Meet Smokey T. Bear, Honorary 3-Dayer

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“Christa was an amazing human being. She was very giving and loving. She always had a smile and a hug for everyone. She never met a stranger.” —Sharon Ray

Christa Cannon was a part of the 3-Day family starting in 2013. She was an active participant, even through two breast cancer diagnoses, and had signed up to walk all seven cities in 2017. However, Christa sadly lost her battle with breast cancer in June of 2017, before she could walk alongside her pink family this past year. In her honor, all our 2017 seven-city walkers wore her name on their credentials as they crossed their final finish line in San Diego.

Smokey with Jeryl

Also in her honor, a special 3-Dayer came on the seven-city journey Christa had planned on making. His name is Smokey T. Bear.

This small stuffed bear was carried by a different walker in each city, but always had Christa’s photo pinned to his chest.

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His 2017 journey began in Michigan with walker Sharon R., who has been a 3-Dayer in various cities since 2011. She knew the power of Smokey and Christa’s story.

“It was an honor like no other. Being the first person, I had to set the bar for everyone else. It was like Christa was still walking with us. I made copies of her picture for everyone that carried Smokey to have. I think Christa was watching from above.”

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From there, Smokey walked with a new participant in each city, including Melissa W. (at left above) and her other members of Team Shenanigans. It was Melissa who came up with the idea to carry Smokey this year in Christa’s honor, and she said that “support just poured in” as soon as she told a few people about her plan.

Sharon and lots of participants were more than happy to carry Smokey, and “tell Christa and Smokey’s story for all to hear.” Sharon says she is still so grateful to Melissa for “touching so many people with Christa’s story.”

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In addition to the 3-Day, Christa (and Smokey) has watched over Melissa in an MS Society bike ride and an Ironman in the form of a smaller stuffed animal version. Melissa also plans to bring this mini-Smokey on her next Ironman attempt this coming April! Melissa keeps Christa in mind when she needs motivation, and felt that Christa’s spirit helped her in her times of need.

“Christa was a special person. She was very giving and loving. Positive and tough but knew how to make people laugh.”

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If you’re joining us on the 3-Day again in 2018, be sure to keep an eye out for Smokey, and other memories of Christa. Melissa and Sharon are both signed up to Crew in all seven cities and look forward to keeping Christa’s memory alive.

We will carry her in our hearts for years to come.

Melissa says, “I will continue the quest of the memory of my dear friend Christa, my mother in law Delores and of all my other friends who have lost the battle or who are fighting the fight.”

Because we will never quit.

Thank you to everyone who carried, hugged and supported Smokey T. Bear (and his walking buddies) throughout 2017! See more of his memories below.

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Smokey on Bike II

2017 San Diego 3-Day Round-Up

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The 3-Day headed south for our final event of the year, and was welcomed to California and the West Coast with open arms! We started our Friday morning with a little liquid sunshine, followed by an amazing double rainbow, as the Opening Ceremony began. Our 2,200 walkers and 325 crew started their journey with an inspiring and emotional Opening Ceremony led by local participants.

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The walkers filed out of the iconic Del Mar Fairgrounds and into the community, where they were greeted by tons of local cheering stations and support. By Mile 3, they also passed the famous “Toast Lady,” one of our favorite walker stalkers, who toasted all the walkers as they passed.

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Then they conquered the Torrey Pines Hill, our biggest hill of the weekend! They were greeted at the bottom by more cheers, and an amazing view of the California coastline. By the time they reached Pit Two at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, walkers had already conquered 5.1 miles.

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Walkers made their way through the University of Southern California, San Diego campus in the afternoon and lunched at Kellogg Park along the beach.

There were more cheering stations and smiles throughout the end of Day One, before walkers headed home to camp at Crown Point Shores Park.

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Day Two started with a walk along the water just outside of camp, and another hill in downtown San Diego. Walkers reached the top with smiles on their faces though, because they had already clocked 4 miles on the day.

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Before lunch, they stopped at Pit 3 at Dog Beach South, and our walkers loved seeing all the four-legged 3-Day fans. Then, they took a break at lunch on our comfy pink Mohawk Mats and kept loose by dancing with the San Diego Police Department.

We also met our amazing Youth Corps at lunch, and walkers were greeted with hundreds of pink blooms as they left lunch.

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From there, they traveled through Bonita Cove and South Mission Beach Park before coming back home to camp. It was Friends & Family night at camp, complete with an evening dance party! Many of our walkers also visited our Remembrance Tents to honor loved ones lost.

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Day Three started with a quick 4.4 miles before arriving at Pit Stop 1 at De Anza Cove Park. From there, walkers wound their way through the picturesque San Diego neighborhoods and climbed the infamous San Juan Street Hill for amazing city views.

The second half of the day passed quickly, with stops at Balboa Park before coming to a close at Waterfront Park along the bay. Walkers celebrated with hugs, smiles and dancing as they completed their 60-mile journey.

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After all of our walkers crossed our beautiful pink finish line, we celebrated together at Closing Ceremony. As the sun set on our 3-Day season, there was much to be proud of, given that our amazing 2,200 walkers and 325 crew members raised $6.5 million this weekend!

Our journey is never truly done, though, as was evidenced throughout our closing ceremony. We are all still working, and walking, towards Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal to reduce the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.

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As we hugged and celebrated and danced together, one message rang loud and clear; that though our feet may ache, our spirit and dedication will live forever; through aches, and pain, and blisters. We are shouting loudly and proudly that in this fight, where we seek to live in a world free of breast cancer, WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP. Thank you, San Diego. We are so very proud of each and every one of you.

If you’re ready to be a part of this incredible journey again in 2018, sign up now at The3Day.org/Register.

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2017 Susan G. Komen Seattle 3-Day Wrap-Up

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On Friday morning of our first West Coast 2017 3-Day, the sky cleared for a bright blue fall sunrise next to the Space Needle at Seattle Center. Our 500 walkers and 175 crew started their journey with a poignant and emotional Opening Ceremony led by local participants.

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Our first Pit Stop of the 3-Day was at Daejon Park after 3.3 miles of walking in perfect weather conditions! Walkers took in the Seattle waterfront as they enjoyed the beach theme of the pit stop, complete with “shark attack” photo opps and a treasure chest of fun 3-Day treats!

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From there, they passed through Mercer Island Park, and an amazing local cheering station before arriving at lunch at Downtown Bellevue Park. With fountains, tiered grassy areas for lounging and eating, and a bright sunshine, it could not have been a more relaxing lunch spot.

That afternoon, walkers passed through more of the Seattle suburbs including Bellevue and Redmond, before arriving home at camp that night. Throughout the whole day (and indeed the whole weekend) the Seattle Police Department worked with our route safety team to keep all the walkers safe as they made their way home.

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Our walkers ended their day at the picturesque Marymoor Park, which had turned into a 3-Day wonderland for the weekend! From the Bank of America putt putt golf course and massage chairs, to performances by local singers, to our amazing 3-Day Food Service Crew serving up a delicious dinner, our walkers were welcomed home in style after 22.3 miles.

That night at camp show we celebrated our Local Impact Winner, Judy Kent, and Milestone Winner, Erin Havens, for Seattle. Our top fundraisers were also recognized by Bank of America. Congrats to Top Crew Fundraiser John McHale, Top Individual Fundraiser Loretta Englishbee and Top Fundraising Team, the Valley Girls & Guys!

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After a good night’s sleep, the sun rose on another beautiful fall day of walking.

The day kicked off at Grasslawn Park, where some four-legged friends joined the ranks to cheer on our walkers! By Pit Stop 2 at Spinney Homestead Park, our walkers had already clocked 6.9 miles for Day Two. Pit Stop 2 was a fan favorite for its Dr. Seuss theme. It helped remind the walkers that every person is a person, no matter how small – and every step is a step towards the cure!

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Then at lunch at Juanita Beach Park, we met our amazing Seattle 3-Day Youth Corps via Facebook Live, and heard their stories of dedication and strength. Walkers were already halfway done with their second 20-mile day, and taking it all in easy stride!

Right after lunch there was a local cheering station in the beautiful Heritage Park, as the whole community got involved to cheer on our walkers. Plus, it was a great spot for photos!

At Pit Four, and mile 18.5, our walkers could “wet their whistle” at an Old West themed stop. They were cheered on their way to the final miles of the day by the local Susan G. Komen Puget Sound Affiliate, who also brought coffee for an extra caffeine boost at the end of the day.

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It was friends and family night at camp, so local supporters came to camp at Marymoor Park to play at the Bank of America putt putt and game areas, and continue to cheer on their amazing walkers! Our 20-Mile walkers also joined the 3-Day family that evening before the whole group turned in for their last night of camping.

Day Three dawned a little cooler, but with perfect walking weather for our September Sunday. We began at the University of Washington before walking through Cowen Park to our first Pit Stop of the day. Our walkers were already 3.6 miles closer to the finish line!

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From there, there were more miles in nature through Seattle’s gorgeous parks before lunch close to the water at Lake Union Park. With only six miles left in Day Three, walkers then made their way through the iconic Olympic Sculpture Park.

We had a little liquid sunshine as the Sunday afternoon wore on, but our walkers powered through and finished the 60 miles with smiles on their faces. Our closing ceremony was full of love, congratulations and (of course) a lot of dancing feet!

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Our journey is never truly done, though, as was evidenced throughout our closing ceremony. We are all still working, and walking, towards Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal to reduce the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.

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Photo via Simply Darling Duo

As we hugged and celebrated and danced together, one message rang loud and clear; that though our feet may ache, our spirit and dedication will live forever; through aches, and pain, and blisters. We are shouting loudly and proudly that in this fight, where we seek to live in a world free of breast cancer, WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP. Thank you, Seattle. We are so very proud of each and every one of you.

If you’re ready to be a part of this incredible journey again in 2018, sign up now at The3Day.org/Register.