60 Miles to Forever: Tom and Kasandra’s 3-Day Proposal

On the final day of the Seattle 3-Day last fall, the finish line was abuzz with anticipation. Medical crew members were gathered, a group of friends craned their necks to see that final corner beyond the finish line, and our host Mark was grinning from ear to ear. A proposal was coming!

Tom Riggs had worked with the Seattle 3-Day team to prepare for his proposal to fellow 3-Dayer, Kasandra, at the end of his 60-mile journey, and everyone couldn’t wait to see the culmination of this love story that began with a shared love of the 3-Day!

Tom says being a part of the 3-Day has helped in his relationship with Kas because it has taught him patience, perseverance, and the importance of foot rubs. 😉

“Being the person to bring her food, being a shoulder to lean on and giving lots of encouragement was important to our bond!  I LOVED being the person she could rely upon when her personal heroic acts were finished. Sharing that journey together makes the hard places easier, the great places even more awesome and the accomplishments FANTASTIC!”

After each conquering the 3-Day separately, they are now looking forward to driving a sweep van together in Seattle this year, finally making that 60-mile journey as a married couple. 2019 will also be the year they finalize moving in together, celebrate her son’s and his daughter’s college graduations, and (of course) get married!

The tuxes have been ordered, she said “yes” to a dress, the venue and rings have been selected, and the music is chosen — but there’s still so much to do! But of course, they already know that their accent color will be PINK! Until their wedding, they have super top-secret Valentine’s Day plans this week (sorry Kas, Tom wouldn’t tell us in case you read the blog!), and lots more planning to do for the 3-Day and their big day. It’s going to be a big year!

For the full story of Tom and Kasandra’s love, we let Tom take over. After all, a man in love should tell his own story 😊

When I met Kasandra in the summer of 2017, one of the first things I found out about her was that she was signed up to walk in the 2017 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. That was among the many, many things that endeared her to me! Because I was unable to participate in 2017, I committed to helping her train, raise money and get prepared. Once she was at the starting line, I spent the rest of the weekend supporting her. I knew how much the event takes out of a person physically, emotionally, and mentally, so I wanted to be there for her. I figured I was in a good position to be that friend who would understand.

After committing to the 2018 event in Seattle, Kasandra decided to switch roles with me. She wanted to come to the event to be my supporter and be at as many of the cheering stations as possible. So, when I knew in my soul that I wanted to ask her to marry me, it seemed a natural fit to propose at the 3-Day, as the event has become so important to the two of us.

I sent an e-mail to the 3-Day coaches, asking them for help. Gayla was so sweet (she even sent me a meme!) in responding, pledging support to help me. As I walked on the first day of the event, I told everyone that I was carrying the engagement ring for 60 miles and to look for the proposal at the finish line. I even recruited a friend who is attending the University of Washington to meet us at the finish, so she could use my phone to put the proposal on Facebook Live (I told all our mutual friends on Facebook to be watching!). As news of my proposal got out among the Seattle 3-Day staff (particularly the AMAZING medical crew), everyone got in on the fun to surprise Kasandra!

On the second day of the walk, I pulled my IT band and found that I couldn’t finish the event. It was so frustrating! However, the event staff was so kind in allowing Kasandra and I to take over a sweep van for Sunday. So, as we drove all over Seattle for the day, all I could think about was the proposal. As we parked the van and headed up to the finish line, everyone on the staff was smiling, knowing what was coming. To make everything look official, I even walked (gingerly!) through the finish line. The announcer gave me the microphone and it was time.

Honestly, I had rehearsed what I wanted to say for three days. But when the moment came, I couldn’t think, because all could see was her eyes and all I could think was how much I love her. So, after an initial comment about “going steady,” I dropped to one knee (also gingerly!) and proposed to her in front of the people at the finish line and dozens more on Facebook Live. And she said YES!

We now have planned a June 22nd wedding! Because we’ve recommitted to driving a sweep van for the 2019 3-Day in Seattle, we will have a table at our reception where people can support us our fundraising. We even have a name for our van already – Sweepless in Seattle! – so look for us on the route! And, of course, I’m looking forward to being under the Space Needle again, where I will kiss this amazing woman one year later as my WIFE!

Fundraising Friday: Winter Tips to Heat Up Your Fundraising

Winter is here! There has been quite a bit of snowy and chilly weather across the country of late, and we understand that this can make it difficult to get out of the house for training or fundraising. Don’t worry though, we have you covered! Here are some fun ways to jump start your fundraising…and you don’t even have to leave the cozy indoors to get started!

FROM WORK

Corporate Matching: This one is super simple! Ask your company if they have Corporate Matching Program and take advantage of that if you can. Many of your donors may also work for companies that have a program like this, so their donation could double simply by filling out a form from their Human Resources department and following the steps to submit a matching gift. Remind them to check with their company as well!

Email Chain: Email your department (or whole company!) and ask everyone to forward your fundraising email to 10 more people!

Candy Jar: Put out a jar of candy at your desk at work and ask for a 3-Day donation each time someone takes a piece.

FROM HOME

Adopt a Mile: Cozy up on the couch and send some fundraising emails! Ask donors to adopt a specific mile of your walk at a suggested price. For example, a donor could adopt mile 52 in memory of her mom who lost her battle with breast cancer at 52. Every mile makes a difference after all!

Donation for Days: You’ve made a commitment to the 3-Day. Now, ask friends and family to donate an amount per each day of that 3-Day commitment. Instead of one $25 donation, encourage them to make three $20 donations! Remember, they can pay and donate over the course of multiple months. Having of the option to donate over time is a great way to increase the size of donations (just keep in mind that donations can only be paid over the course of 4 months max).

Take Advantage of Tax Season: Tax season is coming up, so while you’re checking numbers and (hopefully) getting that return…remind your attorney that they can donate to the 3-Day, too. Also, after tax filing, send out a fundraising letter asking people to donate their return money to the 3-day!

Profile Photos: Change your Facebook profile or cover photo to a 3-Day image. Get one at The3Day.org/Logos or pull it from our 3-Day Facebook page. Then ask for donations in your status updates!

TV Show Party: Host a party in celebration of the premiere of your favorite TV show or even the Academy Awards! Serve donated hors d’oeuvres and drinks and make the event as festive as you can. Then, ask for a suggested donation at the door.

Play Tickets: Ask your local playhouse to donate tickets and then auction them off. Better yet, ask them to donate season passes!

FROM THE GYM

Spinning Class: Hit up your spinning class instructor and classmates. Set a goal at the beginning of the class, and if it’s met, everyone donates $1 per mile—or $1 per minute. Or see if you can host a sponsored class, where everyone who comes to ride commits to donating a certain amount to the 3-Day in order to come and ride!

Ask Your Trainer: Ask your yoga instructor, class teacher, or personal trainer for a donation. Or ask if you can post information about the 3-Day at the front of the gym or at check-in so that you can also get potential donations from other class members.

If you want more fundraising ideas, for winter or otherwise, check out our list of 101 Fundraising Ideas perfect for the 3-Day!

Motivation Monday: Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes and What They Mean to Our Coaches

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is still providing inspiration to people throughout the country, even almost 50 years after his death. He was a man who motivated many to be their best version of themselves. And that includes our 3-Day coaches!

We rounded up some of Dr. King’s most impactful quotes and asked our coaches to talk about how they find inspiration in his words. We hope they motivate you this week, and always.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Coach Tisho: This causes me to pause and reflect. I try to do for others every day, whether in my professional life or my personal life. This quote makes me think about the specific items I have done today to help other people. And what I might like to do tomorrow.

The time is always right to do what is right.”

Coach Heather: You can’t go wrong by doing the right thing. How could you? It might take more time, or more effort, but it will always be worth it in the end. Now is the time!

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Coach Gina: Kindness and love are needed, even in the face of darkness and hatred. Love will always bring the light we need to ward off the darkness of hate and violence. And we can only find and spread that love together.

 “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

 Coach Liz: I agree that we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent with events that rob us of sound human relations and civic understanding. We must never quit.

 “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

 Coach Stephanie: This reminds me to not focus on things that are out of our control. Everyone has challenges in life. Keep setting goals for yourself and focus on the things you can do. I think we’re all capable of achieving great things in life if we set our minds to it.

“I have decided to stick to love … Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Coach Aubrey: Throughout life there will always be hardships and it can become really easy to focus on the negative. In my experience that hasn’t brought out the best in myself or the situation, so I choose to focus on the good in people and the joy around us. Time shouldn’t be wasted on hate.

“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

Coach Jennifer: Be fierce and move toward your dreams. On the days that it does rain, learn to splash in the puddles. 😊