Congratulations to the 2018 Dallas/Fort-Worth 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Karen McEnheimer

Karen McEnheimer 2018

Please join us in congratulating our 2018 Dallas/Fort Worth Milestone Award Winner; Karen McEnheimer! 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 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day camp show, we presented Karen with this special honor.

Karen is a part of Team Traveling TaTa’s, and has participated in the 3-Day since 2007. She has walked or crewed in Atlanta, DC, Philadelphia, San Diego, Boston, Twin Cities, Seattle, San Diego, Michigan, and now finally Dallas/Fort Worth. She has raised almost $8,000 for the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day this year and has surpassed $101,000 in 18 events so far.

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Her friend Margie Wimbish thinks Karen is “so deserving” of this award.

“She is a fundraising machine. She will stand outside of Wal-Mart in the cold and rain or if it 100 degrees. She is the energizer bunny of fundraising!”

Mary Ripine echoes, and then expands, on this excitement for Karen.

“For Karen, it is not just about the fundraising; it is about the people she meets and their stories. She met a woman who was recently diagnosed while fundraising outside of Wal-Mart. She really connected with her and even shared her information to take the women to her doctor appointments!

One time, Mary had a fundraiser and when Karen saw she had no one to help her, she went home changed into her 3-Day gear and came and helped out for hours and did not take any of the proceeds. To say that Karen is dedicated to the 3-Day, and every member of her 3-Day family, is an understatement.

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After all those kind words, we had to hear from Karen herself.

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

I was diagnosed with what they thought was a metastasized tumor in my neck, with the primary site in either my bones,my lungs or my breasts. Since breast cancer runs in the family that is where my mind was going. After I awoke from surgery I was told that it was a 4×5 centimeter staph infection and it had diseased my vertebrae. I decided to walk the following year.

I could not imagine going through radiation and chemo. I had to sit at home for 18 weeks on IV antibiotics and that was horrific enough for me. That was in 2007 that I started this journey and one of my sisters was diagnosed in 2008 two weeks before I walked my second walk in Washington, DC. I have been walking 12 years and just completed my 16 and 17th walks and hit my goal of 100 grand this year.

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

The first time I experienced closing ceremonies and we lifted our right shoe to the survivors I was hooked. I have been to one closing in the Twin Cities where they also get down on one knee while holding their shoe to the survivors.

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

I believe in what I am doing and have never been as passionate about anything as I am about this walk and what steps have been made as a result of it. I am grateful today that as a result my sister is a 12 year survivor. Also, I am not afraid to ask anyone for that donation.

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

Enjoy yourself and take in everything that you can. It truly can make or break your experience. Talk to folks along the way and give them a piece of yourself that they can take home with their memories. I like to do a bit from Mrs. Doubtfire. When someone passes me I give them a very soft pinch on the arm and tell them that it is a Monkey Bite for passing me. I also tell them that it will get harder each time that they pass me. I have been called the Monkey Bite Lady many times and it gives us something to laugh about each time we see each other all weekend.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I have been told countless times that I need to be a stand up comedian. As much of a social butterfly that I am there is one thing that most do not know about me. I have a fear of speaking in front of crowds of people. I clam up! I had to have a fellow walker stand up and hold my hand while I gave a eulogy at a funeral to help support me while I stood there. I love spending time with my grandchildren and riding the motorcycle with my hubby. I will walk as long as these legs and feet will take me.

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

That you should never give up on something when you heart and soul are involved.  Give from your heart and you will receive 10 fold in ways that you could never have imagined.

Congratulations to the 2018 Dallas/Fort-Worth 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Michelle Beniak

Michelle Beniak

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 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Michelle Beniak.

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Michelle is a 6-year breast cancer survivor, and a 9-year 3-Day participant. This year, she is Co-Captain of team Pink Soles in Motion in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Pink Soles in Motion’s other captain, Catrina Gibson, says Michelle “is always willing to take on any task she is handed and tackles it with a smile. From planning and leading training walks, setting up shoe clinics at local retailers or manning the 3-Day booth at Race for the Cure, Michelle always gets it done.”

Coach Gayla echoes that sentiment, saying, “Michelle has been an incredible teammate for the Pink Soles in Motion team for years. She’s a survivor and has helped ME on many occasions. I’ve always been able to count on her to meet me somewhere to chat with a new participant, send people to her when looking for a team to join, man the booth at a Race for the Cure and/or More Than Pink Walk. Her positive promotion of the 3-Day inspires me and so many to get or stay involved.”

IMG_2164Michelle told us more about her 3-Day story…

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

I thought it would be a great challenge.

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

As a survivor, I feel the need to continue raising awareness and funds for finding a cure.

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

As part of a large team, we have several events throughout the year which helps a lot. In addition, finding people who work where their company matches donations has probably been the single most important “secret” to fundraising.

IMG_2167What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?

Train! If you find you still cannot walk the entire event, remember to walk out of opening ceremony, into camp/out of camp and into the closing ceremony. You won’t regret one minute!

What’s a fun fact about you? 

I have 10 grand-kids (+1 due in December) and 2 great-grand-kids!

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

Friendships can be made in mere seconds and last a lifetime. My motto is, “Strangers are family you haven’t met yet.”

 

2018 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Route Preview

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Lone Star State, we are coming for you! We are so excited to be heading to Dallas/Fort Worth this weekend and know that Susan G. Komen’s home city is going to be a great spot for a 60-mile walk. Event Planner Eileen Barnick has been preparing all year to make this coming weekend the best 3-Day possible, and she can’t wait to share the route with all the participants.

But she can’t share everything….

“Throughout the weekend, there will be some surprises and exciting ‘wow’ moments, but I don’t want to give those away ahead of time. They will be a surprise that I know all the participants will love. You’ll just have to walk and see!”

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For example, Day One is almost completely brand new this year! We will be starting at Tostitos Championship Plaza at The Star. This is Dallas Cowboys Headquarters, and Eileen can think of no better place to kick off the 3-Day.

“This is going to be so cool! In my unbiased opinion, it might be the best Opening Ceremony we have all year. The energy is just amazing and it’s going to be so fantastic.”

Our Opening Ceremony will take place in Frisco, which has been booming lately! As we leave the Plaza, we will be walking along the Star Boulevard. There will be lots of coffee shops along the way, so walkers can get their java fix as they leave the Opening Ceremony.

Walkers will then enter Hall Park, which is a sculpture park. It also has water sculptures, which are so cool! The first two miles of the day will have plenty of exciting sights to see and lots of opportunities for photos.

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Later, we will walk by Dr Pepper Ballpark, which is where the RoughRiders play. There will be some special surprises there, but Eileen won’t give too much away! We will also pass the Bank of America headquarters in the morning, so look out for a cheering station there.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve will be the perfect trail to lead us into lunch at Timber Glen Park.

Pit Stop 4 on Day One will also be Pit Stop 1 on Saturday, so walkers can get nice and familiar with one of our favorite parks: Les Lacs Park in Addison. From there we will head into our cozy camp at Brookhaven College.

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The Day Two route is shorter (yay!) without losing all the beautiful spots in the suburbs around Dallas, like Farmer’s Branch and Addison. We will be walking through Addison over the course of the day, especially Addison Circle Park, which is just beautiful.

Eileen thinks everyone will love the walk on Keller Springs Road, which will take us towards lunch. And we will be arriving at lunch sooner, which is always great!

After lunch at Campbell Green Park & Recreation Center, the afternoon will take walkers through Vitruvian Park, which will have a cheering station and great photo opportunities. After a long day, friends and family (and those Bank of America massage chairs!) will be waiting at camp.23215792_10159599674780392_6172782628111656467_oDay Three on Sunday, we have left untouched and have made no real changes because we have had such positive feedback from walkers from last year.

We will begin the day with a short bus ride, dropping off at Walnut Hill Recreation Center and walk into Dallas through some gorgeous historic neighborhoods. If you love architecture and beautiful homes, you are going to have so many pretty sights to see!

After lunch, we will head into downtown Dallas and see historic sights like Dealey Plaza, the Giant Eyeball sculpture (great for photos!), the Omni and more. Eileen promises lots of photo opportunities all day long!

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The Participant Finish Area and Closing Ceremony will once again be at The Lawn at Reunion Tower. We got such great feedback on this last year, so we had to come back!

If you hang around after the Closing Ceremony as the sun sets, you might see some last bits of Dallas pink support for us, too! It will be the perfect finish to an amazing 3-Day weekend.