hope and inspiration and of course, so many laughs.”

And this team knows something about laughs! They have the best time together and can’t stop singing each other’s praises.

Coach Libby can’t wait to welcome everyone to Atlanta and is even hosting some out of towner staff at her house before the 3-Day! She’s been Coach Stephanie’s “go to gal for all things related to Hotlanta! I love her willingness to lend a hand and get things done and she’s just so much fun to work with.” She also keeps the team laughing and has an extra tight relationship with all the local participants.

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Coach Jen is new to the team, but she’s already been welcomed with open arms. She’s honored to be part of this “incredible team of dedicated professionals in the fight against breast cancer,” and Coach Stephanie loves having Jen’s “calm demeanor, her positive outlook on life, her sense of humor and her willingness to jump in and help wherever needed.”

And that love is mutual! Jen praises Coach Stephanie’s deep desire to “create the best and most impactful experience for our 3-Day participants!” And Melanie loves Steph’s passion and thoughtfulness.

Melanie brings the group (and the route!) together with her “care, honesty, and commitment to the cause.”

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Every single member of the team has been working hard and long to make this the best event possible for all our participants. And they can’t wait to show you the fruits of their labor! See you soon, Atlanta 3-Dayers!