Black History Month Highlight: Margie W., Atlanta 3-Day Walker

22528875_10159496631615392_8027039442961119742_o

Meet “Miss Pink” – Margie W., who represents the 3-Day all year long; not just in her pink wardrobe, but in her sparkling enthusiasm. She has participated in fourteen 3-Day events since 2005, raised more than $32,000 (not including all the donations she has made to teammates over the years), and promotes the 3-Day spirit in every step of her life, not just those she takes on her yearly 60-mile journey.

Margie told us her story, her goal, and why it’s so important for the African American community to participate in the 3-Day. As we celebrate Black History Month, we also celebrate Margie and her vital message.

3Day_2017_ATL_MDER-269

Because she lost her favorite cousin to breast cancer, and because her sister is now a more than twenty-year survivor of the disease, Margie encourages everyone she knows to be on the lookout for early signs of breast cancer, to get their mammograms, and work to make every difference that they can.

“As an African American woman, it is so important to me to walk.”

And walk she does! When the 3-Day came to Atlanta in 2005, Margie says she was “over the rainbow” about making that sixty-mile journey. She has walked in other breast cancer walks, and has walked the 3-Day in other cities, but she keeps coming back to the 3-Day.

“When I started, I told myself I was only going to walk three years and I was going to be out of there. But I became addicted! I keep telling my donors it’s going to be my last year, but then every year, I call them again and say, “I lied. I’m walking again!”

IMG_1873

At almost 67 years old, she has been walking through knee pain for the last few years, but is going through treatment to try and walk this year if she can. But no matter what, she will crew. And she’s already begun fundraising!

“I already have $600 in my book. I am always raising money! That way, I can be there no matter what!”

For people who need help hitting their fundraising goals, Margie has plenty of ideas, but her #1 tip is simple: Just ask.

“ASK. ASK. ASK. I keep donation letters at work, in my car, in my purse. Anytime someone tells me I look pretty in my pink, I ask them! I’m always ready. I take whatever they give me. I could be in line at the grocery store, and if someone says something about all my pink, I tell them about the 3-Day.

I also used the 3-Day app last year. I sent out no letters, but I used the app and I was amazed! My thing is, you cannot just sign up, and throw fundraising on the back burner. You have not because you ask not. Ask!”

Her team, Tutu’s for Tatas, has also used fashion shows and a “Breast Cancer Mustang” event to help raise money. They were one of the first teams in 3-Day history to hit the million-dollar mark, and that’s thanks to dedicated fundraisers like Margie.

3Day_2017_ATL_MDER-270

She always donates to her teammates and fellow walkers who are struggling to meet their goals, and accepts any donation, no matter how small. That includes donations that are less than a dollar!

“The smallest donation I ever had was 37 cents. I was on a 12-mile training walk, and I stopped to use the bathroom. A little girl named Megan stopped and talked to me, and I told her I was walking for breast cancer. And she gave me thirty-seven cents, so I wrote a check for that thirty-seven cents and sent it in.”

To her, every cent, and every step makes a difference. Because she knows that all that work goes to helping people in need.

“It’s about seeing the symptoms, getting your mammograms. [..] There is a lot of help here! There are so many charities and help. That’s why people like me walk so hard and work and fundraise!”

She says that, “by the grace of god, I’m not a survivor, but I am a supporter” and she wants to support Komen’s Bold Goal as long as she can.

So, if you see her in Atlanta this year, give Miss Pink a big hug, and thank her for all her hard work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coaches’ Corner: New Year’s Resolution Check-In

January is over, and we are one month into the New Year. How are your New Year’s Resolutions coming along? Sometimes it takes a few tries for a new habit to stick, or to reach a big goal, but that’s okay! Trying is important too, and when you can check a resolution off your list, you’ll feel even prouder if it’s something you really worked for.

We asked some of our coaches what they wanted to accomplish this year, and how they are putting in the work. Read below to see what some of them want to accomplish in 2018… and give them some encouragement! Then, add your own resolutions below in the comments…

20770498_520153451655904_3067949010715814111_n

Stephanie Mayer – Programs & Local Events Coach, Twin Cities and Atlanta (middle)

Read more.

I would like to dive into the book series “Me Before You,” “Me After You” and “Still Me.”

I do enjoy reading but sadly I have let life get in the way. I need to take more time to “unplug” and unwind with a good book even if it’s just a few pages a night!

380479_2598430810633_1820693331_n

Amy Schwager — Crew and Volunteer Coordinator, San Diego (at right)

Our team each decided to choose one word to guide us this year, personally or professional.

I cheated a little, and chose two: “Love Better.”

If I love better, then my marriage, my children, family, friendships, crew program, community, body, mind, and spirit will all benefit and be better.

IMG_2139.JPG

Staci Roos — Fundraising and Support Coach, San Diego

Live more purposefully!

I have focused on trying to make choices and plan ahead to accomplish the things I know I want in life.

17884015_1488491461163033_543213579604480773_n

Heather Snyder — Programs and Local Events Coach, Michigan and Philadelphia

Mine is to take better care of myself — physically and mentally.

I’m knocking the physical part out of the park! I’m loving going to the gym 3 to 4 times a week, but I’m still working on the mental part.

IMG_2121

Marianne Masterson —Programs and Local Events Coach, San Diego

I used to read ALL the time. Then Facebook on my phone happened. A few months ago, I realized that I’m spending my time in the evening scrolling through Facebook instead of reading books. As a result, reading has become almost non-existent in my life, which makes me sad because it’s one of my most favorite things to do.

So, this year I have resolved to read more. One book down so far for this new year, hoping that many more are to follow!

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Comment below, and share them with us!

Susan G. Komen 2017 Atlanta 3-Day Wrap-Up

IMG_1277

The 3-Day headed south for our October event, taking Atlanta by storm this weekend. The dawn was slowly coming up over Stone Mountain as our 475 walkers and 225 crew started their journey with a poignant and emotional Opening Ceremony led by local participants. The rising sun was the perfect welcome to a wonderful 60 miles ahead.

After walking through Stone Mountain Park, our walkers were greeted by quite the cheering section at Mile 1. All of Stone Mountain Elementary came out to cheer on our 3-Dayers with signs, flags and even their school drum line!

IMG_1302

From there, walkers headed through Clarkston, GA to Pit Stop 2 and 6.2 miles checked off their first day. They danced The Wobble with Youth Corps and stocked up on snacks like the infamous Grahamwiches. They also received support from other local cheering stations before arriving at lunch.

“Boob University” was the perfect break spot at Mile 12.6 at the Decatur Family YMCA, complete with pink resting mats from Mohawk Flooring, who also had several staff members walk with us this weekend. There were plenty of dancing and photos as well!

IMG_1376.JPG

The second half of Day One saw the walkers being welcomed into Emory Village, by the Winship-Glenn Family Breast Center team, who showed the walkers their fundraising dollars at work.

IMG_1353

They spent the rest of the day walking through Downtown Atlanta, including crossing the Jackson Street Bridge and walking through Centennial Olympic Park. They ended Day One at camp at the Georgia World Congress Center after 21.7 miles walked. Walkers were able to relax at the 3-Day Lounge, including getting some much-needed pampering from the Bank of America massage chairs. We had an emotional and celebratory camp show before everyone turned in for the night.

IMG_1387

Day Two started a little cooler, making it perfect walking weather for our walkers to take on their second set of 20 miles. Straight from camp, the walkers passed the CNN Center and Ivy Hall before stopping at Pit One after a quick 2.2 miles on Saturday morning.

There was plenty of local support before lunch as well, including multiple local Girl Scout troops and Red Hot Yoga Studio, all of which kept our walkers smiling and inspired. At Pit Stop 3, the local Atlanta Komen Affiliate also came out to add to our cheering Crew to propel the walkers those final few miles to lunch.

IMG_1439

Lunch was at Mile 11.6, and we had time to meet our amazing Atlanta Youth Corps via Facebook Live as well as re-hydrate before the second half of the day.

High Points on the rest of the day included walking by the Tanyard Creek Park Train Trestle and the World of Coca-Cola before arriving back at camp for the night. Walkers tucked into everyone’s dinnertime favorite: 3-Day mac n’ cheese! Then there was a fun dance party before lights out on Day Two.

IMG_1495.JPG

Day Three dawned bright and warm, with our walkers making great time on their final 20 miles of the weekend. Pit Stop 1 was at 3 miles, right outside the Atlanta IKEA, but our walkers couldn’t stop to shop. They had a mission!

They breezed through lunch at Morris Brandon Elementary, and in no time at all they entered Pit 3, right along the Chattahoochee River at Mile 13.3. There was a fun community cheering station at Akers Mill Square before our walkers climbed the hill to see the new SunTrust Park up ahead.

IMG_1500.JPG

We had some liquid sunshine as our walkers crossed the finish line and entered SunTrust Park, but that didn’t stop everyone from dancing across the finish line with smiles on their faces, and even tears of joy in some eyes. The clouds opened up and the sun shone down for our Closing Ceremony, and final celebration in Atlanta.

IMG_1521

Our journey is never truly done, though, as was evidenced throughout our closing ceremony. We are all still working, and walking, towards Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal to reduce the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.

IMG_1519

As we hugged and celebrated and danced under the bright October sunshine, one message rang loud and clear; that though our feet may ache, our spirit and dedication will live forever; through aches, and pain, and blisters. We are shouting loudly and proudly that in this fight, where we seek to live in a world free of breast cancer, WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP. Thank you, Atlanta. We are so very proud of each and every one of you.

If you’re ready to be a part of this incredible journey again in 2018, sign up now at The3Day.org/Register.