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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Congratulations to the 2017 San Diego 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner

For the 2017 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re honored to be featuring 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. They have also supported the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, been making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Rainy 3-day

Please join us in congratulating the 2017 San Diego 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Rainy Reinbold.

Her fellow Crew members have loved having her as a part of their team for 13 events!

“Rainy has a magical way to make everyone around her feel special, appreciated and empowered to make a difference. She has been a Crew Captain since 2005, sharing her love and leadership with both our camp crews and route crews.  In 2005 she took over the role of Gear & Tent Crew Captain, supporting over 50 crew members to make sure our Gear & Tent team was successful managing over 5,000 pieces of participant gear!

After a few years as the Gear & Tent Captain, Rainy became our Senior Captain of Camp.  She then spread her wings out to our route and has been our Senior Captain of Route for the past couple of years. Rainy has raised more than $5,000, and been a crew captain in 3 other cities.  Whenever there is a need for a volunteer at a local event, Rainy is there with her smiling face.  Rainy is truly a special ingredient that makes the San Diego 3-Day community so unique.   If you have the opportunity to meet Rainy, you will be inspired in unimaginable ways.”

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Her friends had plenty of high praise to share about Rainy, saying,

“I find her to be so REAL & GENUINE. She is so straight forward, she has a heart made of gold and although she may try to hide it, she is really sentimental. I can honestly say that if I ever need anything, I know she would be there for me and anyone else that is family, day or night, with no questions asked.

Her dedication to the 3-Day has been proven over many events and she does it with such quiet and effective leadership (you actually don’t even realize she is leading you into the promised land of 3-Day). She does all of this and maintains such a great sense of humor. I love how she laughs at me, but also is very good laughing at herself which just proves her fabulous sense of self.”

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Her humor was evident even when we asked her for her own take on the 3-Day. When we asked these questions, she didn’t know she would soon be our winner!

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

My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34. I wanted to challenge myself to walk the 60 miles and to help the cause. My sister just celebrated her 20th cancer-free anniversary.

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

I came for the cause and stayed for the family I found.

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

Just ask people face to face. Emails are easy to delete, but face to face conversations capture emotion. Explain to potential donors why you are participating in the event. Why does it mean so much to you and how can their support make a difference.

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

Slow down and enjoy the journey. There are no medals on the 3-day. Also, laugh until you cry and cry until you laugh. If you want to avoid blisters coat your feet in a thick layer of Vaseline (you are going to throw those shoes and socks away anyway after the walk).

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What’s a fun fact about you? 

I am a HUGE baseball fan (especially the Padres), I’ve been to all 30 major league baseball stadiums. My husband and I are writing a book called 59 by 59 (one couple’s journey to visit all the national parks before they turn 59). I can recite the Greek Alphabet and all 50 states in alphabetical order. I have been to 49/50 states (Idaho is all I am missing). I speak sarcasm fluently.

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

Everyone is participating in the 3-Day for a different reason. Don’t assume everyone’s idea of the 3-day is the same as yours. Listen to the stories. Blisters will fade, but the stories you share will be an amazing memory.

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Congratulations to the 2017 San Diego 3-Day Milestone Award Winner

2015 Head Shot Beach

Please join us in congratulating our 2017 San Diego 3-Day Milestone Award Winner; Julie Copaken! 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 San Diego 3-Day camp show, we presented Julie with this special honor.

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She is the Team Captain for The Keepers, and her teammates are not surprised she is being presented with this honor. They have only the best things to say about her! Their testimonials include…

“Julie is one of the most generous, enthusiastic and dedicated people I have ever met.”

“Julie has a warm, enthusiastic, infectious spirit that the carries with her in everything she does. Her passion for life and the people she loves is admirable.”

“Julie stands out as a leading fundraiser. She has consistently been a top fundraiser for the Philadelphia 3-Day and is currently 3rd in lifetime funds raised across all participants. Julie will walk San Diego this year and we are happy to recognize her significant contributions!”

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They also shared some fun facts about Julie! Did you know that she has an identical twin sister who is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon or that she has a collection of over 5000 shark teeth?! What a fascinating 3-Dayer!

But now let’s hear from Julie herself. When we asked her these questions, she didn’t know she would soon be selected as our winner!

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

I participated in my first 3-Day event in 2005. I was an Associate Brand Manager on the Motrin brand team, and I was responsible for the brand’s national sponsorship of the 3-Day — yes I designed and funded those water bottles some of us still carry with us, and made sure there was plenty of Motrin along the route to help with our sore feet and muscles! As a national sponsor, I was asked to speak at the Philadelphia event, and thought there was no way I could address the crowd unless I had been out there fundraising, training, and ultimately walking the event just like the people I’d be addressing. While I did not have any connection to breast cancer when I started this journey, I was hooked after that first event.

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

First, when I started fundraising, I realized just how many people I know who have been touched by breast cancer. My mom’s friend, my friend’s mom, my colleague – they were all survivors. And then, too many people shared how they had lost a loved one to breast cancer. And then, I started thinking about all the women in my life — my three sisters, my mom, my friends, my aunts, my cousins, my colleagues. One in eight is a staggering statistic, and it just became important for me to do my part. For the record, I hadn’t yet learned that men could be affected by breast cancer too…

Then there was the actual event. From the music at opening ceremony, to the people you meet along the way, to the powerful closing ceremony – it’s addicting. One of my favorite moments – in my life, not just my 3-Day experience – was year one, night two. We’d walked about 26 miles on day 1, and 20 miles on day 2. Needless to say, we were exhausted. But then a band started playing after dinner, and something crazy happened.

We all started dancing on those weary feet and legs of ours, and we danced the night away — we being several hundred women and a few brave men. It was just one of those moments…Truly amazing.

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Fast forward to Year #4 (2008) when the 3-Day took on new meaning for me. In August 2008 my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

I wore a t-shirt that year that read “4th year walking for boobs everywhere, first year walking for one particular pancreas.” My mom and aunt came to watch me cross the finish line. My dad couldn’t make it – the chemo was taking too big a toll at that time. He died two months later, four months to the day from his diagnosis. Cancer is ugly. And losing a loved one to cancer is awful. I won’t write more about it, because words are not sufficient to describe the loss. If you could see me now as I write, the tears on my cheeks might paint a better picture.

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Then came Year #5 (2009), when I learned that my friend Mary was a breast cancer survivor. I hadn’t known; she’d been in remission from the time I had met her. But, the cancer was back. In a way I feel proud that I had been working to help find a cure for her, even before I knew her. So Year #5 again took on new meaning. My t-shirt read “5th year walking for boobs everywhere, first year walking with a heavy heart.” I walked in support of Mary, and in my dad’s memory, in an effort to find a cure for all cancer, so that fewer people have to suffer the loss I feel every day.

Then fast forward to Year #8 (2012), when the world lost Mary. I hate cancer. So, I walk…
And, funny enough, I no longer walk with anyone I knew pre-3-Day. My teammates are also a BIG reason I come back year after year. Each is an amazing woman I’ve met along the way – Maryanne, a 9-year survivor/thriver who I met around Mile 10 in 2012, and Libby, who lost her mom Brenda to breast cancer in 2012, and who Maryanne and I met at Open Ceremonies in 2014. I can’t wait to see who we might meet along the way this year to add to our team for next year!

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

I guess it’s several different things. First, I ask just about anyone I can think of. I build on my list year after year, scouring my email to see who I’ve sent emails to or received emails from. And, for the most part if we’ve exchanged emails, you’re added to the list – a list that is well north of 600 people today, and results in approximately 200 individual gifts/year across the three organizations for whom I raise money (one of which is Komen).

Second, I ask again, and again, and again, and again. I send “Friendly Reminders” to bring my request back up to the top of potential donors’ inboxes knowing that for many people like me, emails can “get buried.” Then I send “3-Weeks Until the 3-Day” and “3-Days Until the 3-Day Fundraising Deadline” reminder emails. I supplement those emails with Facebook posts.

Third, I make it interesting, funny, personal, and if appropriate, competitive – you never know what’s going to be the thing to make someone decide to donate. An example of funny – I have created a “Health of Benevolence” report tracking fundraising efforts over the years and “donor type” (including Family, Family Friends, Philly Friends, and ex-boyfriends, which always gets a laugh).

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An example of personal – including a poem I wrote about my experience of my father’s final days/moments, or sharing a list of everyone for whom I walk (both attached). An example of competitive – if I’m in the running for Top Fundraiser or close to a goal, I share that…people like to help you cross the finish line!

Finally, I follow up to ensure those who can have submitted their matching gift requests. It’s an extra step, but according to my records, I’ve raised nearly $75,000 for Komen in this way since 2010, when my company (Johnson & Johnson) started matching employee gifts 2:1 for Susan G. Komen 3-Day.

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

Do the training. Walking 60 miles is harder than it might seem. And bring an air mattress. The ground is hard! But then, enjoy every moment. Bring some pink flare. Take time to meet people along the way and share your story. Cry if you need to. Someone will comfort you. And then laugh often. And, don’t forget to hydrate and put Vaseline between your toes!

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What’s a fun fact about you?

I’m an identical twin. We look a lot alike and it’s always fun when we’re together. Oh, and I’ve taken up a new hobby! I moved to Florida 3 ½ years ago, and I started collecting sharks teeth! I have found nearly 6,000 of them in the last year and a half!

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

Finding your passion and giving yourself to it can be so rewarding in ways you may have never imagined – whether it’s the sense of progress in the fight, the sense of accomplishment in achieving a goal, the network I’ve been able to maintain through my yearly fundraising efforts, or the amazing friends and 3-Day Family I’ve gained along the way and the memories we’ve created together over time… I feel so lucky for all of it…