Please join us in congratulating our 2018 San Diego Milestone Award Winner; Sue Cloonan! 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 San Diego 3-Day camp show, we presented Sue with this special honor.
Our coaching team was so excited to present this award to Sue, who has maintained a position as a top 10 fundraiser for many years as part of her team, Walking and Wine-ing. She is such an important and beloved part of our 3-Day community, and has raised $153,349 over the course of her 10 events!
Her Aunt Patty says that Sue “is a family oriented person who puts herself out over and over again to help family and friends. A wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, niece and friend – we are so lucky to have her in our family. She inspires me and others by her example.”
We then talked to Sue herself, who gave us an inside peak into her love for the 3-Day…
What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?
All the people that I’ve met at the golf course where I worked to help find a cure. So many people affected by cancer.
What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?
The 3 day is the way the world should be!!!! Everyone supporting everyone!
What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?
An amazing support from my customers, vendors and associates! All donating and supporting for the cause. My event became the event of the year. The spirit, dedication: all for a cause
What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?
Commit to 2 walks . The first one is amazing and then it becomes more amazing every year.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I love to give hugs and listen to people!!! And I love wine (red especially)
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?
ENJOY Every moment! All the supporters, walkers, volunteers.
There is a bench on Day 3 of the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. It’s a beautiful bench, as far as benches go, with a shiny, smooth steel construction, and elegantly turned legs. It’s seated on a platform of river rocks, overlooking a fountain framed by trees. The hundreds of 3-Dayers who walk by this bench in Curtis Park may think it’s just a bench, but to 23-time participant Burt Lipshie it’s more than just a bench. This bench is the last place he talked to his cousin before she died of breast cancer.
Burt’s cousin Judy is “my dearest, sweetest cousin in the whole world. Breast cancer killed her in 2004.”
It seems like a twist of fate brought Burt to the 3-Day. “A month or so after she died, I’m sitting in my office in New York, and Judy is everywhere. She’s just everywhere. It’s a hard thing to describe.”
Burt sent an email to Judy’s daughters, saying, “I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m having a Judy day today.” They wrote back and said they were not surprised, because they were, too. Why were they having a “Judy day,” other than dearly missing their mom?
Their answer to him: “We think our mom is proud of us because we just signed up to walk the 3-Day.”
Burt knew immediately that he would support the 3-Day. “I told them that I would donate… and I thought about it for two days. And then, I thought, no. They can’t do this without me. I’m going to do it too.”
Just two days later, Burt was signed up for his first ever 3-Day. “I had to find some way to fight back. This is the most meaningful way to fight back.”
There was just one slight problem – the girls had already named their team “Juju’s Girls.”
“We changed the name to ‘Jujus Girls (And boy).’ We walked San Diego that year and I haven’t stopped. This is walk 23.”
What was this special woman like? Judy was “feisty.” Burt refused to tell her age, joking that he could hear Judy from heaven exclaiming, “Burt! What?! You’re telling my age?” She was the type of woman who was dying of breast cancer, but still taking care of her 91-year-old mother. Judy lived in Dallas most of her life, so Burt had plans to meet Judy at the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. But by then, she was too sick to do it.
Towards the very end of the 60-mile route, Burt took a break from walking. “I’m sitting on the bench and I called to see how she was doing, and we talked for about five minutes. An hour later I got the call.”
To Burt, the bench in Curtis Park isn’t just a bench. It’s a tangible memory, a place that marks the devastation of this disease. It’s a place he visits every year before he walks sixty miles in the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day, an event that he’s raised more than $208,000 for. It’s a staggering sum that has no doubt helped countless men and women fighting breast cancer. By now, Burt is well-loved by all his fellow walkers and member of the 3-Day Crew. As Burt walks in his neon pink shoes and pink Yankees hat, walkers call out to him, “My man!” slapping high fives and posing for pictures.
The bench is symbolic to all of us, because many places in the world become like Burt’s bench, marking the last place and time you talked to somebody you love.
When Burt comes to the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day, “It’s the first thing I do. I walk up Turtle Creek and I go up to the bench. And I sit on the bench for a little while, and I cry a little bit. And then I come back.”
Burt comes back because in this fight against breast cancer, you must always come back. You may be angry and grieving and devastated, but you must come back. Because, together, when we return to this fight, we are holding steadfast in our promise that we will never give up. And one day, Burt will sit on his bench and know that thanks to him and the help of people like you, more people like Judy will be saved.
At the end of Day 2 on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, we gather to celebrate: walkers celebrate completing 40 astonishing miles of route, crew members high-five over giving hours upon hours of service to their fellow 3-Dayers, and everyone celebrates each other. Every walker and crew member could be given a medal for their accomplishments, but we do like to take time at the Saturday evening camp show to recognize some stand-out walkers and crew members. In Seattle, we were pleased to award the following outstanding walkers, crew members and teams:
Top Training Walk Leader
The top training walk leader for the 2016 Seattle 3-Day is Tath Hossfeld. Tath will be a 33-year survivor this November, and has participated in the 3-Day 24 times in the last 13 years (she’ll be doing walk number 25 in Atlanta in a few weeks). She is the captain of the team Flamingo Road, a mentor to other walkers, and a devoted volunteer. Tath has been a training walk leader for the last 10 years and this year, she led 29 walks with 114 attendees. She is meticulous about planning her training walks and goes out of her way to make sure everyone there feels comfortable, supported, and informed while also looking for ways to make them fun for everyone. Tath also won the Local Impact Award in Seattle last year.
Top Youth Corps Fundraiser
The 3-Day Youth Corps are kids between the ages of 10 and 16 who come out to cheer and support the 3-Day walkers and crew members. They are required to raise a minimum of $500 in order to participate, which makes it all the more extraordinary to share that 15-year-old Lauren Simpson, a first-time Youth Corps member from Danville, CA, raised $1,905 this year. Way to go, Lauren!
Top Crew Fundraiser
Congratulations to Cathy Youngling, the top crew fundraiser for Seattle, who raised an astonishing $10,040 this year, bringing her lifetime fundraising total to $97,333. Cathy is part of the Pit Stop 2 team, and this year’s Seattle 3-Day is her 11th event in 8 years. She is captain of the team Are We There Yet? in Seattle. Cathy is also a 21-year survivor, and is Grammy to two sweet girls who love to wear pink (not because of breast cancer but because it’s pretty with their sparkly shoes).
Top Individual Walker Fundraiser
For the third consecutive year, the top individual walker fundraiser in Seattle is Loretta Englishbee, with $26,115 raised this year. Loretta has raised nearly $400,000 alone since starting with the 3-Day 11 years ago. Unfortunately, due to a family emergency, Loretta and her Team Bee teammates were unable to join us at the Seattle event this year; her teammate Michelle and friend Kathy accepted the award on Loretta’s behalf.
Top 5 Fundraising Teams
The top fundraising teams for the 2016 Seattle 3-Day are:
5. Team Bee – $44,606 in 2016; $487,597 lifetime – 7 team members, 11 years as team – Team Captain: Loretta Englishbee
4. Sole Mates – $51,149 in 2016; $244,127 lifetime –17 team members, 7 years as team – Team Captain – Kathy Bressler
3. DHL Dynamos – $72,186 in 2016; $1,583,269 lifetime – 40 team members, 6 years as team –Team Captain: Ann-Kathrin Seit
2. Kindred Spirits – $135,385 in 2016; $2,680,407 lifetime – 79 members 13 years as team – Team Captain: Penny Kellam
And big congratulations to Valley Girls & Guys, which was both the largest team on the Seattle 3-Day (150 members) and the top fundraising team, with $320,480 raised this year. Valley Girls & Guys, captained by Tina McDonough, has raised $2,398,313 in its 8 years as a Seattle 3-Day team. Wow!
*The 2016 Seattle 3-Day marked another big milestone for the top 3 teams on this list: DHL Dynamos surpassed the $1 million lifetime mark, and both Valley Girls & Guys and Kindred Spirits flew past the $2 million lifetime milestone.
Milestone Award and Local Impact Award
These two other special awards are presented to participants who stand out and shine extra brightly in a sky of very bright 3-Day stars. The Milestone Award is given at each event to one participant who has an extraordinary history of involvement with the 3-Day, and the Local Impact Award recognizes a participant in each 3-Day city who has been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day in their community throughout the year.
This year’s Seattle 3-Day Milestone Award winner is Randy Gangnes. Randy has been a 3-Day participant for 12 years, and all 12 of her walks have been in Seattle. She is the captain of In The Pink, and in her years as a 3-Day walker, she has personally raised over $67,400. When she’s not out training or fundraising for the 3-Day, Randy teaches first grade, enjoys singing, reading and traveling, and is an avid Seahawks fan and season ticket holder. Her husband Ron—who has also been a Seattle 3-Day walker for 12 years—told us, “Randy is shy and unassuming and will definitely be embarrassed by this attention.” Randy herself is also a breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with DCIS in 2003. “Komen is a way of life for us, something our family, still to this day, doesn’t understand completely,” Ron shared. “Randy is the definition of selflessness. She feels that if she can prevent just one person from having to go through what she did, then all the miles she’s walked (probably over 6,000 miles) are worth it.” Merrilyn, a close friend and long-time teammate of Randy’s told us, “Randy is my inspiration for walking in the 3-Day. I see her passion for the cause, and witness her tireless efforts in fundraising and training, and know that I want to match her enthusiasm with my own. Randy not only walks in the 3-Day, she walks the belief in Susan G. Komen all year long. She is a true ambassador for the 3-Day and everyone who knows her understands that raising money for curing breast cancer is one of her life values. Randy is absolutely deserving of this 3-Day Milestone Award!” We couldn’t agree more!
We were delighted to recognize Kathy Bressler with the 2016 Seattle 3-Day Local Impact Award. Kathy has been a 3-Day walker and captain of Sole Mates for 8 years, and has personally raised over $30,000 for the 3-Day. Like so many others, her reasons for becoming involved with the 3-Day were deeply personal: both her grandmother and mother died from breast cancer. Kathy’s involvement with the breast cancer cause has been a life-long passion, extending even further than the 3-Day; she has served as board president of Komen Puget Sound for a two-year term while holding her position as President of Franciscan Health System’s Saint Clare Hospital. Her teammate Jennifer shared, “Kathy has always been an advocate for finding a cure for breast cancer for others, never thinking that she would be the 1 in 8.” Yes, Kathy herself was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in late 2015, and not surprisingly, she faced it head-on. “Through her journey she has never taken the role of a victim and she was not going to succumb to this disease. She has spoken often of the advances that have come from funds raised through Susan G. Komen and the 3-Day, but that there is more work to do.” Since her diagnosis, Kathy committing to growing her 3-Day team even more, and this year, they were the fourth highest fundraising team in Seattle. Kathy was the Survivor Speaker in the Friday camp show in Seattle as well.
Kathy’s Sole Mates teammates Maureen and Betsy agreed that an award about impact is perfect for Kathy: “She is a force to be reckoned with on anything she puts her mind to! She prods others into self-improvement, encourages growth and positive change, and if she really believes in you, invites you to hot yoga and to walk with her in the 3-Day!” They continued, “Kathy not only changes lives but she makes you a believer. You get a job, your children go off to college, you learn to plank, you make incredible friendships and you truly believe you can make a difference because you believe in a cause. Because of Kathy, and the impact she has made on the lives of every person she has come in contact with, you believe there will be a cure.” Jennifer echoed the statement about Kathy’s strength. “Kathy fully believes that there will be a cure if we continue to fight for one. She is truly a warrior and I can’t think of anyone who would deserve such an honor more than Kathy.”