Congratulations to the 2019 Seattle 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Penny Kellam

For the 2019 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 2019 Seattle 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Penny Kellam!

The amount of love for Penny on the Seattle 3-Day is unparalleled, and her team Kindred Spirits teammates could not stop gushing about her.

Teammate Denise Stark says, “Penny to me epitomizes the 3-Day in our community. She has rallied people and support to fight breast cancer through Susan G. Komen from all walks of life. She’s what I would describe as an influencer and a networker, connecting people and organizations with the cause and with each other that might otherwise have never connected. I would not be involved with the 3-Day today had it not been for a random meeting through the run she organizes every year to raise funds for the 3-Day. I can’t think of anyone who has done more to inspire and to deserve the Local Impact award than Penny.”

Kris Lambright, another one of Penny’s teammates, echoes those feelings.

“Penny is an amazing team captain! She makes sure that all teammates get help if needed to be fully funded, she makes sure you are prepared to walk (not just trained but with packing tips, Thursday team dinner, Thursday night hotel, etc.), and she has made the team into a family that supports each other not only on the walk but throughout the year. She also emphasizes the importance of kindness during the 3-Day – to other walkers, crew, and supporters. She basically just embodies our team name of Kindred Spirits.”

Then, we heard about Penny’s 3-Day love and dedication, right from Penny herself!

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

I was diagnosed with cervical and uterine cancer in late 1999. At the time I was given a 24% chance of survival. The uterine cancer was posed to take me out, but I was blessed with an amazing team of professionals that had a plan, listened me (and my gut instincts) and developed and adjusted a plan that respected my needs and brought me through.  We made decisions together that might not work for everyone but that worked for me. The absolute worst moment of my entire cancer journey was sharing my diagnosis with my sons – 13 & 15 at time. No parent should ever see the ragged fear in their child’s eyes that too many of us have witnessed.

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

That first year I walked for myself. It was all about my journey and my need to draw a line in the sand between cancer patient and cancer survivor. It was selfish but necessary. No apologies here.

That said that first walk was supposed to be a one and done…but something changed on Day 2. I was walking alone after putting a teammate on a Sweep Van. I was walking as fast as I could to move through the walkers to where I knew I knew a couple of my teammates were walking ahead. I went to pass “on the left” of a pair of young gals – in their 20’s, wearing matching shirts with “For the Love of Josie” on the back. One of them carried a pair of worn tennis shoes with a brand new sparkly angel – and I knew my heart couldn’t stand to ask. I’d been crying for two days and I thought I was spent.  But the universe had other ideas. The person behind me asked about Josie. And I listened. It turned out that Josie was Mom to one of these young girls. She had trained and fundraised and planned to walk with these best friends. They carried her training shoes because Josie had passed two weeks before but they couldn’t walk without her. I cried for the next two miles. Seriously cried. Because in that split second I had the vision of my boys walking with my face on their shirts and my shoes slung across their shoulder. And nothing about that was okay.

Then I saw the big picture.  I suddenly understood how absence of one of us throws ripples into the pond that never end. I had no choice but to sign up again…and again…and again. This year I’m walking New England (#34), Seattle (#35) and San Diego (#36) where my husband will join me as a first-time walker.

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

Ask everybody and then ask them again. Do not take the opportunity away from someone to support this important work by deciding for them that they aren’t interested in or capable of helping. You have no idea how this monster may have affected them or their family or their friends. I have too many personal stories of times when I hesitated to ask but finally took the plunge only to be overwhelmed by connections I didn’t know about and the absolute generosity of people I had thought unable to financially support this cause. Ask everybody!!

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

Enjoy the journey. There is something uniquely special about the people that step outside their personal comfort zone to do something this bold and challenging. Talk to everybody. Really talk to them. You’ll hear stories that you’ll never forget. You’ll enrich your 3-Day experience with every conversation. Stop and hug that survivor on the side of the road. Talk to the littles that come out to cheer you on. Don’t rush through everything looking at your feet. Consciously make the effort to look up and connect.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I spent the first seven years of my life as a proud resident of North Pole, Alaska. Santa Claus lived just down the highway from me, I routinely fell asleep to the crackle of the Northern Lights and we had a momma moose that would bring her calves to winter in the protection of the “L” formed by our house – all of which I thought was perfectly normal until I moved down to Washington State just before high school.

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

  • Kindness is everything.
  • We can do the hard things – especially when we think we can’t.
  • Family comes from many different places and only some of them may share your bloodline.
  • There are a lot of things in this world that I cannot change but I can talk and walk and organize and motivate and until cancer is a footnote in the history books you can expect to find me doing all of those things to speed along the end of this monster.

Congratulations to the 2019 Seattle 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Mary Ann Isaac

Please join us in congratulating our 2019 Seattle Milestone Award Winners; Mary Ann Isaac. 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 Seattle 3-Day camp show, we presented Mary Ann with this special honor.

Friends like Kathy Giller say that “Mary Ann has been a tour de force in her fundraising efforts to help fight breast cancer. She was inducted into Susan G. Komen’s inaugural class of its Lifetime Commitment Circle as a major contributor. It’s been my honor to have Mary Ann as a friend, fellow warrior, and supporter of a cause that we are both passionate about.”

Mary Alexander echoes that love, and even credits Mary Ann with introducing her to the 3-Day.

“Mary Ann is the most caring person I know. Her dedication to Susan G. Komen is just one example. Her commitment to fundraising, training, and walking inspire me to be a better person.

Mary Ann asked me to walk with her at her first 3-Day walk. I was not sure I could do it. And then we completed the 60 miles. The 3-Day event has such a positive impact on your life, and it changes you. It gives you a new confidence and sense of accomplishment while you are helping others. The 3-Day is Mary Ann’s way of having a positive impact on many people she has not yet met. I am in awe of the life changing impact of Mary Ann’s fund raising is having and I could not be prouder to be the friend of an 11-time walker.”

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

My cousins walked in the 2008 Cleveland 3-Day. Both their mom (my aunt) and my mom are survivors. My cousins had such an amazing time and signed up for the 2009 walk. They asked my to walk with them. I said “YES” and signed up for my very first 3-Day.

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

The 3-Day is an amazing experience. Once you have experienced the pink bubble, it is impossible to walk away. I believe in Susan G. Komen and am excited to continue to hear about research the 3-Day helps to fund and the advancements being made to find a cure.

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

I am fortunate to have very supportive family, friends, and colleagues. My fundraising success is all about perseverance. I ask, remind, and ask again. Most people are willing to donate, they just need to be asked when they have a few minutes to donate. Reminding them on a periodic basis helps tremendously 🙂 In addition, saying thank you and sending thank you cards after the event, keep my sponsors coming back year after year.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I always use the 3-Day as my fun fact when I am asked about it (it’s another opportunity to fundraise). Another fun fact is that I spend more nights in a hotel in a year than I spend in my own bed. I have been traveling for work 4-5 days a week for over 30 years.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day? The most important lessons I have learned include:

  • If you are a solo walker, find fellow walkers that walk your speed and meet them. Walking is more fun in a group than solo!
  • Bring icy hot! it is a life-saver after a long day of walking

2019 Seattle 3-Day Route Preview

The weekend is almost here! Hot on the heels of an amazing New England 3-Day, we’re heading to the West Coast and taking our walk to Seattle! As we gear up for three days of family, fun and inspiration, we are excited to debut a few changes to the Seattle 3-Day this year while still hitting our favorite spots along the way. Event Production Manager Ann Love is giving us the details on everything we should look forward to.

Get excited because our Opening Ceremony will once again be at the Seattle Center at the Fountain Lawn. We will kick off our 60-mile journey in the shadow of the Space Needle, with some new additions to the Opening Ceremony to make this a truly special morning.

Ann is excited about being back at the Fountain Lawn for several reasons.

“It’s an iconic spot that is a great place to start our journey…plus we have access to indoor restrooms! Take advantage while you can!”

After we leave Seattle Center, we will be heading out on the picturesque route of Day One, which is similar – but shorter! – than last year. We will cross over the 520 Pedestrian Bridge, which is more picturesque than some of the bridge options we have used in the past.

From there, we will walk south through Medina, which is a very cute, quaint little town where some Seattle heavy hitters (Hi, Bill Gates!) have their homes. We’ll also be making our way through the Bellevue neighborhood for lunch at Downtown Park. Ann loves this spot, especially for the little waterfall that makes it extra relaxing. From lunch, we will exit through Bellevue and go into Redmond.

We have a new pit stop 4 to look forward to in the afternoon and Ann thinks walkers will be especially excited for that change! From there, we will return to our outdoor camp at Marymoor Park. We are back in the original campground spot this year, after making a move in 2018. Ann loves being back at our “home” at camp.

“This area will be a great spot to keep the whole camp experience close together and has more parking for Crew! There is also a big parking lot for hotel shuttles, and for Friends and Family Night, so there will be plenty of space and less extra walking. The outdoor camp really gives us our own special 3-Day space. We are our own community.”

Be sure to stick around camp for our new camp programs, including 3-Day BINGO on Friday night and a very special Honor Ceremony on Saturday.

“People really seem to like the changes in our evening camp programs,” Ann smiles. “There is lots of laughter on Friday night! And I’m excited to see them in an outdoor setting for the first time this year.”

After a nice rest, we will kick off Day Two by heading west out of Marymoor Park and onto the trails in downtown Redmond and then into Kirkland. Lunch on Day Two means our new Halfway Celebration so be sure to practice your dance! Ann wants to see a whole crowd doing their best moves during lunch 😊

Walkers will cross Kirkland Corridor in the afternoon, and then our grab & go will be on the Google Campus like usual. From there, we’ll come back into Redmond and camp. You’ll even get a little time along the water in Kirkland, which is always a beautiful plus that makes Seattle extra special!

Day Three will be here before we know it, and Sunday will start with a short bus ride in the morning to the University of Washington, near the Husky sports complexes.

We will spend some more time on the trails on Day Three, hitting Woodland Park before skirting Woodland Park Zoo and the Woodland Rose Garden. We don’t actually go through the garden, but if you wanted to make a detour, there will be pretty photo opportunities!

Before lunch we will once again make a stop at Gaslight Park, and the Row for the Cure Festival will be there again this year. We are happy to share the space with them and get more pink festivities going!

Lunch will be at Lake Union Park before we head into town through the Amazon portion of the city. Walkers will go around Pike Place and walk near the waterfront from there. Ann loves that walkers get to spend some nice time along the waterfront and walk through the parks in that neighborhood.

You will hit pit stop 3 along the water, then come back into the city and spend the last 1-2 miles in the Queen Anne District before coming to our finish line.

We are once again ending back at the Seattle Center, but with one exciting change! We will be doing the Closing Ceremony right there on the Fountain Lawn, which means less walking and more great photos! It will really be a great experience and bring any spectators like your family and friends, to the Finish Line Festival, the celebration of the end of our walk.

Ann, our Seattle 3-Day coaches, and our entire 3-Day family, can’t wait to head west and get this amazing weekend started! We will see you all soon!