Congratulations to the 2019 New England 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Ali Pepe

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 New England 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Ali Pepe!

Ali has participated in 15 3-Days over the course of 13 years, even participating as a member of our Youth Corps! Since then, she has “walked, crewed and has put her heart and soul in to being the Youth Corps Captain since 2012 in Philadelphia and Boston,” according to Coaches Tisho and Sharyn.

3-Day friend Robin Maxcy also can’t say enough about the amazing Ali!

“The words that come to mind when I think of Ali are kind, bold, generous and always doing something bigger than herself to help others. Ali’s smile and energy is contagious to everyone she meets. I feel fortunate to have met Ali and her family at the very first Boston 3-Day many years ago. From that time frame until now, I have watched Ali grow into a beautiful, smart and empowering woman continuing to help others.”

Ali is a joy and such an asset in our 3-Day family. You can learn even more about her, in her own words, below…

What was your inspiration to do your 1st 3-Day?

My mother had done the 3-Day for years to support my aunt, her sister, who had breast cancer. I was young at the time, but when I saw my mom and aunt walk into closing for the first time, I immediately knew I wanted to get involved and support the cause. Luckily, Boston was the home of the Youth Corps, and when I was 14 years old, I was chosen to be a member. It was an experience I will never forget!

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

After my first 3-Day, I was hooked! Not only does the event support a great cause, but the members of the walk become a second family. I can’t imagine not participating in it. This year will mark my 15th event!

Beyond that, it became an even more important event to me in 2012 when my grandmother, my mom, and my aunt were all diagnosed with breast cancer within 6 months of one another. I vowed I would participate in the 3-Day until we found a cure and there was no need for the walk anymore.

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

I’d say the biggest thing is that I’m usually just very open about my experience with the 3-Day and my family’s experience battling breast cancer. So many people have been touched by this horrible disease and want to help. Beyond that, I just incorporate fun into my FUNdraising whether it’s a band at an event, raffle prizes, or more. People are happy to help and having the opportunity to have a good time while doing so makes it even more enjoyable.

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

Get to know anyone and everyone you can on the event! Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a random stranger because I can guarantee in just a few short miles, they will become a great friend. Laugh, cheer, smile, and even cry! It’s all part of the magic of the 3-Day.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I have completed the past two Boston Marathons! Both times running for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, and have raised nearly $22,000 for cancer patients and their families who are in need.

I’m also a huge Bruins and Pats fan!

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

Ohhh, this is a hard one…I think it probably has to be that you should count every blessing you have and make every moment count. I know it sounds corny, but when you hear the stories of men and women on the event, and realize how awful the disease can be, I realize how lucky I am. My mom, grandmother, and both my aunts are now all survivors, but not every story ends like mine. Unfortunately, breast cancer claims the lives of too many people, and this is why we all walk. The 3-Day really taught me to cherish the ones I love because. It also taught me that no matter how horrible this disease is, we still have hope and each other. 💜

Congratulations to the 2019 New England 3-Day Milestone Award Winners, Carol Holt & Cynthia Crisp

Please join us in congratulating our 2019 New England Milestone Award Winners; Carol Holt and Cynthia Crisp. 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 New England 3-Day camp show, we presented not one but two amazing ladies – Carol and Cynthia – with this special honor.

Together they have walked for 16 years and each participated in more than 20 3-Days each. They have each also raised more than $68,000 for Susan G. Komen and the 3-Day. And they’re not done yet! They are part of team Wild Women Originals, and teammate Jay Dorval says that even while “Coaches changed. Team dynamics changed.” and the years passed, Carol and Cynthia kept their dedication to their team and this cause. “A few of us die hards kept our focus  and our hearts strong,” and that included these amazing sisters.

Teammate Lynn Ostberg also had so many things to say about these amazing women.

“As individual walkers and fundraisers Cynthia and Carol are great, starting at the beginning and making sure friends and family dress in pink and go get mammograms together. They have lost good friends to this disease and have continued to fight and raise awareness in their memory. They are dedicated to the cause for sure and are such good stewards of the event, walking injured, having knee replacements and more.”

We are honored to have them at our New England walk this weekend, and as a part of our 3-Day family. Let’s now hear from Cindy and Cynthia themselves…

What was your inspiration to do the 3-Day?

Cindy: My maternal grandmother had breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and lived many years after until she passed away from heart disease. My cousin, however, was diagnosed with breast cancer after having her 3rd child and passed away within a year at the age of 26. Because of our family history, we were advised to start having mammograms at age 35.  My sister Carol and I were very good about having ours annually, but I had another sister, Tina, who kept putting it off.

Finally, one year when she asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I asked her to go with me for a mammogram; I would make all the arrangements. I was very excited when she agreed! When I told Carol that we were going, she asked if she could join us, then when I told my Mom, she said she’d also like to go. I called Tina back and told her I was going to have a mammogram birthday party! Her reply: “What will you do if one of us gives you breast cancer for your birthday?”

I said, “I can only hope it will be an early detection.”

As it turned out, my mother in fact was diagnosed with breast cancer…time gets away from us and she thought it had only been 2 years since her last mammogram when in fact, it had been 4 years. She had surgery, radiation and tamoxifen. Within a month a dear friend, Joanie, who had lived with our family while growing up, was diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer.

At this time, 2002, Avon ran the walk. When Carol and I saw the commercials on TV, we knew this was something we wanted to do. The following year, two of my daughters walked the Avon was which now was a 2-day walk. Then Susan G. Komen took over the 3-Day and we preferred walking the 60 miles, so we began walking the 3-Day again.

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

Carol: My sister Cindy and I promised each other we would walk until we no longer could or a cure was found.

Cindy: When we started walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, we heard about the promise that Nancy Brinker made to her sister Susan. So, Carol and I made our own sister promise: We would continue to walk if our health allowed or until they found a cure. We never thought that 17 years later, we would still be doing multiple walks a year.

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

Carol: One simple idea is just sending out personal letters and talking about finding a cure.

Cindy: We’ve done many things to raise money. One year we held a pig roast, hired a band and sold tickets. Another year we had a sports memorabilia auction and sold raffle tickets for a signed David Ortiz Pink baseball bat. The restaurant also donated a portion of their proceeds. […] But I would have to say, I built up a very loyal base of supporters and send out a letter every year and that is where I have raised the majority of my money.

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

Carol: Enjoy the walk….take your time and meet all the wonderful people!

Cindy: Take your time….it’s not a race. Talk to people. Hear their stories…and count your blessings.

What is a fun fact about you?

Carol: Cindy and I just finished walking 500 miles across Spain!

Cindy: We started walking from St. Jean Pied de Port, France. We hiked over the Pyrenees mountains into Spain and walked 500 miles over 40 days, ending in Santiago. It was amazing! I like to think of it as our 3-Day training walk.

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

Cindy: Live each day to the fullest.  Cancer isn’t choosy…it can strike at anytime to any person.  Count your blessings and take nothing for granted.

Carol: Never give up. Breast cancer touches everyone, and everyone is like family.

Meet Your New England 3-Day Coaches

Coaches Tisho, Meredith and Sharyn

We’re back from the Labor Day weekend with a burst of excitement…because we’re heading to the East Coast for the New England 3-Day, which starts tomorrow! We have an amazing route planned for 3 days of fun and family, and no one is more excited to welcome you to the Pink Bubble than your New England 3-Day Coaches! If you haven’t met them yet, you soon will. But before we all pack our bags, we wanted to introduce you to the team who has been preparing for this weekend for more than a year.

Get ready to meet Coaches Tisho, Sharyn and Gina, along with our Event Production Manager Meredith!

Meredith, who created our amazing route, “is dedicated to her job and her responsibilities like no one else” Coach Sharyn knows, because they used to volunteer together at Get Started Meetings.

That may be because Coach Sharyn has been a long-time 3-Day advocate and inspiration. She is “passionate about this cause and truly invested in the spirit of the 3-Day,” according to Coach Gina. Coach Sharyn is a newer addition to the team, but Coach Gina loves how Sharyn “ensures our walkers know her personally and enjoy every step of the 3-Day.”

Gina knows just how much the personal touch can make a difference. As a breast cancer survivor, she is the epitome of dedication, and Coach Tisho says she also “has this amazing strength and resiliency that you don’t immediately expect from that sweet smile.” Coach Gina works tirelessly with our Crew and volunteers to bring all kinds of spirit to our new 3-Day location.

Philly walkers will know full well how Coach Tisho knows her job inside and out. She helps walkers, and her fellow coaches like Sharyn, to “answer the tough questions and is always perfectly professional in her responses.” Plus, she “gives her all (and then some!) to make sure our walkers are supported, loved and successful in their 3-Day journey,” according to Coach Gina.

Coach Gina (left)

You could not ask for a more dedicated and excited group of women to support you during your 60-mile weekend. And what a weekend it will be! There is so much to look forward to on the New England 3-Day route, and the coaches have their favorite spots:

  • Seeing every part of the city of Boston. From heading north to Bunker Hill, west to Cambridge & Newton, south to Jamaica Plain and east towards Castle Island! We will take you through the whole community!
  • The Cambridge Graffiti Wall is the only place in the greater Boston area where graffiti artists can paint without fear of being arrested. Not only is the art interesting but the alley itself with its beautifully colored roof is just visually stunning.
  • The Boston Public Gardens with all the natural beauty and the Swan Boats.
  • The historic sites in the Charlestown community.
  • The Seaport District. We get to walk along waterfront for parts of all three days!
  • The Lawn on D, where our Finish Line Festival takes place, is a super cool venue that just invites celebration and fun!

You can also look forward to experiencing our hotel camp, and new camp programs. Coach Tisho can’t wait for some of her past Philadelphia walkers to be a part of the hotel experience again. She recommends really relishing in all the amenities that our host hotels have to offer.

In addition to that, all of your coaches really want everyone to take their time and enjoy the whole 3-Day weekend. When we asked them to share advice for participants, they all said almost the same thing:

  • “Don’t just rush through your day and the task” ahead, whether that’s walking, setting up a pit stop, handing out legacy pins in camp or victory shirts at the Finish Line Festival. These are three days you will never get back and they are magical. Take time to really look around at all that is happening and the incredible impact we are making.” – Coach Tisho
  • “Savor the moments, every step, each interaction, because as the saying goes, ‘It’s the little moments that make life big.’” – Coach Gina
  • “Don’t hurry through the day. Enjoy the people you meet along the way. Ask questions of the solo walkers you find yourself beside and ask them their story and always, always approach a stranger with a smile!” – Coach Sharyn

Thanks to your coaches, you’ll be able to enjoy and celebrate our return to New England with an amazing weekend of 3-Day fun. What are you most looking forward to for this weekend? Tell us in the comments! It will be here before you know it!