20 Reasons To Be a 20-Mile Walker

3DAY_2017_MI_MD_0042.jpg

With our final two 3-Days coming up quickly in Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego, the time is NOW to sign up for the 3-Day! If you’re new to our community, can’t walk the whole 60 miles or raise the whole $2300, or just want to dip your toe in the water…you can be a 20-Mile Walker. This one-day option of the 3-Day allows walkers to join us on Sunday and finish out the final 20 miles of the weekend with the rest of the 3-Day community, including our exciting Closing Ceremony.

It requires less training, less fundraising, but all the fun that you would experience on the full 3-Day journey. If you haven’t signed up yet, you still can at The3Day.org/20Mile

And if you need more convincing, here are 20 reasons why you should be a 20-Mile Walker…

3DAY_2017_MI_MD_0266.jpg

  1. It’s a welcome to the 3-Day family: If you haven’t participated in the 3-Day previously, walking a 20-Mile Walker is a great way to get a taste of the community. You will meet breast cancer survivors, those who have lost someone to breast cancer, and many people who have been directly aided by the work that Susan G. Komen does. It will be inspiring to say the least!
  2. It’s only one day: That’s not much of a commitment when you think of all the fun you’ll have and the difference you will make in the fight against breast cancer.
  3. You don’t even have to take the day off: 20-Mile Walkers join the event on Sunday, so even those traveling in from other cities can be back home by Sunday night in most cases. We know not everyone can take a day or two off to join us, so participating as a 20-Mile Walker is a great alternative to that.
  4. It’s a great way to get moving: If hitting the gym is getting boring, or you’re looking for a new way to stay active…walking 20 miles with us is a perfect idea! People of all fitness levels participate!
  5. Do something with your friends: This lower commitment option for participating in the 3-Day is a great way to gather friends or family together for a day of bonding.
  6. No need to camp: If sleeping outside isn’t your style, you don’t have to camp (but you can if you want to!). We have great hotel partners, so you can get a cozy night sleep before you take on those 20 miles.
  7. It’s an excuse to wear a tutu: There will be tutus abound on the 3-Day!
  8. Or really any crazy outfit: We have everything from Santa to unicorns to dinosaurs walking on the 3-Day path!
  9. You get unlimited snack access: If you love string cheese, grapes, PB&J, rice krispie treats and all manner of snacks, there is no better excuse to eat your fill than to walk 20 miles.
  10. New friends will find you: No one is ever alone on the 3-Day so even if you sign up by yourself, you will make tons of new friends as you walk.
  11. And you might just keep them forever: Our 3-Day community stays close all year long via social media, local meet-ups and even snail mail. A friend made on the 3-Day is a friend for life.
  12. People cheer when you cross the street: Between our amazing Crew and local support, you will be supported and cheered on throughout your day-long walk. Many of our 3-Dayers say they even get sad on Monday when they cross the street and don’t hear those cheers.
  13. You will smile every step of the way: Yes, this is a 20-mile journey, but we promise it will be a fun one! 😊
  14. It’s a great way to see a new city: Lots of people travel in to participate in the 3-Day, so even if you don’t have a 3-Day in your hometown, you can still join up.
  15. Or learn more about your hometown: Even if the 3-Day is in your home city, chances are you haven’t seen every inch of the area. Walking the 3-Day will show you areas of your home you might never have seen otherwise! It will also give you an excuse to re-visit some of the famous landmarks around town.
  16. There’s a pink carpet finish line: Who doesn’t love a good glamour walk across a pink carpet?!
  17. And you’ll accomplish something few people do: Who else do you know that can say they walked 20 miles with their Sunday?
  18. You’ll attend the Closing Ceremony: This is the celebration of the 3-Day, and a truly inspiring and emotional experience that many people deem the highlight of their weekend.
  19. You’ll be making a difference: Komen has set a Bold Goal to decrease breast cancer deaths in the US by 50% by the year 2026. Every step you take is a step towards making that goal a reality.
  20. …and you’ll probably be back next year 😊 Or at least we hope so! Once you’ve tried the 3-Day or walked the 3-Day in a new city, it will be tough to say “no” in 2019.

Come join us this year! You can still register at The3Day.org/20Mile.

Day 1 of the Susan G. Komen 3day walk in Novi, Michigan on August 4, 2017.

A to Z of Fundraising for the 3-Day

We know fundraising for the 3-Day can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! You have support from your coaches, our social media community, and other participants…not to mention all the amazing people in your own life. You can do it; we promise!

To get you started, we have some simple ideas that will give your fundraising a jump start. It’s as simple as A, B, C.

  • Ask, ask, ask!
    • This seems simple, but it really does do the trick. Ask everyone and anyone you can think of. Ask them early and ask them often. Ask them and then remind them. Keep asking until you get a “yes” or a “no.” A non-response is not a “no.” Ask them in different ways and with different modes of communication. Just ask!
  • Birthday time
    • Birthday presents are great, but you know what’s even better? Getting 3-Day donations as a birthday present! Instead of presents, ask for donations from your family and loved ones.

  • Corporate Matching
    • Take advantage of corporate matching gift programs. Many of your donors work for companies that have a match program, so their donation could double simply by filling out a form from their HR department. Check out org/Matching for more info!
  • Donate for Days
    • Ask people to donate a certain amount per day or month of your Komen 3-Day commitment. Instead of a $25 donation, encourage them to make three $20 donations over time! Reminding your donors of the option to donate over time is a great way to increase the size of donations. It’s like layaway for a good cause!
  • Everyone is a potential donor
    • Dog walker. Accountant. Dry cleaners. Teacher. Trainer. School nurse. Anyone can be a potential donor! If you’re not sure if you should ask someone, just ask them. It never hurts to ask!
  • Follow the 3-Day blog

  • Gift for any occasion
    • If your birthday isn’t coming up before the 3-Day, don’t stop there! Graduations, promotions, engagements, hitting a fundraising goal, even just surviving the week – any of these are worth celebrating! If you hit a milestone, shoot out an email to your donor list with the good news…and a reminder to donate 😉
  • Host a party – any party!
    • Plan a summer barbecue, a movie night, or Sunday brunch. Just make sure you can throw the party with as much at-home materials as possible, so you can keep your spending to a minimum. Then, invite pals over for the event, and encourage them to donate to your 3-Day cause instead of contributing food or drink to the party. This is also a great way to recruit new team members!
  • Invite donors over
    • Going along with this, you can just cut right to the chase and hold a 3-Day informational event at home. This is great for a team to do together, because it allows you to really tell your 3-Day story and share your motivation with donors in-person.
  • Join us on social media
    • Following the 3-Day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will also give you access to fundraising tips! We love tracking the hashtag #FundraisingFriday for tips from across the net.

  • Kids can help too
    • If you have children (or your friends have kids you can recruit), make them a 3-Day task force! They can help with canning, putting fundraising flyers in mailboxes, or planning your next fundraising event. Now that school is out for the summer, it will give them a fun way to pass the time and give back!
  • Local businesses are your friends
    • Ask local businesses to sponsor you! You might be able to hit your fundraising goal with just one donation. Just be sure to give them a thank you and shout out on social media.
  • Make the most of mail (email too)
    • We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Ask more than once! Email is free and direct mail is very cost efficient, so these are the best ways to reach your donors without breaking the bank.

  • National Holidays make a good reminder
    • Don’t forget about Fourth of July, Labor Day weekend, Columbus Day and all those funny, random holidays. If you can think of a funny way to use one of these holidays to get your donors attention, then use it! We love finding funny holidays here.
  • Organize your plan and stick to it
    • Some of our 2018 3-Days are still months away, so it can seem like a far-off deadline. Make yourself a plan and stick to it. Continuous fundraising efforts will have you accumulating donations for months on end.
  • Pancake Breakfasts make fundraising delicious
    • Encourage your place of worship, work, or school to host a pancake breakfast to benefit your 3-Day fundraising. Have all your friends help with the cooking, then ask for a suggested donation amount to join in the fun. Make sure to have plenty of donation forms or 3-Day business cards on hand for the donors who want to give more.

  • Queen (or King) of the 3-Day
    • Not a lot of words start with the letter “Q,” but this one is a fun one! Make a crown, sash, even a fun scepter, and ask for donations to help you become “Queen 3-Day” on event. Then, for every person that donates to your goal, add some more flair to your outfit. Think sparkles, pins, feathers and fun décor! That way, you can also send status emails to your donor list with photos of how your costume is coming along, and reminders to donate.
  • Remind, remind, remind
    • We’re going to keep reminding you to remind your donors 😊 That way you won’t forget to ask, and they won’t forget to donate!
  • Social media is your friend
    • Change your Facebook status to remind people to donate. Send out some tweets. Post photos on Instagram of amazing 3-Day memories. Social media is the perfect, instantaneous way to remind donors just how much the 3-Day means to you. Also, we post fundraising challenges and tips and tricks often on OUR social media, so be sure to follow us!
  • Tribute Donations
    • Encourage your donors to make their donations in “honor of,” “support of,” or “memory of” someone they know who has been affected by breast cancer. This is a great way to let them feel part of your experience.

  • Use your talents
    • Offer any talent or skill you have for a minimum donation; graphic design, massage, hair stylist, photography, sewing, cake decorating, etc. People always need help with random tasks, so you’ll have no shortage of potential donors this way.
  • Voicemail…it’s still a thing
    • Voicemail isn’t used as much as it used to be thanks to texts, but it’s important to leave no stone unturned. Change your voicemail and answering machine messages to announce the fact that you are walking in the 3-Day. This will be news to some and a reminder for all!
  • Walk it out, 3-Day style!
    • Make sure to wear your 3-Day gear whenever you go out on training walks! You never know who will see you and want to donate, so bring those 3-Day business cards with you too if you can.
  • X marks the spot
    • Host a fundraising scavenger hunt! There are tons of ideas online and most of them can be put on for free. Try to incorporate the 3-Day into clues or goals and use it as a fun reminder to your donors.

  • Your workplace can also be your fundraising hotspot
    • Put up a display in the lunch room, break room, or front desk at work (a sign with your picture and a note about what you are doing); be sure to include a jar for donations and a stack of your donation forms.
  • Zone in
    • And stay focused! Fundraising is a long-term game but don’t get discouraged! Here are even more ideas to help you reach your goal. You got this!

What else can we add to this list? Comment below – you just may be the person who inspires someone else to hit their fundraising goal! 😊

The Insider’s Guide to the 3-Day – Every Step is a Journey

20597373_10213915270706085_5518479493744025817_n

Welcome to the Insider’s Guide to the 3-Day! If you’re not sure what you’re in for, let us tell you!

If you haven’t read our earlier installments, you can check them out here:

20621798_10155763379294059_7609375794347634867_n

No one is better qualified to add to our Insider’s Guide than 3-Day Coach Gina, who has walked the Michigan 3-Day, and now leads both the Michigan and Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day as our Crew & Volunteer Coordinator. Gina is also a breast cancer survivor, and deep supporter of every member of our 3-Day family, from walkers to crew to Youth Corps and beyond. She is sharing her personal memories and 3-Day journey with us, in the hopes that her story might inspire others to join our family.

21617871_1802228063145012_3422335541781177916_n

Getting Ready: 3-Day Fundraising

  • Ask everyone…and then ask again! Never doubt how much family and friends want to support you on your 3-Day journey. For participants, “the ask” isn’t easy, but you are asking for a cause you believe in, so allow donors to see your passion and how much you are willing to do in this fight.
  • Whether or not a person donates, ask them to forward your email onto their family and friends…And watch your donor circle grow. Always remember that follow-up is key!
  • Utilize social media and have fun with it. Try a Ten Dollar, or Twenty Dollar Tuesday, “I am walking for…” Wednesday, High Five Dollar Friday…the possibilities are endless. Create that sense of urgency and enjoy the process of connecting with folks while watching your fundraising grow.
  • Double (even triple) your fundraising dollars with a matching gift. Check out our matching gift page at The3Day.org/Matching for detailed instructions. Simply ask every donor, “Does your company participate in a matching gift program?” That $25 donation might become a $50 donation!

20604400_10155763381244059_5223595380385930022_n

Getting Ready: 3-Day Training

  • Follow the suggested training program and make it your own. Given everyone’s busy schedules, it might seem daunting when you look at the entire 24-week or 16-week training schedule. Take it week by week and get the miles in when you can.
  • A lunchtime or evening walk (once it’s not so hot!) is always good. You’ll probably find that the weekends will be when you train the most, but this will differ from person to person. For me, it was important that I saw my mileage increase each week, not necessarily my number of training walks.
  • Look for official training walks being led in your area at org/TrainingWalks. These are led by 3-Day training walk leaders and are an excellent way to train, meet fellow walkers and have some good ‘ole 3-Day fun!

20664074_1876777645983508_7738513381179561223_n

And then it begins…Friday morning on the 3-Day

You cannot deny the buzz in the air the morning of the Opening Ceremony. Excitement, nervousness, anticipation, lots of moving pieces…And lots of PINK! Get your tissues ready (or at least I did!) once the Opening Ceremony begins, because it’s an experience like no other. An experience that sets the stage for your three days ahead.

Taking on 60 miles!

To say you are fully supported on the 3-Day route is an understatement.

From the pit stops, where you refuel and rehydrate to the Porta-Potties, where you…well, you know! The cheering stations where families, the community and strangers who are now friends come out to cheer on walkers and sprinkle encouragement through their words and signs.

I must give a shout out to our all-volunteer and all-around amazing Crew. Crew members commit to all three days like the walkers and experience a different kind of 3-Day. You will find Crew around every turn, and at camp, making sure walkers are fully supported. At pit stops, the lunch stop, and patrolling the route on motorcycles and bicycles. Crew sets up camp, hauls participants’ gear. Medical Crew makes sure participants are happy and healthy all weekend.

12503_10204598344622815_1851573847476822787_n

One of the high points for me personally is seeing the Youth Corps, our friends in yellow. These are youth who commit to serving the walkers throughout the weekend. To see these kids and teens giving their time and energy to the fight against breast cancer really speaks to our future.

If I can sum up my experience it’s that I remember, at times, thinking, “I cannot walk another step.” Then I would look around, see my fellow walkers, and the support, and I would realize that walking is the easy part and we keep going because hearing the words, “you have breast cancer” will forever change a person’s life.

Camp: A More Than Pink Sleepover!

Camp is otherwise known as the fabulous “pink bubble.” Coming from a non-camper, this is not the camping I would normally think of. The word “glamping” is much more like it, and even then, I am always amazed the detail that goes into making sure 3-Day participants are made to feel welcome and comfortable all weekend.

Your pink tent will be your home away from home, and you’ll eat a yummy breakfast and dinner in the dining tent. My advice is to immerse yourself in the 3-Day campsite; it’s really part of your experience. Watch the camp show, visit 3-Day Main Street, and shower in the shower trucks. It’s a memorable experience like no other.

Just like on the route, you are fully supported and won’t want to leave this sweet bubble of love and kindness. Alas, Sunday will arrive, you’ll bid farewell to camp, pack up your belongings and be reunited with your gear at the Participant Finish Area.

20638174_10155763373319059_2742191282484976827_n

 

Closing Ceremony and the morning after…

For me, the last day of the 3-Day is bittersweet. Walking into the Closing Ceremony is indescribable. Since each participant has their own reason for participating in the 3-Day, each participant might have a different feeling when they take their final steps of the Victory Walk from the Participant Finish Area into the Closing Ceremony.

I always feel the walkers and crew of the 3-Day are part of a special group, bound together by their passion, enthusiasm and drive to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. I will never give up, and you will feel this drive and passion from the moment you register for your 3-Day journey, too!

Gina_MI 3-Day