The Susan G. Komen 3-Day returned to Dallas/Fort Worth this past weekend. With a total of 725 walkers, 225 crew members and $2.2 million raised, it was a weekend to remember!
The lobby of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Dallas, Texas was filled with excitement in the early hours of Friday, November 4 as walkers and crew waited for the ballroom doors to open. Once the clock struck 6:30 a.m., the venue for Opening Ceremony opened and the magic of the Pink Bubble began. Tables filled with lanyards, pins and bibs to write who you walk for were available for participants to gather and share why they commit to the 3-Day, including. the Promise Flag, which participants write on in dedication to those we have lost to breast cancer.
As the Opening Ceremony started, we stretched in preparation for walking 20 miles on Day 1, we heard inspiring and heart-felt stories that reminded us of the importance of this cause, and recognized our survivors and those living with breast cancer. Promptly at 8 a.m., the route opened and walkers were released in groups onto the streets of Dallas to start their 3-Day journey.
Our first stop of the day was at Turtle Creek Park, where walkers were welcomed to pit stop 1, “Boxing Out Cancer.” This pit stop not only offered fuel for our walkers, but also beautiful views of the downtown Dallas skyline. With three miles down, walkers then continued on the route.
Pit Stop 2 was at Craddock Park, and the entrance was lined with the first cheering station of the day. The amount of support, clapping and words of encouragement was amazing! Walkers stopped to take pictures and grabbed snacks and hydration before continuing on.
As much as we crossed our fingers and hoped for the weather to cooperate, rain started to come down late in the morning. Walkers arrived at lunch at Highland Park Presbyterian Church and were handed a bag lunch before boarding busses to head back to the Hyatt Regency so they could end their day safely.
Although our route was cut in half, we made up for it by having so much fun at camp! The Youth Corps cheered and had a dance party to welcome in our walkers for the day, and once camp opened at 1 p.m., soft pretzels were served in the dining area. Walkers also took this opportunity to take pictures in front of the Day 1 photo-op.
We proceeded with our Friday night programming, playing our favorite minute-to-win-it games like junk in the trunk, cup stack and cookie face. We also heard some very talented voices among our participants during karaoke before calling it a night and getting some rest to welcome beautiful weather on Day 2!
Day 2 kicked off with our Bank of America Breakfast of Champions, celebrating and thanking all of our top fundraisers, from individuals to teams, for their incredible efforts! After breakfast, walkers were eager to catch the bus to travel to Fort Worth for the day’s route. As a sea of pink headed west, we were welcomed into Fort Worth with a sky clear of clouds and full of sun! It was a welcome change from the previous day.
After cruising through pit stop 1 at Haynes Memorial Triangle, walkers were surprised and delighted to be transported to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory at pit stop 2! Willy Wonka and his cast of characters, including Charlie Bucket, Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt, Grandpa Joe and of course the Oompa Loompas, all posed for pictures and cheered walkers on as they made their way to lunch.
Walkers then crossed under the halfway arch at W.C. Striplings Middle School where they basked in the sun and performed the beloved halfway dance to “Walking on Sunshine!”
After lunch, the sun continued to shine, birds chirped and cheers were heard as walkers made their way through pit stop 3 before walking through beautiful Trinity Park. Here, walkers passed through our Memorial Mile where we honor those who have lost their battle with breast cancer. It was an emotional and beautiful reminder of why we walk.
At the end of the day, tired, but happy, walkers loaded buses back to the hotel where the famous 3-Day mac and cheese was plentiful and 3-Day Main Street was ready for business. We began our Honor Ceremony with stories from our Dallas/Fort Worth Youth Corps. The room was quiet as each member shared their connection to breast cancer and why they commit to the 3-Day. We then heard from three Dallas/Fort Worth walkers who also graciously shared their stories with us and how the 3-Day has impacted themselves and their loved ones.
Excitement was in the air as walkers ate breakfast and fueled up for their final day exploring Dallas. Walkers lined up behind Melissa W. and her husband, John, who won the Dallas/Fort Worth Ultimate 3-Day Experience challenge, which rewarded them with a first-out-on-the route pass when it opened at 7 a.m.
It was another beautiful, sunny day as walkers explored the streets of downtown Dallas, traveling on and off the Santa Fe Trail with beautiful views.
The photo-ops continued as walkers reached pit stop 2, which had these amazing decorated bras strung between the trees.
As walkers departed, they adventured towards lunch at Tokalon Park, right next to White Rock Lake. Tokalon Park boasted a beautiful grassy hillside for walkers to sit down, relax and enjoy their final lunch of their 3-Day journey.
Leaving lunch, walkers ventured into the Swiss Avenue neighborhood before reaching Dallas’ Main Street Garden Park. Look at that skyline!
The Finish Line Festival did not disappoint, as walkers were cheered on and welcomed by the University of Texas at Arlington cheerleaders, a group of cowboys and our wonderful crew.
The Jordan Kahn orchestra played live music to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our walkers and crew, and the horn section even came out into the crowd, dancing to the cupid shuffle and conga line with our walkers. This was such a treat ― everybody loved it!
Our last walker crossed the finish line around 3:30 p.m. and raised the flag to begin our Closing Ceremony.
We raised our shoes to salute our survivors as they made their way to the front of the stage, and raised our commit flags as we promised to not give up until we find the cures to breast cancer.
Thank you to the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth and thank you to our Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day walkers, crew and volunteers. We had an amazing and memorable weekend, and hope we’ll see you again in 2023. Registration is now open at The3Day.org.