The 2016 Susan G. Komen Twin Cities 3-Day Honors Our Opening Ceremony Speakers

We began our 2016 Twin Cities Komen 3-Day with an inspiring and beautiful Opening Ceremony. Although the skies were gray, the enthusiastic spirit couldn’t be dampened by the weather. Walkers, crew members and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep at a time.

As part of the Ceremony, we were honored to welcome some special 3-Day participants to the stage, where they shared their own inspirations—both heart-warming and heartbreaking—for being part of the 3-Day. Hear their compelling and touching reasons for being a part of our 2016 walk. #WeAreThe3Day

Kathy Pepski – My Sister

I am walking with and for my sister, along with her husband. My sister is a two-time breast cancer survivor and this is our second time walking. We are here to honor her strength and passion for beating this disease. She is my best friend and my inspiration. I’m Kathy and I AM the 3-Day.

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Carley Cummings – My Mother

I walk in memory of my mother, Laurie, who fought breast cancer for 12 years. Cancer took her away from us in 2014, hours after my sister and I crossed the 3-Day finish line. Even though my mother lost her battle, it does not mean this war is over. I’m Carley and I AM the 3-Day.

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Ellen Race – My Friend

I walk for my best friend Molly, who passed away just 3 months ago, after an inspiring 6-year struggle. While she was only 39, she was given more time with her 3 children thanks to a Komen-researched chemo. This year, Molly’s Army walks in our fourth 3-Day because we believe in a CURE! I’m Ellen and I AM the 3-Day.

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 Rebecca Kalamen – Myself

I walk in memory of my great-grandmother Sophie, my grandmother Rose, my Aunt Vikki, my Aunt Sharon, and my Dad Gene. I walk for myself. I am a 5-time 3-Day walker and a 10-year survivor. I walk so that my 11-year old son Zach doesn’t have to. I’m Rebecca and I AM the 3-Day.

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Abby Eystad – My Grandmother

We walk in memory of my Grandma, Louise, who battled breast cancer for 20 years before it took her from us.

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John Schwartz – My Daughter

I walk for my daughter Cassie. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at 24 years old. She passed away on May 2, just a couple months short of her 31st birthday. I walk for her and for all those who have breast cancer. Cassie and her best friend, Christi, started Cassie’s Cups and we’re in our 7th year to help find a cure. I’m John and I AM THE 3-DAY.

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The Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches Talk About…The Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches!

They’re the helpful cheerleaders on the other end of the phone call or email when you have questions or concerns. They’re the smiling faces welcoming you and your teams at meet-ups and workshops and building up community excitement for the 3-Day. They’re the guiding hands leading the crew captains and teams to greatness. That’s right, they’re your Susan G. Komen 3-Day® coaches!

As we get ready to return to each of the seven splendid 3-Day locations, we wanted to take a few minutes to catch up with the coaches from each event. You’ve gotten to know them pretty well over the past couple of years on the 3-Day blog and this year, instead of letting them talk about themselves, I asked their fellow coaches to do it for them!

The Twin Cities coaches—Stephanie, Eileen and Amy—are the stars of the show today! Click here to see what we knew about them already, and keep reading to see what they each had to say about each other.

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Amy

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Stephanie (Twin Cities Local Events Coach)

“Stephanie loves meeting up with new walkers and introducing them to our long-time participants. She is funny and a great partner to work with. I am not sure the rest of us will be able to keep up with her on the Twin Cities 3-Day this year since she is training for the Twin Cities marathon on October 9th. I am sure she will do wonderful in it!” – Eileen

“Stephanie is full of energy and excitement, and she’s the perfect example of ‘Minnesota nice.’ She is always ready for whatever challenge is presented to her and she has an easy-going personality that makes you feel comfortable instantly. Her enthusiasm for the 3-Day is contagious.” – Amy

Eileen (Twin Cities Participant Support Coach)

“Eileen is dedicated to the success of her walkers. Her ability to emotionally connect with participants really inspires me.  She is always looking for ways to introduce people to the 3-Day and give them the opportunity to experience its magic for themselves.” – Amy

“Eileen knows everything there is to know about the 3-Day and is my go-to gal for behind the scenes questions. Not only has she walked in the 3-Day several times, she has been a coach for the last several years. Participants LOVE Eileen! The first season I worked on the 3-Day as a coach, for three full days, participants kept coming up to me and asking me if I was Eileen because they couldn’t wait to meet her. She really spends time trying to get to know our participants on a personal level when they call in for questions. She genuinely cares for people and it shows when you are around her. And I love the quirky sense of humor that she brings to our team.” – Stephanie

Amy (Michigan Crew & Volunteer Coordinator)

“Amy is a real whiz when it comes to managing our crew and volunteers. There are many moving parts when working with crew on an event lasting a full three days (really four days for our crew members). She always remains cheerful, calm and ready to help her crew navigate their way through from start to finish. I love her positive, upbeat and laid back attitude, not to mention she’s cute as a button!” – Stephanie

“Amy is our little Tinkerbell with her own supply of magical fairy dust. She is extremely sweet and always full of sunshine. When a problem arises, she steps in and doesn’t quit until the problem disappears.  I am convinced that there are no issues Amy can’t fix with her special magical touch. Well, ok…maybe last year’s weather.” – Eileen

 

Do you know the Twin Cities coaches? How would you describe these fabulous ladies?

2016 Michigan 3-Day Wrap-up

The start of a new Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season is always exhilarating, and this year’s kick-off was no exception. The 2016 Michigan 3-Day’s determined walkers gathered to face the challenge of walking 60 miles in 3 days toward a world free from breast cancer. This Michigan event was especially exciting because it also marked the 150th Komen 3-Day walk. A milestone like that can’t go uncelebrated, and so walkers and crew members who gathered at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi early on Friday morning and were treated not only to a beautiful pink sunrise before the Opening Ceremony, but also some special swag that Komen rolled out to mark this memorable 150th event year. The rest of you upcoming 3-Dayers, don’t worry; we’ll be celebrating this huge 150 occasion at every 2016 3-Day walk.IMG_2148

At the Opening Ceremony, participants recognized some familiar elements (Promise Ribbons, ceremony participants, Survivor’s Circle) as well as some brand new parts to the ceremony celebration, which we look forward to sharing with our walkers and crew members in each 3-Day city. Chrissy Mathews from Susan G. Komen® and Dr. Sheri Prentiss, back for another year as national spokesperson, encouraged and inspired the walkers from the stage, then the route was opened and the Michigan 3-Day walk began!  IMG_2268

This year’s Michigan walk included a brand new Day 1, so even participants who have been with the Michigan 3-Day since its beginning were treated to a refreshed route and new stops. The walkers journeyed through Novi and were rallied on by the always entertaining Boo-bees at pit stop 1.IMG_2429 From there, it was north to Walled Lake, where everyone was grateful for the beautiful waterfront views at the Grab & Go, the friendly residents who came out and cheered, and any hint of cool breeze coming off the water (have we mentioned it was really hot and humid on Friday?).IMG_2535 A little farther up the route, Pit 2’s crew, who was “demolishing breast cancer,” kept the walkers nourished and safe, and before long, the walkers arrived at the lunch stop where they were welcomed by the Walled Lake cheerleaders (varsity teams from two local high schools) and an updated menu. Yum! The second half of Day 1 took walkers through more of Novi’s residential areas before returning to Suburban Collection Showplace, which was also the site of the 3-Day camp.IMG_2387

To give everyone a little burst of nostalgia as we celebrated our 150th walk, we created a 3-Day Museum in camp where people could walk around and view some “artifacts” from the past 3-Day events in Michigan. This will be a “living” museum that will be a little different in each 3-Day location this year, showcasing unique memorabilia from each event.IMG_2799 On Friday night, we gathered in the dining tent for the camp show. We heard an uplifting speech from Cindy, a long-time 3-Day walker and survivor, and we were fascinated by the Komen grantee who talked about his company’s innovative no-compression mammography (which he termed, “the boob spa”). The Michigan 3-Day Youth Corps also joined us from the stage, sharing their inspiring reasons for participating.

Day 2 started out beautiful and, thankfully, a bit cooler as the route headed out from camp. 3-Dayers who walked in Michigan last year may have noticed that Saturday’s route was mostly the same as 2015, except reversed.IMG_3226 Firefighters from the Novi Fire Department’s Station 3 came out early to cheer the walkers starting out, which is always a great motivation. After that it was onto a portion of Hines Drive into the lovely city of Plymouth. Walkers enjoyed a cool break at the Lunch Oasis, and from there, it was just a few blocks to the Kellogg Park cheering station, which was in full swing with its welcome signs, photo backdrops, and the famous pink fountain.IMG_3600 Down the road a bit, pit stop 3 had snacks, shade and imaginary gold medals for all of the “Olym-pink” 3-Day champions. After Plymouth, walkers headed back up into Northville, where the Buy Michigan festival was also happening in the quaint downtown area.IMG_3688 At pit stop 4, walkers refreshed before heading into the Survivor Stretch, the last section of the route before camp, where walkers are encouraged to reflect on the journey that breast cancer survivors have gone through and celebrate their strength and courage. Supporters from Komen Detroit and Komen Michigan had a big cheering station along this stretch, giving the walkers that last little burst of inspiration to fuel them back to camp.IMG_3666

During Saturday’s camp show, Victoria Wolodzko, Susan G. Komen’s Vice President of Research and Community Health Program Operations (in other words, Head of Mission) was on stage to praise the great things that have already been done with the funds raised by the 3-Day, and to encourage everyone to keep walking, since there is still work to be done. The Saturday camp show was also where we recognized the Michigan 3-Day walkers and crew members who led the pack in fundraising, and we presented the Milestone and Local Impact Awards (read up on all the Michigan 3-Day award winners here). The atmosphere was full of joy as the Michigan 3-Day family was treated to a big group toast, delicious cupcakes, and brand new “bubbs” for the 150th walk celebration. Cheers!IMG_3796

On Sunday morning, walkers climbed onto waiting buses that took them to a drop-off location in Livonia, and within a couple of miles, they came upon block after block of local cheer teams forming a tunnel of spirit. IMG_4045 2014_3DAY_MI_JF_2198The route moved through Livonia, including its historic downtown district, and from there, they ventured southeast into Dearborn. The residents of York Street pulled out all the stops again this year with their festive cheering station.

Walkers were treated to another surprise at the lunch stop, where every walker was given their very own pink Hero cape to wear for the rest of the day. Feeling extra super, walkers took in the sights of Historic Dearborn before hitting the final stretch up to Ford Headquarters, the site of the Closing Ceremony.IMG_4358

The victory march into the Closing Ceremony arena is always an emotional experience, and Michigan’s walk was no exception. Chrissy and Dr. Sheri joined us again from the stage and announced to the 600 walkers, 300 crew members and all the gathered friends and families that the 2016 Michigan 3-Day raised another $1.6 million dollars toward the fight against breast cancer. Our circle of survivors stood at the center, a beautiful reminder of the power of the 3-Day family, and we raised the final flag to close the 2016 Michigan 3-Day.IMG_4386 IMG_4562 IMG_4697 IMG_4746