3-Day Michigan Coaches: Favorite Parts of the 2018 3-Day

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The countdown is on to our first 3-Day of 2018, and no one is more excited than your Michigan 3-Day Coaches. Jennifer, Heather and Gina have been preparing, planning and getting pumped up for this coming weekend since Michigan’s Closing Ceremony in 2017. They can’t wait to welcome all our 3-Dayers back into the Pink Bubble!

What are they most excited for this year?

Coach Jennifer is looking forward to “meeting all of the new folks that I have been talking to on the phone and via email for the past several months and reconnecting with our amazing veteran walkers.”

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The coaches with Event Production Manager, Ann Love

Crew & Volunteer Coordinator Gina echoes that statement saying she can’t wait for to welcome “those returning and meeting the new faces on the event,” especially when it comes to the Crew and Volunteers.

Crew, Youth Corps and volunteers are all a huge part of the 3-Day experience after all!

“I must give a shout out to our all-volunteer and all-around amazing Crew. You will find Crew around every turn, and at camp, making sure walkers are fully supported,” Coach Gina promises. “Youth Corps, our friends in yellow, are youth who commit to serving the walkers throughout the weekend. Be sure to “high-five” a crew or Youth Corps member!”

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You can also high five your coaches because they have some great advice for you! How should you make the most of your time on the Michigan 3-Day? Their top tips are all very similar:

  • “Enjoy every single moment the 3-Day has for you. Do not be in a rush to get to the next pit stop, don’t worry about what “number” you are! Enjoy it and soak it in. Take a lot of pictures, talk to your fellow walkers, not just those you may be on a team with. Trust me, these three days will fly by.” – Coach Jennifer
  • “Savor the moments, every step, each interaction, because as the saying goes, ‘It’s the little moments that make life big.’” – Coach Gina
  • “One step at a time. Soak it all in! Don’t get so lost in “just getting it done” that you miss all the awesomeness that comes with every minute.” – Coach Heather

While you soak in these moments, also remember how much the 3-Day matters to walkers, Crew and coaches alike.

Coach Gina says, “My 3-Day ‘why’ became much more personal in the past year and has renewed my energy in this fight. My own breast cancer battle brought surgeries, chemo, radiation, and more…but I am blessed because I had my 3-Day community around me, who lifted me up when I needed it most. The 3-Day to me is a family, a family bound together by their passion, enthusiasm and drive to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.”

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Every step you take on the 60-mile route makes a huge difference. And of course, no one knows the route better than these three ladies!

Here are their favorite spots to look for over your Michigan weekend:

  • Walking along the water early on Day 1
  • Camp! All the coaches promise that camp will be cozy and full of fun things to do
  • All the local cheering stations!
  • But especially the Plymouth cheering station on Day 3
  • Kellogg Park
  • The cheerleaders on Day 3
  • York Street in Dearborn
  • Any place along the route where there are dogs! (Good point Coach Jennifer 😊)

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This team works hard, but they also love to work together and support each other!

Gina is the “calm, cool and collected” one of the group who “always has a kind word for everyone.” Heather and Jennifer describe themselves as two peas in a pod; they even finish each other sentences!

Coach Heather sums it up nicely when she says, “If I had to use one, all-encompassing word, it would be FRIENDS! We are there for each other in all aspects of our lives. We cheer each other’s victories and we show love and support during our times of struggle. We are blessed to be part of this tightknit team and we are so excited to share an amazing 2018 3-Day with our awesome walkers and crew!”

With excitement and love like that, you know this weekend is going to be one for the books!

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2017 Susan G. Komen Michigan 3-Day Wrap-up

On Friday morning of our first 2017 3-Day, the sky cleared for a bright blue sunrise at Walled Lake Western High School. Our 350 Michigan 3-Day walkers had perfect walking weather to start their 60-mile journey that began with a poignant Opening Ceremony led by local participants.

The first pit stop, at Bayside Grille, was right along the water at mile 2.7, giving all our walkers great views and photo opportunities with our Boo Bees pit crew and volunteers. From there, they visited Pit 2 at Meadowbrook Elementary School after a brisk 6.4 miles of walking. Then, after 11.2 miles, the walkers got a rest and lunch break (including salads this year!) at Meadowbrook Congregational Church. They stretched, refueled and relaxed on our new pink Mohawk mats, which were a favorite for our first picnic lunch.

After lunch, the next pit stop was Dr. Seuss-themed at Christ Presbyterian Church at mile 14.6. And oh the places the walkers would go after that! With brains in their heads and feet in their shoes, they headed off through the cheering station at Novi High School, and on to pit stop 4 at mile 17.

The first day finished at Novi Middle School for dinner, camp and relaxing. Friday had seen our walkers trek 19.3 miles in record time, so everyone took advantage of the Bank of America massage chairs, trail mix bar, relaxation areas and other treats.

At camp, survivor speaker Pala Liske gave a deeply personal and heartwarming speech, thanking all the walkers who had come before her. Bank of America then honored Top Team Fundraiser, The Hines Pink Pathers, as well as Top Individual Fundraiser Mary Ann Isaac, who raised more than $29,000 this year. Gary Bertolini was our Top Crew Fundraiser, and we also celebrated the 68 walkers who are celebrating 10 or more years on the 3-Day. Together, these 68 walkers have raised $3.4 million in their lifetime!

Later, Jim Hillmann received the Milestone Award for his 10 years and 50 events on the 3-Day. He has raised $153,004 in his time on the 3-Day and received resounding applause from his fellow walkers. In addition, Dan Sinclair won the Local Impact Award thanks to his 14 years, 40 events, and $23,623 lifetime raised. Everyone went to sleep that night inspired!

Day 2 started off with sunshine as the walkers sailed in to their longest day of walking for the weekend. At mile 3.5, they stopped at Thornton Creek Elementary School, they hit up pit stop 1 to stock up on grahamwiches and orange slices. Pit stop 2 saw our walkers visiting the western-themed Wild Wild Breast at mile 7.8 for the day at beautiful Cass Benton Park.

During lunch at the Plymouth Cultural Center, we met our Youth Corps to learn why, and for whom, each of them walked. Leaving lunch, the walkers had already stepped through 11 miles for the day!

Our first cheering station on Saturday was at the iconic Kellogg Park in downtown Plymouth. At mile 11.8, the walkers came upon a photo favorite: the pink fountain! The community turned out in full force with music, cheering and plenty of opportunities for selfies.

Then there was a second cheering station at Cook School, and the Treasure Breast pit stop 4 at mile 19.4 at Spillane & Reynolds Orthodontics. This pit stop came complete with a two-person pirate ship, Captain Jack Sparrow photo op and lots of other booty-ful treats to propel our walkers through the last few miles of the day.

After 22.3 miles, our walkers came home to camp back at Novi Middle School, where the local cheerleading squad and football teams were on hand to welcome our final walker in. After that, walkers dug into everyone’s favorite 3-Day meal: macaroni and cheese! During and after dinner, walkers could listen to performances by local musical acts, as well as play games with their friends and family. For extra fun for the friends and family, there were also local food trucks and even a Bank of America mini golf course on hand. Plenty of fun was had before everyone turned into their cozy pink tents for the night.

Sunday morning began with more sunshine, and our walkers kicked off their last day at Kennedy Elementary School. The 3-Dayers walked through Livonia, Westland, and Dearborn Heights throughout the morning, logging 7.9 miles before they arrived at pit stop 2. There they were greeted by cheerleaders, complete with pink pom poms!

Before lunch at mile 10.8, the walkers passed through a huge community cheering section! A whole neighborhood came out to cheer our walkers on, take photos, and help give an extra pep in their step as they arrived at York Park for lunchtime.

With only a few miles to go, the walkers breezed through pit stop 3 at Lizzie’s Pasture to arrive at Ford World Headquarters. After completing 15.5 miles on Day 3, our Michigan 3-Day walkers had arrived at the finish line!

Their journey is never truly done, though, as was evidenced in 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. Our 350 walkers and 250 crew members made great strides this weekend, raising more than $1.1 million towards the cause, much of which will go directly back to the local Michigan community efforts.

As we hugged and celebrated and danced in the sun, 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, Michigan. 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.

Congratulations to the 2017 Michigan 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Dan Sinclair

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For the 2017 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased 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, 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 2017 Michigan 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Dan Sinclair.

“My first ever 3-Day was in 2002 when I was a student of Massage Therapy and I needed 50 hours of civic volunteer hours to complete that part of my training at school. And I was told that I could complete all that time in a single weekend. Little did I know how much that weekend would impact my life. When the 3-Day returned to Michigan in 2004, I was ready! Only to find out that they no longer used a massage therapy team for the walkers. While the crew coordinator was explaining this to me he noticed I was wearing a “Harley” tee shirt and asked if I rode? I explained I’d been on motorcycles most my life and his reply was “Have I got a deal for you”. In 2005 my daughter was a walker and I was on crew. She quickly introduced me to her walking friends and suddenly, I had a 3-Day family and was given the moniker of their “3-Day Dad” and over the years that family has taken a special meaning to my life. In 15 years, I went from not knowing anyone that has had breast cancer to becoming close friends with so many people who live with it daily and then losing a lifelong friend to this monster. At age 60 I did my first walk in Denver with some of my Michigan Crew members and discovered traveling and seeing the country through PINK shaded glasses is one fine way to live. So now I crew everywhere I can and walk at one event each year.

My passion is the water, boating, swimming, scuba diving or just plain sitting at the beach. I taught safe boating classes during the Michigan winters and was off to the marina in the spring. I was fortunate enough to have a wife that shared my passion for boating and allowed me to follow my dream. In 1986, we came across “Luv-It”, a boat big enough for the family to be comfortable on and this year we are enjoying our 31st season on board her.

Being retired Navy, I’ve seen parts of the world that most people are not fortunate enough to witness first hand, some spectacular, some downright devastating and everything in between. So, when I came across the 3-Day Community, I thought, “If only the world could be like this”.

So, year after year I come back and add my “two cents” in hopes that it makes someone somewhere take their mind off their troubles, their sickness, their pain and smile just a little bit…

There is a cure out there and together we will find it.”

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What do some of Dan’s friends have to say about him?

“I have had the absolute privilege of working, and walking, side by side with Dan for 14 years now.  I’ve witnessed first hand the impact he has had not only here in Michigan but in the other event cities as well.  He is ever present and always smiling.  His willingness to help fellow crew and walkers knows no bounds.  It is not uncommon to find him using his massage therapist skills to help walkers stretch and work out kinks, sometimes right on the side of the road.  That always makes for a hilarious double take when one of the Medical crews drives by!  He makes a point of getting to know new faces, making them feel welcome and sharing his story.  Whether it is 30 seconds at an intersection or 30 minutes in the dining tent, you will always feel like you’re an old friend!” – Jenn Frederick

“I don’t know a 3-Day withOUT Dan – He took me under his wing at the opening ceremony of my very first 3-Day, many many years ago.  Made me feel welcome as a rookie route safety.  And has taught me everything I know about crewing and captaining.

He is our 3-Day Dad  (I’m probably not the only one who will say this)

Best. Hugs. Ever!

Passionate.  Caring.

A mentor.  A role model.

A shoulder to cry on

A friend to laugh with

A great storyteller

Loved by MANY!” – Jeanette Jones