Congratulations to the 2018 San Diego 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Milena Schroeder

Milena Schroder Pic 2.jpg

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 San Diego 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Milena Schroeder.

Milena Schroeder San Diego Local Impact Winner Pic 1

Milena’s sister Trina says, “Several years ago, my sister convinced me to walk the 3-Day walk with her. I was hesitant, but she was relentless in her decision and wanted to share this journey with me to honor our mother, Riitta, who lost her battle to breast cancer 23 years ago. What began as two sisters joining the 3-Day became a crusade of women who Milena mobilized and inspired to join. Milena’s leadership would continue on through three separate 3-Day walks, countless fundraisers, training walks, and a community of women….. all created through a passionate plea to end breast cancer. Why go small when you can create a band of sisters, a team, to take this cause to the next level? Milena has done just that, and her devotion to this cause is inspiring. I am so thankful to be her sister and her 3-Day teammate.”

Milena tells us more about her More Than Pink way of life…

Milena Schroeder with her sister_San Diego

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

I lost my mother to breast cancer when she was only 48. She had a long battle and during her fight, I also lost my father to cancer. He passed on when I was 18 and she passed when I was 22. This shaped me in so many ways. I walk for their memory and I also walk for my children and husband. We have 6 children together and my goal is that they never have to experience this loss. This walk brings my parents back to me in a sense each year that I walk and lets my children see and know their grandparents as well as see their mother fight for a cause.

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

When I first started the walk, I reached out to our neighborhood mom’s Facebook group.  I was blown away by the response from the other moms. Our team keeps growing and with our 3rd year, we have formed lasting friendships and amazing memories.  Plus, as a team we have raised over $175,000 together. The experience itself is incredible and the beautiful team mates who have all been touched by cancer in some way or form bring me back year after year.

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

I ask everyone, and I mean everyone I know! I am always surprised by who ends up donating each year and the connections and ways people have been touched by breast cancer. It seems like there are so many who have had someone in their lives affected by breast cancer. Their stories when they donate always touch my heart

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

Train! You don’t need to over-train but at least get out there and walk for long periods of time. Even those on our team who have done marathons say that walking is a totally different experience for them. Being on your feet for that long is tough and unexpected. Also, enjoy the 3 day and keep your ears, heart, and eyes open. The walk is unlike anything you will ever do again and is such an amazing experience. It’s why I keep coming back year after year.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I have 6 kids! My husband and I have 5 boys and 1 girl and their ages range from 16 down to our 5 year old twin boys. My husband handles all of them with finesse on the weekends as my training ramps up in September, October, and November. Its a total family team effort. We are a loud, crazy, and fun family. I also teach full time and am surrounded by children at all times. I joke that I wake up to children, teach children, carpool and feed children, and with someone always crawling into bed with me, I never am not around children!

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

That the experience is different for everyone and to take the time to hear their stories.  The 3-Day is taxing on your body but what I take away each year is what has touched my heart.

 

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.

IMG_2174

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.”

 

Congratulations to the 2018 Atlanta 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Andi Counts

Andi Counts_Atlanta Local Impact Winner

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 Atlanta 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Andi Counts.

Her teammate Janice said,I love Andi and I’m so blessed to have her as a friend and a teammate. After our 3-Day event, she invites everybody over to her house for ‘pink on the porch’ where we have great time reminiscing about the 3 Day.”

Her friend Anne says that, “Andi’s commitment to the breast cancer cause is stellar!  She is a great walking partner – we call them therapy walks sometimes…lots of time to talk as well all know.  What I admire about Andi is that she supports this cause for her friends, giving selflessly all around the year.”

IMG_1903

With such high praise, we just had to hear from Andi herself.

What was your inspiration for the 3-Day?

In 2005, a friend and previous walker asked if I wanted to join her the following year. Registering was mainly to add some fun to the exercise routine I had recently begun after years of being a couch potato and to do something good in the process. Who knew I’d still be walking 13 years and 15 walks later? Who knew I’d lose a close 3-Day friend and have many more survivor friends diagnosed during those same 13 years?

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after? The 3-Day gives more than it takes — even though it does take a lot to train, fundraise and keep on showing up. It’s a tidy package of social connections, philanthropy and exercise all tied up in a pink bow. In all the years of walking beside someone new, I’m always amazed by the depth, strength and enthusiasm for life of my fellow walkers. 3-Dayers are an interesting and entertaining bunch of folks who leave me a better person after each encounter.

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

Fundraising has been easier for me than for some due to a large network of generous friends. I’ve found that paper letters work better than emails since that paper reminder stays in their stack of bills or on the fridge until they act upon it — with no reminders necessary. I’m not shy about asking anyone I come in contact with for a donation. No one is annoyed about being asked and gives, or not, as they wish. Large donations come from the most surprising asks, and donors are mostly consistent from year to year. When I started doing two walks per year, I asked for double the amount and many did! The same thing happened during the years my son walked and we had to fundraise for two.

IMG_1904.JPG

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

Get out and meet other walkers, ask questions, learn all their tricks, and then modify to make it all work for you.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I’m a native Atlantan who has lived three miles away from two different Georgia mountains — Stone Mountain and Kennesaw — and have enjoyed climbing them both frequently.

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

1. Breast cancer can attack anyone at any time.

2. The men of the 3-Day are simply amazing.

3. It is okay to take candy from strangers, pink is my favorite color and plastic tiaras have magic powers!