2019 Twin Cities 3-Day Wrap-Up

The weekend could not have been brighter or more fun for our Twin Cities 3-Day. 400 walkers and 150 crew gathered together to honor our community and celebrate the start of an amazing 3 days. Our 60-Mile journey began with an emotional Opening Ceremony at our hotel camp. Local participants shared their stories, then our local survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer led our walkers out into the sun and onto the route…

The walk began with time for photos and famous Minnesota sights in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and through Kenwood Park. The local community came out with cheer stations at William Berry and Lynnhurst Parks before lunch. Lunch was shady and relaxing thanks to the sunglasses from Amgen and bright pink mats and shade tents from Mohawk Flooring. Before they knew it, our walkers had already conquered 10 miles!

At Grab B, walkers could stop and take in the picturesque Minnehaha Falls and relax under some shady trees. It was there that we also met our Twin Cities Youth Corps team, who spread smiles and enthusiasm all weekend long!

Pit Stop 3 was a great selfie opportunity, thanks to crew fun, and then a few miles later, our walkers came home to the hotel camp. Down the pink carpet, and into our 3-Day Camp Main Street, walkers were reinvigorated thanks to the Bank of America massage chairs, sweet treats from Amgen Oncology, and a hearty evening meal. After dinner, we played a rousing game of 3-Day BINGO and ended Day One with lots of laughs.

Saturday began with our Bank of America Breakfast of Champions, where we awarded our Top Fundraisers for Twin Cities, as well as honoring our Milestone and Local Impact Award Winners. It was the perfect way to start our Day 2, and we were excited to cheer on our walkers as they headed out into the sunlight.

The cheering and support continued all day long thanks to community support like the Susan G. Komen Minnesota Affiliate, who supported our walkers at Pit Stop 2. The excitement reached a peak at lunch at Central Park in Roseville. There we held our halfway celebration, as walkers were already 30 miles down in their weekend journey. There were extra photo opps and celebratory decorations, as well as a dance party led by Mark and our Youth Corps and Crew. It was the perfect way to start the second half of our day!

From there, walkers passed through the beautiful areas of Little Canada and White Bear Lake. The walk along the water, and underneath shady trees, helped make the sunny afternoon a comfortable and enjoyable one. There were plenty of cheering stations, and even free pink ice cream cones at Cup and Cone in White Bear Lake. The day ended with a bus pick-up from White Bear Lake Area Schools. Walkers took a bus back home to our hotel camp, and after our Day 2 final walker arrived, we were all united.

From there, we held our second Honor Ceremony, hearing stories from local participants and our Twin Cities Youth Corps. We raised our voices and our hearts together to remember why we walk, and why we will never give up. Everyone went to sleep on Saturday night with hearts full of love and excitement for our final day together.

Day 3 brought perfect walking weather, thanks to some evening rain the night before. Walkers made great time as they trekked through Falcon Heights and into St. Paul. Van Cleve and Como Regional Parks brought beautiful sights and easy steps as walkers made their way into lunch. By midday, they had already walked more than 11 miles!

Our afternoon was spent throughout St. Paul, including a stop at the Summit Overlook Park, which provided great views of the city and many a photo opportunity.

But soon enough the day, and the 60-mile walk, were over. Our walkers crossed the finish line in front of the Minnesota State Capital building, cheered on by friends and family. They received their Bank of America medals, and proudly wore them while they celebrated, took photos, and relaxed in our Finish Line Festival area. Then, our last walker came home, leading the crew and all our local survivors into the cheering crowd of our 3-Day participants.

There was much to celebrate! Our 400 Twin Cities walkers and 150 Crew raised an amazing $1.1 million this weekend in the fight against breast cancer! We danced under the sun, hand in hand, and ended the weekend with smiles all around. Thank you, Twin Cities, for yet another amazing 60-mile journey with us!

Congratulations to the 2019 Twin Cities 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Cynthia Geye

Please join us in congratulating our 2019 Twin Cities Milestone Award Winner; Cynthia Geye. 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 Twin Cities 3-Day camp show, we presented Cynthia with this special honor.

Before she left home for the 3-Day this year, we talked to Cynthia about what the 3-Day means to her. She is walking this year with her granddaughter Callie Powers, and walking for Jen, Callie’s mom and Cindy’s daughter. When Callie was born, Cindy had just completed treatment and she told the family that Callie would be her reason to live and keep fighting. Now, Callie is walking with Cindy for the first time, in Jen’s honor.

Jen says that Cindy is “a very positive person, always looking on the bright side, laughing and is totally goofy. She has made this walk her passion and will not stop until we eradicate this disease.”

We are honored to share Cindy’s story, in her own words, below…

Back in 2005, one year after surviving 3 bouts of metastatic breast cancer, my oldest daughter suggested, no, she insisted that we do something big in the fight against breast cancer. She had seen an ad for the Susan G. Komen 3-day Breast Cancer walks. She used every coercive method she could to convince me to walk. I, of course, came up with every imaginable excuse as to why I should NOT walk. But, walk we did (even convinced my younger daughter to join us).

Since then, I have walked every year and every city multiple times. Sometimes with my daughters and many times as a solo walker. This year, I am walking with my granddaughter. This is my 27th walk and each walk is so memorable. With every walk, I meet new friends. We share our stories, our tears, our hopes for the future. We laugh, we cry, and we support one another. Each walk is 3 days full of kindness, caring and commitment.

When I first started walking, there was a song titled “Why We Walk.” The refrain says it all: “We walk to remember. We walk to celebrate…. For those who are gone and those who live on. We honor them all and that’s why we walk.”

You see, God has given me amazing health these last 20+ years and I can use it to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. The blisters, aches and pains are nothing compared to what every cancer patient goes through when we are battling this disease.

As I am a fast walker, I have been told many times that it is not how fast you walk, but, rather, enjoying the 3-Day journey. This is about all the people, not just the walkers.

It’s all the people that come out to cheer us on. The bald women with their signs that say “Thank you. You’re walking for me.”  To know that we are helping them have a second chance at life. Every survivor, no matter where they live, deserve the best possible care.

It’s about the little girls holding their signs that say, “Please find a cure before I grow up.”  To have the color pink be more than the symbol for breast cancer, but rather the color for hair ribbons and prom dresses.

This is not about what you endure while walking – the blisters, aches and pains – it is so much more.  It is what you walk away with – the memories that will last a lifetime.  While my own cancer journey was very scary, not knowing if I would survive, it has ended up as a true gift.  It has brought me many blessings, a deeper faith and a richer perspective on life.  It has brought me to the 3-Day.

2019 Susan G. Komen Michigan 3-Day Wrap-Up

Our first 3-Day of 2019 was one we’ll remember for a long time to come! From the sunshine, to the comfort of our new hotel camp, to the many memories that our Michigan 3-Dayers made over the course of the weekend. The community support was unparalleled, the Youth Corps sprinkled their magic throughout the journey, and our Crew provided support and expertise every step of the way. To say we’re going to look back on this weekend with a smile is quite an understatement.

And it all started with our updated Opening Ceremony on Friday morning! We gathered inside one of our host hotels and highlighted several people in the Michigan community who have committed so much of their heart and soul to Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal over the years. We also recognized survivors and those who live with metastatic breast cancer. These strong women and men led our walkers out of the hall and into the sun, kicking off our Michigan 3-Day in style.

The walk began through our new 3-Day pink tunnel of fun, sponsored by Amgen, and out onto the sidewalks and trails of Novi. Walkers were greeted at pit stop 1 by the much-loved BOOBees and even got Panera bagels for the perfect kick-off to their journey. From there, they passed by our first local cheering station and headed to pit stop 2 at Meadowbrook Elementary School. Cheerleaders, grahamwiches and some very important stretching carried them through to lunch at the 11.8 mile mark.

Lunch was back at Meadowbrook Elementary, and walkers relaxed in the shade (Thank you, Mohawk, for those cool new shade tents!) before tackling the second half of their day in Novi. The Novi Senior Center at pit stop 3 was a high point of the afternoon, as walkers loved the support and cheering from the local seniors. A quick stop in Rotary Park ended the day, and then our last walker returned to the hotel to raise our 3-Day flag and complete Day One.

We celebrated those first 19.5 miles with a new game of 3-Day bingo and practiced the dance our participants would break out at lunch at the Halfway Point. Then it was time for some much-needed sleep (and showers!) to rest up for Day Two.

Saturday dawned bright and beautiful with our Bank of America Breakfast of Champions, where we honored our top Michigan fundraisers and teams (including two new awards: the “Small But Mighty Team” Award and “Rookie of the Year” Award), as well as our Michigan Milestone and Local Impact winner. We were so happy to celebrate their contributions!

From there, walkers headed through Northville, spending time in local parks and on shady trails. Once they arrived in Plymouth, the energy hit a peak thanks to the amazing community cheering station at Kellogg Park…complete with the pink fountain! Our walkers stretched out in the grass, danced under the sun and soaked in all the excitement of Plymouth.

That enthusiasm continued into lunch, where we had a special new halfway celebration! Photo ops, flash dance mobs, and all kinds of goodies made this lunch extra special. We were halfway to 60 miles, after all!

After lunch, walkers trekked through Northville and back into Novi before ending back home at our hotel camp. Those Bank of America massage chairs and the famous 3-Day mac and cheese were waiting to welcome them! After our last walkers came safely back home, we had a special evening Honor Ceremony, where we heard some beautiful, moving stories from local Michigan participants and the Youth Corps about why they have chosen to commit 3 days, and how Susan G. Komen has affected their lives. Before the night concluded, we invited all participants to leave a memory in our Honor Garden, and to visit the Remembrance room. It was a solemn but inspiring reminder of how much of a difference everyone makes by being a part of the 3-Day. We are excited to bring this emotional, inspiring experience to all seven cities this year.

Sunday, our final day in Michigan, began with a quick bus ride into Livonia, where our walkers started their final day of walking. That walk included stepping through Livonia, Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, along with a stop at the picturesque and shady York Park for lunch. Our 3-Day Crew pulled out all the stops for the final day of walking, from the “Eat, Sleep, Cure. We are here to Serve.” camp services team, to our out of this world Crew at pit stop 3 and beyond. The day ended, as it has in the past few years, at the Ford World Headquarters.

Walkers passed underneath the Amgen pink tunnel and across the finish line, hands held, and smiles turned up to the sunshine. For hours, there were almost 50 volunteers from our presenting sponsor, Bank of America, there to cheer our walkers in as they conquered 60 miles in unity and strength. Our last walker arrived home and raised the flag to help us kick off our new Closing Ceremony in style. With our last walker starting our celebration, our survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer led the rest of our Michigan family into the Closing Ceremony. We celebrated all that we have accomplished in Michigan, thanked those who helped us along the way, and acknowledged the great deeds done over the last 3 days. The 2019 Michigan 3-Day raised $1.2 million in the fight against breast cancer!

Our weekend ended with a dance party in the afternoon sun, and many hugs and smiles shared with all our 400 walkers and 200 crew. Our first 3-Day of 2019 is complete, but we have so much more work to do! Twin Cities, we will see you soon…