3-Day Michigan Coaches: Favorite Parts of the 2018 3-Day

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The countdown is on to our first 3-Day of 2018, and no one is more excited than your Michigan 3-Day Coaches. Jennifer, Heather and Gina have been preparing, planning and getting pumped up for this coming weekend since Michigan’s Closing Ceremony in 2017. They can’t wait to welcome all our 3-Dayers back into the Pink Bubble!

What are they most excited for this year?

Coach Jennifer is looking forward to “meeting all of the new folks that I have been talking to on the phone and via email for the past several months and reconnecting with our amazing veteran walkers.”

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The coaches with Event Production Manager, Ann Love

Crew & Volunteer Coordinator Gina echoes that statement saying she can’t wait for to welcome “those returning and meeting the new faces on the event,” especially when it comes to the Crew and Volunteers.

Crew, Youth Corps and volunteers are all a huge part of the 3-Day experience after all!

“I must give a shout out to our all-volunteer and all-around amazing Crew. You will find Crew around every turn, and at camp, making sure walkers are fully supported,” Coach Gina promises. “Youth Corps, our friends in yellow, are youth who commit to serving the walkers throughout the weekend. Be sure to “high-five” a crew or Youth Corps member!”

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You can also high five your coaches because they have some great advice for you! How should you make the most of your time on the Michigan 3-Day? Their top tips are all very similar:

  • “Enjoy every single moment the 3-Day has for you. Do not be in a rush to get to the next pit stop, don’t worry about what “number” you are! Enjoy it and soak it in. Take a lot of pictures, talk to your fellow walkers, not just those you may be on a team with. Trust me, these three days will fly by.” – Coach Jennifer
  • “Savor the moments, every step, each interaction, because as the saying goes, ‘It’s the little moments that make life big.’” – Coach Gina
  • “One step at a time. Soak it all in! Don’t get so lost in “just getting it done” that you miss all the awesomeness that comes with every minute.” – Coach Heather

While you soak in these moments, also remember how much the 3-Day matters to walkers, Crew and coaches alike.

Coach Gina says, “My 3-Day ‘why’ became much more personal in the past year and has renewed my energy in this fight. My own breast cancer battle brought surgeries, chemo, radiation, and more…but I am blessed because I had my 3-Day community around me, who lifted me up when I needed it most. 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.”

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Every step you take on the 60-mile route makes a huge difference. And of course, no one knows the route better than these three ladies!

Here are their favorite spots to look for over your Michigan weekend:

  • Walking along the water early on Day 1
  • Camp! All the coaches promise that camp will be cozy and full of fun things to do
  • All the local cheering stations!
  • But especially the Plymouth cheering station on Day 3
  • Kellogg Park
  • The cheerleaders on Day 3
  • York Street in Dearborn
  • Any place along the route where there are dogs! (Good point Coach Jennifer 😊)

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This team works hard, but they also love to work together and support each other!

Gina is the “calm, cool and collected” one of the group who “always has a kind word for everyone.” Heather and Jennifer describe themselves as two peas in a pod; they even finish each other sentences!

Coach Heather sums it up nicely when she says, “If I had to use one, all-encompassing word, it would be FRIENDS! We are there for each other in all aspects of our lives. We cheer each other’s victories and we show love and support during our times of struggle. We are blessed to be part of this tightknit team and we are so excited to share an amazing 2018 3-Day with our awesome walkers and crew!”

With excitement and love like that, you know this weekend is going to be one for the books!

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Working Women’s Day: Meet 3-Day Coach Heather

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Coach Heather with her 2017 Michigan 3-Day coaching team

Today is International Women’s Day, and we are so honored to have so many amazing women working for Susan G. Komen and our 3-Day team. Everyone works hard every day to reach Komen’s Bold Goal, and to create the best 3-Day experience for our participants each year. No one knows that dedication and drive better than our local coaching teams!

On this International Women’s Day, we salute all our coaches, including our Programs & Local Events Coach for Michigan and Philadelphia, Coach Heather. She walked her first 3-Day in 2015 in Michigan and was immediately hooked! By 2017, she had joined our full-time 3-Day team and knew she would be forever changed by our family.

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Coach Heather (at left) with Coach Gayla

“The people……my co-workers, the walkers, the crew… are my favorite part of my job. Truly, being among all the awesome people involved in the 3-Day makes my heart so full! To think that even a year ago, folks who are now so special to me were completely unknown, is insane.

What I feel on the event is indescribable! To witness such concern, compassion, love, and support for other human beings is incredible. I am blessed to be able to do this every day.”

And she truly is working every day. Being a 3-Day Programs & Local Events Coach is a year-round job that includes everything from recruiting new walkers, assisting participants with fundraising and training, as well as taking part in walker meetings and training walks. They also partner with local businesses, community groups, large 3-Day teams and other groups to provide support and excitement on the 3-Day.

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This 24/7 commitment means Heather is an expert at training and fundraising, too! Her fundraising advice is simple but effective.

“Ask, ask, ask. Honestly, the worst someone can say is ‘No,’ but they usually say ‘Yes!’ If they don’t respond, ask again, and if they still haven’t responded as you get close to the 3-Day, ask one more time. Often, people have every intention of donating, but time gets away from them. A little reminder usually is appreciated.”

She also recommends using social media to spread your story. The more your donors can relate to you and your goals, the more likely they are to donate to help you make a difference. This also applies to potential new teammates! She says educating your friends, family, co-workers, even your neighbors can be a great thing when you’re looking for to expand your team.

“Be encouraging, positive, and assure potential new team members: Yes, you can walk those 60 miles! Haven’t most first-time walkers felt the same way? It’s the opportunity to be part of something incredible!”

So, join Heather and be part of something incredible in 2018. She can’t wait to welcome all the participants! She knows, and deeply appreciates, the impact that all our 3-Day participants make.

“Every day someone’s mom, daughter, wife, sister, best friend, aunt, granddaughter could hear the words ‘You have breast cancer.’ When I see little girls cheering on our walkers on the 3-Day, I hope that all the efforts put forth today will lead to a breast cancer-free world for them.”

Heather won’t stop working until that hope becomes a reality. She knows you won’t stop working either.