Congratulations to the 2017 San Diego 3-Day Milestone Award Winner

2015 Head Shot Beach

Please join us in congratulating our 2017 San Diego 3-Day Milestone Award Winner; Julie Copaken! The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Milestone Award is given at each event to a walker or crew member who has an outstanding history of participation in the Komen 3-Day. At the San Diego 3-Day camp show, we presented Julie with this special honor.

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She is the Team Captain for The Keepers, and her teammates are not surprised she is being presented with this honor. They have only the best things to say about her! Their testimonials include…

“Julie is one of the most generous, enthusiastic and dedicated people I have ever met.”

“Julie has a warm, enthusiastic, infectious spirit that the carries with her in everything she does. Her passion for life and the people she loves is admirable.”

“Julie stands out as a leading fundraiser. She has consistently been a top fundraiser for the Philadelphia 3-Day and is currently 3rd in lifetime funds raised across all participants. Julie will walk San Diego this year and we are happy to recognize her significant contributions!”

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They also shared some fun facts about Julie! Did you know that she has an identical twin sister who is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon or that she has a collection of over 5000 shark teeth?! What a fascinating 3-Dayer!

But now let’s hear from Julie herself. When we asked her these questions, she didn’t know she would soon be selected as our winner!

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

I participated in my first 3-Day event in 2005. I was an Associate Brand Manager on the Motrin brand team, and I was responsible for the brand’s national sponsorship of the 3-Day — yes I designed and funded those water bottles some of us still carry with us, and made sure there was plenty of Motrin along the route to help with our sore feet and muscles! As a national sponsor, I was asked to speak at the Philadelphia event, and thought there was no way I could address the crowd unless I had been out there fundraising, training, and ultimately walking the event just like the people I’d be addressing. While I did not have any connection to breast cancer when I started this journey, I was hooked after that first event.

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

First, when I started fundraising, I realized just how many people I know who have been touched by breast cancer. My mom’s friend, my friend’s mom, my colleague – they were all survivors. And then, too many people shared how they had lost a loved one to breast cancer. And then, I started thinking about all the women in my life — my three sisters, my mom, my friends, my aunts, my cousins, my colleagues. One in eight is a staggering statistic, and it just became important for me to do my part. For the record, I hadn’t yet learned that men could be affected by breast cancer too…

Then there was the actual event. From the music at opening ceremony, to the people you meet along the way, to the powerful closing ceremony – it’s addicting. One of my favorite moments – in my life, not just my 3-Day experience – was year one, night two. We’d walked about 26 miles on day 1, and 20 miles on day 2. Needless to say, we were exhausted. But then a band started playing after dinner, and something crazy happened.

We all started dancing on those weary feet and legs of ours, and we danced the night away — we being several hundred women and a few brave men. It was just one of those moments…Truly amazing.

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Fast forward to Year #4 (2008) when the 3-Day took on new meaning for me. In August 2008 my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

I wore a t-shirt that year that read “4th year walking for boobs everywhere, first year walking for one particular pancreas.” My mom and aunt came to watch me cross the finish line. My dad couldn’t make it – the chemo was taking too big a toll at that time. He died two months later, four months to the day from his diagnosis. Cancer is ugly. And losing a loved one to cancer is awful. I won’t write more about it, because words are not sufficient to describe the loss. If you could see me now as I write, the tears on my cheeks might paint a better picture.

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Then came Year #5 (2009), when I learned that my friend Mary was a breast cancer survivor. I hadn’t known; she’d been in remission from the time I had met her. But, the cancer was back. In a way I feel proud that I had been working to help find a cure for her, even before I knew her. So Year #5 again took on new meaning. My t-shirt read “5th year walking for boobs everywhere, first year walking with a heavy heart.” I walked in support of Mary, and in my dad’s memory, in an effort to find a cure for all cancer, so that fewer people have to suffer the loss I feel every day.

Then fast forward to Year #8 (2012), when the world lost Mary. I hate cancer. So, I walk…
And, funny enough, I no longer walk with anyone I knew pre-3-Day. My teammates are also a BIG reason I come back year after year. Each is an amazing woman I’ve met along the way – Maryanne, a 9-year survivor/thriver who I met around Mile 10 in 2012, and Libby, who lost her mom Brenda to breast cancer in 2012, and who Maryanne and I met at Open Ceremonies in 2014. I can’t wait to see who we might meet along the way this year to add to our team for next year!

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

I guess it’s several different things. First, I ask just about anyone I can think of. I build on my list year after year, scouring my email to see who I’ve sent emails to or received emails from. And, for the most part if we’ve exchanged emails, you’re added to the list – a list that is well north of 600 people today, and results in approximately 200 individual gifts/year across the three organizations for whom I raise money (one of which is Komen).

Second, I ask again, and again, and again, and again. I send “Friendly Reminders” to bring my request back up to the top of potential donors’ inboxes knowing that for many people like me, emails can “get buried.” Then I send “3-Weeks Until the 3-Day” and “3-Days Until the 3-Day Fundraising Deadline” reminder emails. I supplement those emails with Facebook posts.

Third, I make it interesting, funny, personal, and if appropriate, competitive – you never know what’s going to be the thing to make someone decide to donate. An example of funny – I have created a “Health of Benevolence” report tracking fundraising efforts over the years and “donor type” (including Family, Family Friends, Philly Friends, and ex-boyfriends, which always gets a laugh).

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An example of personal – including a poem I wrote about my experience of my father’s final days/moments, or sharing a list of everyone for whom I walk (both attached). An example of competitive – if I’m in the running for Top Fundraiser or close to a goal, I share that…people like to help you cross the finish line!

Finally, I follow up to ensure those who can have submitted their matching gift requests. It’s an extra step, but according to my records, I’ve raised nearly $75,000 for Komen in this way since 2010, when my company (Johnson & Johnson) started matching employee gifts 2:1 for Susan G. Komen 3-Day.

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

Do the training. Walking 60 miles is harder than it might seem. And bring an air mattress. The ground is hard! But then, enjoy every moment. Bring some pink flare. Take time to meet people along the way and share your story. Cry if you need to. Someone will comfort you. And then laugh often. And, don’t forget to hydrate and put Vaseline between your toes!

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What’s a fun fact about you?

I’m an identical twin. We look a lot alike and it’s always fun when we’re together. Oh, and I’ve taken up a new hobby! I moved to Florida 3 ½ years ago, and I started collecting sharks teeth! I have found nearly 6,000 of them in the last year and a half!

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

Finding your passion and giving yourself to it can be so rewarding in ways you may have never imagined – whether it’s the sense of progress in the fight, the sense of accomplishment in achieving a goal, the network I’ve been able to maintain through my yearly fundraising efforts, or the amazing friends and 3-Day Family I’ve gained along the way and the memories we’ve created together over time… I feel so lucky for all of it…

 

2016 Philadelphia 3-Day Award Winners and Honorees

Saturday evening’s camp show at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® is all about celebration: walkers celebrate completing an amazing 40 miles, crew members high-five over giving hours upon hours of service to their fellow 3-Dayers, and everyone celebrates each other. It’s true that every walker and crew member could rightfully be given a medal for their accomplishments, but since that isn’t really possible, we do like to take time at the end of Day 2 to recognize some walkers and crew members for outstanding achievements. We were pleased to award the following outstanding walkers, crew members and teams in Philadelphia:

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Congratulations to Liz Parks, the top training walk leader for the 2016 Philadelphia 3-Day. Liz, who lives in Arizona, has been a 3-Day participant and a training walk leader for 11 years and is the captain of Team Walking On. A huge animal lover, Liz admits that on training walks and on-event, she will stop to pet every dog.

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The 3-Day Youth Corps is made up of kids between the ages of 10 and 16 years old. These kids come out to cheer and support the walkers and crew members for all three days, and they are required to raise a minimum of $500 in order to participate. So for 13 year old Martin Korbini, a 2nd year Youth Corps member, to raise $1,728 is an even more extraordinary accomplishment. Yay, Martin!

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The top crew fundraiser for the Philadelphia 3-Day is Lynn Colbert, who raised an awesome $3,437 this year, adding to a lifetime fundraising total of $35,648. Lynn has participated in 12 events in her 10 years as a 3-Dayer; she is part of the Sweep team in Philly this year. When she’s not taking care of hundreds of 3-Day walkers, Lynn confesses that she loves playing video games and will be asking Santa for a new Nintendo Wii this Christmas.

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Big thanks and congrats to the top individual fundraiser for the Philadelphia 3-Day, Julie Copaken. This year, Julie, who is captain of The Keepers, brought in an astonishing $23,087, and in her 12 years/12 events with the 3-Day, she alone has raised $195,980. Julie has been an extraordinary fundraiser for various cancer causes, having raised over $355,000: $196,000 for Komen, $145,000 for Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and $15,000 for other amazing cancer-fighting organizations. Over $100,000 of those funds have come from the Johnson & Johnson Matching Gift Program, which matches employee donations 2:1.

Top 5 Fundraising Teams

The top fundraising teams for the 2016 Philadelphia 3-Day are:

5. Girls Gone Walking – $35,100 in 2016; $232,262 lifetime – 15 team members, 11 years as team – Team Captain: Anne Moss.
4. TEAM STEWIE – $37,539 in 2016; $140,529 lifetime –16 team members, 6 years as team – Team Captain – Kristina Wessenlink.
3. Les Roberts – $38,860 in 2016; $63,524 lifetime – 10 team members, 2 years as team –Team Captain: Sylvie Satre.
2. The Cup Crusaders – $46,852 in 2016; $1,219,944 lifetime – 12 members, 12 years as team – Team Captain: Kathy DiRusso

img_7956And big congratulations to Friends With Heart, which was both the largest team on the Philadelphia 3-Day (57 members) and the top fundraising team, with $93,563 raised this year. This new team is made up of members of two former Philly 3-Day teams: Breast Friends of Pennsylvania and Men With Heart. The lifetime amount raised by Friends With Heart—$915,663—is reflective of what the newly combined team, under their prior names, has raised since 2004. Friends With Heart was captained by Frank McSorley and Sharon Slosarik.

*The 2016 3-Day marked big milestones for the top 3 Philly teams:

  • The Cup Crusaders have raised more than $1.2 Million since they started walking in 2005.
  • No Walker Left Behind has raised more than $1.1 Million since they started walking in 2006.
  • Team Girlapalooza has raised more than $1 Million since they started walking in 2008.

 

Milestone Award and Local Impact Award

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

Join us in congratulating the 2016 Philadelphia 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Kathleen Butler.img_7980 Kathleen has been part of the 3-Day for 11 years, with this year’s Philadlephia walk being her 12th event. In that time, she has raise $68,372, and as captain of Team Girlapalooza, has led the team to an astonishing total of over $1 million raised in the team’s history. With that kind of achievement, you’d think that 3-Daying was Kathleen’s full-time job, but she also finds time to serve as a licensed tour guide in Washington, DC (yes, her training walks do often become tours as well), and to cultivate her loves for Bruce Springsteen, Diet Dr. Pepper and blue Bic pens. Kathleen’s Team Girlapalooza co-founder, best friend and “name twin” Kathleen R. shared, “What sums up Kathleen the most, especially in regard to the 3-Day, is that she helps those around her be more successful though her generous sharing of her time, experience, creativity and passion. Her motivation and inspiration are unparalleled.” Julie, another friend and teammate, also told us, “I first met Kathleen when she attended one of my training walks over a decade ago. A few years later, we reconnected when Team Girlapalooza walked in that year’s Washington, DC 3-Day. At that event, a friendship began that grows stronger with each passing day. Kathleen is fiercely loyal – to her family, to her friends, to her faith, and to the causes she believes in. At the top of her list of causes are the 3-Day and eradicating breast cancer in our lifetime. Kathleen’s crowning achievement as team captain is the team’s fundraising success – raising over ONE MILLION DOLLARS in total since our first walk as a team. We would not have achieved that milestone without her leadership, coaching and support. I am proud to be a member of Team Girlapalooza and am grateful to call Kathleen my friend.” Congratulations, Kathleen, and thank you for all you do for the 3-Day!

Philadelphia’s Local Impact Award winner for 2016 is Rosaria Stoops.img_7989 Rosaria is a 10-year 3-Day participant, and this year’s Philly event was her 10th event. She has been an integral part of the Philadelphia crew, serving in a variety of roles but most recently, returning as the Senior Captain of Route teams for the past 3 years. She organizes the annual 3-Day Reunion party and is truly committed to building a 3-Day family and encouraging crew and walkers alike to return year after year. She is a strong leader, an excellent example of an ideal crew member and a great asset for us to cultivate leadership, community and awareness for the Philadelphia 3-Day. Becky, one of Rosaria’s good friends, said this about her: “I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Rosaria until my second or third year as a walker. She was always so busy running around, I never saw her my first year, nor did I realize just how much she did for the event. When I think of Rosaria, the first word that comes to mind is ‘selfless.’ She spends time and money each year supporting others in the event – donating to help others meet the minimum to walk, making cards, answering questions from other crew members, dealing with various issues and problems with hardly a whisper of complaint. Rosaria truly has a heart full of love and it is an honor and an inspiration to know her.” Another friend, Christine, added, “Rosaria is a kind, gentle soul. She is thoughtful, caring and will go to great lengths to cover all bases. Despite her battles and losses, she continues to give of herself. Rosaria always has a way of looking on the bright side. I admire that in a person and am proud to call her my friend.” We’re proud to have you as part of our 3-Day family too, Rosaria. Congratulations!

2016 Atlanta 3-Day – Saturday Award Winners and Honorees

On the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, Saturday night is when we gather to celebrate: walkers rejoice in completing 40 astonishing miles of route, crew members high-five over giving hours upon hours of service to their fellow 3-Dayers, and everyone celebrates each other. Every walker and crew member is worthy of a medal for their accomplishments, but even in this sea of outstanding individuals, there are some walkers and crew members who stand out even more. At the Saturday evening camp show, we recognize these special someones, and in Atlanta, we were pleased to award the following outstanding walkers, crew members and teams:

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The 2016 Atlanta 3-Day’s top training walk leader is Angela Baldwin (Atlanta 3-Dayers may have recognized Angela from Opening Ceremony). Angela has been participating in the 3-Day for 8 years, and has been a training walk leader for 5 of those years. This year, Angela hosted 36 training walks with 25 attendees. In addition to being a training walk leader, she is also the captain of Team – Hope in Motion, and when she’s not out accumulating mileage on her feet, Angela loves being a band mom, going to the gym, reading and geocaching.

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Congratulations to Kira Young from Cumming, GA, who is the top Youth Corps fundraiser on the Atlanta 3-Day this year. Kira, who is 12 years old and participating on the Youth Corps for the first time, raised $3,611 raised. Honorable mention: The #2 YC fundraiser is Ryan Parks, who raised $3,049.

Remember, the 3-Day Youth Corps is made up of kids between the ages of 10 and 16, and though they are required to raise at least $500, most Youth Corps youngsters exceed this minimum, often by hundreds of dollars. This year’s Atlanta Youth Corps team was the #6 top fundraising team in Atlanta, and the only crew team in the top 10; they raised an average of $1,800 per person. Amazing!

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We’re happy to honor Jake Stefan, a Camp Operations crew member (you might remember Jake from Atlanta’s Opening Ceremony), who was Atlanta’s top crew fundraiser. Jake brought in an incredible $14,870 this year which also made him the #2 overall fundraiser for the Atlanta walk. This year’s Atlanta 3-Day is Jake’s 10th event in 10 years, and his lifetime fundraising total is $71,073. On the 3-Day, you can spot Jake sporting a pink bra, but you may also find him clowning around–as an actual clown–in the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade.

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The top individual fundraiser (walker) on the Atlanta 3-Day is Christi-Ann Wiltberger, who raised $29,500 this year. Wow! Christi-Ann’s lifetime fundraising total is an eye-popping $204,282, an amount that is even more impressive when you learn that this is only Christi-Ann’s 6th event. Christi-Ann is the captain of the team Grand Ta Ta’s and works as a nurse, as does her husband (they met in nursing school!).

Top 5 Fundraising Teams

The top fundraising teams for the 2016 Seattle 3-Day are:

5. Michele’s Monarchs – $28,770 in 2016; $51,441 lifetime – 12 team members, 2 years as team – Team Captain: Krystle Murray
4. Angels 4 Angels* – $33,180 in 2016; $1,231,796 lifetime –8 team members, 10 years as team – Team Captain – Rina Wolfe
3. Grand Ta Ta’s – $33,505 in 2016; $537,105 lifetime – 5 team members, 6 years as team –Team Captain: Christi-Ann Wiltberger
2. Pink Angel Street Walkers – $38,070 in 2016; $395,073 lifetime – 28 members (largest team in Atlanta this year), 7 years as team – Team Captain: Lori Camp

img_6782And big congratulations to Feet to Beat Breast Cancer, Atlanta’s top fundraising team, with $54,724 raised this year. In their 12 years as a team, they have raised $698,774. Feet to Beat Breast Cancer is captained by Carolyn Parks and had 18 team members this year.

*The 2016 Atlanta 3-Day marked another big milestone for Angels 4 Angels, who blew past the $1 million mark and as of this week, have raised over $1.2 million. Wooooooo!!

 Milestone Award and Local Impact Award

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

We’re happy to congratulate the 2016 Atlanta 3-Day Milestone Award winner, Alison Glancz. img_6818Alison has been a remarkable 3-Day participant for 12 years; the 2016 Atlanta 3-Day, where Alison was part of the Camp Support crew team, was Alison’s 24th 3-Day event. In her lifetime as a 3-Dayer, Alison has worn dozens of hats (figuratively and literally, as she is usually in a costume of some kind), both as a walker and a crew member, and has personally raised over $56,000 for the 3-Day. Her friend and fellow crew member, Jake, said about Alison, “Talk about being dedicated to the cause… I am pretty sure when Alison sweats at the 3-Day, it comes out pink.She has been a captain for one of the largest and most logistically challenging crews for as long as I can remember. Then she started taking her talents all over the country to captain other crew teams in other 3-Day cities. Alison may be small, but she has a big fire within her. And when that fire is pointed at you: watch out! I’m just glad she is pointing that fire at breast cancer.” Another crew friend, Julie, shared this about Alison: “Through the years, events, and shared experiences with Alison, I continue to grow more in awe of her. Each year she dedicates her time to multiple 3-Day events, often as a Crew Captain.I joined the staff of the Greater Atlanta Affiliate of Susan G. Komen in 2014. And now, every day, I meet people who can afford a mammogram thanks to Alison. There are people across this country, and maybe even the world, who are alive today because Alison cared enough to step up to the challenge of walking and crewing those 24 3-Days, and because she knew that raising a minimum amount of money was just the beginning of what she could do, so she boldly chose to push for more.” Congratulations, Alison, and thank you for your amazing spirit and your years of commitment to the 3-Day!

img_6830The recipient of the 2016 Atlanta 3-Day Local Impact award has truly made her mark on the Atlanta 3-Day family. Carolyn Parks first walked the 3-Day in Atlanta in 2001, and has since walked in Atlanta (and nowhere else) 12 times, achieving a lifetime fundraising total of $52,700. Carolyn’s friend Mandy said this about her amazing friend: “Carolyn is the most caring and compassionate person I know! Her constant and tireless commitment to put others before herself makes her such an inspiration to more people than she probably realizes. Year after year, not only does Carolyn continue to lead the top fundraising team for the Atlanta 3-Day, she is constantly giving back to her community through her work with Meals on Wheels, American Red Cross and other local charities. Carolyn brings hope to us all and she truly wants to make a difference.” Carolyn is also the team captain of Feet to Beat Breast Cancer, the top fundraising team in Atlanta this year. Her her friend and teammate, Debbie, shared, “I’m not sure I have met anyone more dedicated to the 3-Day than Carolyn. We met when my five friends decided to walk the 3-Day because I was going through breast cancer and chemo. As luck (or fate) would have it, they joined her team (Feet To Beat Breast Cancer) and she made our first 3-Day experience incredible. Carolyn always puts others before herself and is constantly thinking of fundraising ideas because of her commitment to this cause and to helping others. I am so grateful that Carolyn was one of the people sent to me during my fight with cancer. She inspires me to be a better person every day and I know the whole Feet To Beat Team feels the same way.” You inspire us too, Carolyn! Thank you for your incredible dedication to the 3-Day!