Congratulations to the 2018 Dallas/Fort-Worth 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Michelle Beniak

Michelle Beniak

For the 2018 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 2018 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Michelle Beniak.

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Michelle is a 6-year breast cancer survivor, and a 9-year 3-Day participant. This year, she is Co-Captain of team Pink Soles in Motion in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Pink Soles in Motion’s other captain, Catrina Gibson, says Michelle “is always willing to take on any task she is handed and tackles it with a smile. From planning and leading training walks, setting up shoe clinics at local retailers or manning the 3-Day booth at Race for the Cure, Michelle always gets it done.”

Coach Gayla echoes that sentiment, saying, “Michelle has been an incredible teammate for the Pink Soles in Motion team for years. She’s a survivor and has helped ME on many occasions. I’ve always been able to count on her to meet me somewhere to chat with a new participant, send people to her when looking for a team to join, man the booth at a Race for the Cure and/or More Than Pink Walk. Her positive promotion of the 3-Day inspires me and so many to get or stay involved.”

IMG_2164Michelle told us more about her 3-Day story…

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

I thought it would be a great challenge.

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

As a survivor, I feel the need to continue raising awareness and funds for finding a cure.

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

As part of a large team, we have several events throughout the year which helps a lot. In addition, finding people who work where their company matches donations has probably been the single most important “secret” to fundraising.

IMG_2167What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?

Train! If you find you still cannot walk the entire event, remember to walk out of opening ceremony, into camp/out of camp and into the closing ceremony. You won’t regret one minute!

What’s a fun fact about you? 

I have 10 grand-kids (+1 due in December) and 2 great-grand-kids!

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

Friendships can be made in mere seconds and last a lifetime. My motto is, “Strangers are family you haven’t met yet.”

 

Congratulations to the 2018 Philadelphia 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, Ron MacDonald

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Please join us in congratulating our 2018 Philadelphia Milestone Award Winner; Ron MacDonald! 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 Philadelphia 3-Day camp show, we presented Ron with this special honor.

To his family and friends, Ron is the consummate 3-Dayer, filled with love, compassionate and dedication.

His daughter Darcie said, “When I talked my Dad into walking the 3-Day 9 years ago, I had no idea what his journey would look like. Nine walks later, 540 miles (not counting training), thousands of dollars raised, a tattoo on his arm with our team logo saying “NO More Goodbyes.” I can honestly say finding a cure for breast cancer has become a part of who my Dad is. Even now that he is battling his own cancer his determination to walk with all of you is even stronger. My Dad is a hero who’s love and passion to make a difference is contagious. My Dad walks to END breast cancer. He walks for all of you!”

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His grandchild Riley echoed that sense of family pride and love.

“I could not be any prouder of my Grandfather for being the recipient of this award.  My Grampy has dedicated so much of his time to help the fight against breast cancer.  He supports his teammates who have all become his best friends or as he likes to call them his “girlfriends”.  Even in spite of his own discovery of cancer it has never stopped motivating him to fight and help those who can’t.  After all his treatments this year all he could talk about is his excitement to walk with his team.  My Grampy has never let anything stop him from fulfilling his goal of making a difference and walking 60 miles.  My Grampy is a superhero.  I am so lucky and honored to walk 60 miles by his side.”

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Teammate Suzanne Higgins described what it’s like walking alongside Ron as one full of kindness and laughter. He is “the rock” of their team, and she is proud to call him her friend.

 “Ron is the beating male heart of our team. Literally, he’s the only man and he treats us and cares for us as though we were his own daughters.

Ron embodies “Milestone” – he literally puts down his head and pounds out the 60 “miles” like nobody’s business *and* he is the “stone/rock” of our team! […]

Above all, Ron has the biggest, most generous heart. He is fully committed to our team, No More Goodbyes…his pink daughters. And, we love him as the father of our team…our beloved 3-Day Dad.

Teammate Janet Daley said Ron is “a true team player! Whenever any one of us was low on funds he would share his donations with the team.  He never wanted his girls to not be able to walk with him.”

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Kristina Libby talked about his speed as well as his generosity, and says upon meeting him 9 years go, she was instantly shocked to witness a gentle giant walk so fast.”

Another one of his teammates, Deb Margolis seconded that sentiment, promising that Ron will almost always be at the front of the line. But she says he also never complains. You will “see him with a big smile on his face and hear him by his loud laugh.”

Kristina probably summed him up best when she said, “Ron is a dad, granddad, husband and a fantastic teammate. Everything he does he does with passion. He is determined to find a cure for cancer. For himself, for me, and for all the other men and women who have fought this battle. Ron means the world to me because we mean the world to Ron.”

After all of these amazing expressions of support, we then had to hear from Ron in his own words!

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

My daughter! She walked and wanted me to walk with her. Unfortunately, I was extremely overweight bracket (350 lbs) and couldn’t do it. She inspired me to lose weight – 175 pounds!  That provided me with the inspiration to do the walk.

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

Mainly the team of girls, No More Goodbyes! They have instilled in me how important the cause is and also the bonding I’ve developed with the team over the past nine years

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

A strong sincere letter/email explaining what the 3-Day is what the donations are used for. Our team has raised approximately $500,000 over the past years 10 years.

I also remind potential donors that I am a CPA and that all the money that they contribute to the 3-Day is fully deductible.

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

Have fun, remember to enjoy the experience, pray for no rain and few hills.

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

In spite of the blisters and aching muscles one endures during the walk,  it pales in comparison to what those effected with breast cancer experience.

 

5 Ways to Talk a Friend into Doing a Charity Walk with You

Did you know you can already register for the 2018 3-Days? There is no time like the present to sign up to be a part of our 3-Day family, and get moving towards your own goals for next year’s events.

You never walk alone on the 3-Day, but those 60 miles are all the more fun with your bestie beside you! Start talking up your friends to see who will walk with you next year!

Get started now to give all your team members as much time for fundraising and training as possible. If you are planning to grow your team this year, it is also the perfect time to start asking new recruits to join you. There are plenty of ways to talk someone through the great impact of the 3-Day and encourage them to join the cause.

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Tell them they’ll make a difference: This one should be a great opener, especially for anyone who has been personally affected or knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer. Susan G. Komen® has plenty of infographics and information explaining how all of your fundraising money is put to good work, but you can also see it first hand at any of the 3-Days. When you walk, you meet survivors, their families and many others who are or have felt the direct impact of the money raised by every 3-Day walker.

Tell them they can raise the money: Fundraising is one of the topics our coaches and team captains get asked about the most.  Not everyone is comfortable asking for monetary support, even for a cause as important as ours. However, there are plenty of different ways to effectively fundraise, including letter or email writing campaigns, bake sales, charity events, selling homemade goods and more! New walkers receive lots of support from their teams, their coach, and our online community as well. We will help you find a fundraising plan that works for you, and do all that we can to help every walker reach their fundraising goal.

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Tell them they can go the distance: Another obstacle some people have to overcome is the prospect of walking all those steps. Very few people walk 60 miles in a weekend when they’re not on the 3-Day, so it can seem like a daunting task. Luckily for anyone with reservations, we have your back. With a fully supported route, including Sweep Vans that can pick up walkers and take them to the next rest stop, you only have to walk as far as you can!

Tell them there will be laughter: Is the 3-Day a lot of work? You bet your pink tutu it is! But it is also a whole lot of fun. From sharing stories on the walk, to themed rest stops and lunch tents, to dance parties and glamping, there is no shortage of smiles and laughter on every one of the 60 miles. This is an especially good approach for those who are afraid of potential monotony of walking for 3 days in a row, or who don’t know as many people on your team. No matter who you know, you will always have a friend on the 3-Day.

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Tell them they will gain a family: One of the best parts about the 3-Day is that you become part of a family. Beyond your team, or those who share tents near you at our camp site, you will leave your 3 days with us as part of something larger than yourself. For anyone who has participated in charity events in the past, reminding them of that feeling of family you get when you’re all trying to accomplish something together will be one of the easiest ways to encourage them to participate. It will also probably help you feel reinvigorated for your own training and fundraising goals.

How have you convinced people to join your team?