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 Event Wrap Up

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This past weekend, the 3-Day headed to Dallas/Fort Worth, and the home of Susan G. Komen did not disappoint! We had three sunny fall days, and even with one rainy evening, all our walkers and crew were smiling from ear to ear when they took their final Victory Walk after 60 miles.

Our journey began at a new Opening Ceremony site at Tostitos Championship Plaza at The Star. This is Dallas Cowboys Headquarters, so to say it’s an iconic Dallas/Fort Worth landmark is an understatement. Walkers, crew and supporters alike all loved posing on the star and seeing photos from past Dallas/Fort-Worth 3-Days projected on the jumbo screen behind our stage.

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The Opening Ceremony itself featured special speeches from our partner Bank of America, as well as an emotional testimony from Susan G. Komen CEO, Paula Schneider. She led our Circle of Strength out from the Opening Ceremony, kicking off our 60-mile journey.

The first few miles of the walk were packed full of photo ops and smiles! Walkers made their way down Star Boulevard before passing through the town of Frisco, with the town coming out in full force to cheer them on! They also passed Bank of America headquarters, where hundreds of cheering supporters were waiting to show the 3-Day some love. And all this before Pit Stop 2!

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Later in the day, the RoughRiders cheered on walkers outside Dr Pepper Ballpark and we explored Arbor Hills Nature Preserve before arriving home at camp at Brookhaven College. All in all, walkers got a real taste of the Texas spirit on Day One.

At camp, Paula Schneider congratulated our walkers during the Camp Show, and Bank of America awarded the Top Fundraisers of the Dallas/Fort-Worth 3-Day.

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Team STEPS was our Top Fundraising Team and is also our largest team on the 3-Day, raising $180,167 this year. They were led by team captain Sheryl Cowan, who was our Top Individual Fundraiser. She raised $30,000 on her own this year and has raised more than $100K in her history with the 3-Day. Sandra Johnson, our Top Crew Fundraiser, raised $3,835 at this, her 17th event! Congrats to all our top fundraisers!

Day Two dawned as the perfect crisp fall day, and the walkers stopped at one of our favorite parks, Les Lacs Park in Addison, for Pit Stop 1. Day Two was shorter overall, which our walkers loved, but we still managed to see Addison Circle Park, Vitruvian Park, and the cities of Farmers Branch and Addison. It was a windy day, so all our participants were happy to return to camp after a fun day!

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Night Two was stormy, and we even had a camp relocation, but the quick-acting staff and crew helped everyone relocate indoors so they could be warm and dry for the night. All our 3-Dayers met the weather with smiles and laughs and teamwork so they could get as much rest as possible for Day Three.

Day Three looked very similar to past years because it was a favorite of our walkers. We started the day with a short bus ride to the Walnut Hill Recreation Center. We then walked into Dallas through some gorgeous historic neighborhoods, full of awesome architecture and beautiful homes. We spent the day in the city of Dallas, passing iconic sites like Dealey Plaza, the Giant Eyeball sculpture (great for photos!), the Omni and more. It was the perfect final day!

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The Participant Finish Area and the Closing Ceremony were both at The Lawn at Reunion Tower, where we were happy to announce that our amazing Dallas/Fort-Worth walkers and crew had raised a staggering $1.7 million in the fight against breast cancer! Thank you, Dallas/Fort-Worth…you are truly More Than Pink!

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