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

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We began our 2017 Susan G. Komen Twin Cities 3-Day with an inspiring and beautiful Opening Ceremony as the sun broke through the clouds in Edina at the Southdale Mall. Our Opening Ceremonies this year are led by participants, with special recognition given to our breast cancer survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer.

Crew members, walkers, and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep and mile at a time. Take some time to get to know our Opening Ceremony speakers.

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Shelly Owens – My Sister

I walk for my bestest friend and little Sister, Angela, who is here today to witness her first ever 3-Day, and is battling Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She needs a miracle drug so her 3- and 4-year-old children can enjoy many more years with their mommy, and because this world will never be the same for Me if she’s not in it. I’m Shelly and I am More Than Pink.

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Carolyn Opsahl Hopp – My Friend

I walk in memory of my friend Becky! She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 30 and lost her courageous fight at the age of 36. I made her a promise to be a part of creating a world without breast cancer, and I have every intention to make that promise a reality. I’m Carolyn and I am More Than Pink.

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Lisa Healey – My Family

My immediate family has logged more than 30 3-Day walks, but this year’s 3-Day took on a whole new meaning when my sister, Jill, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Because of Komen, she was diagnosed early, which also helped to make the early stages of her journey a little bit easier. Jill still has a long road ahead, but I’m hoping with the research that Komen continues to fund, a cure will be found very soon. I’m Lisa and I am More Than Pink.

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Lauren Rectenwal – My Mom
I am walking this weekend to honor my mom’s strength and determination throughout her battle. My mom is my best friend and I couldn’t imagine my life without her. Cancer sucks! I’m Lauren and I am More Than Pink.

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Todd Wallin – My Wife

I walk in honor of my best friend and wife, Kay, who is also a 15-year survivor. I also walk for the future: for my daughter and granddaughter and all of you! I’m Todd and I am More Than Pink.

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LeAnn Poirier – My Children

I walk in honor of my children for the sixth year in a row, in the hopes they will NEVER have to fight breast cancer. I walk for those who cannot and for those who have lost their battle against breast cancer. I honor and admire all women and men for their fight and determination to never give up. I’m LeAnn and I am More Than Pink.

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Melissa Dickhausen – Ceremony Host

I walk because it is the one thing I can do to help make a difference. I have watched too many of my friends and co-workers battle breast cancer and have lost too many amazing women to it. By walking, I’ve been able to spread awareness about breast cancer beyond just my family and friends, which has led to earlier diagnoses and quicker starts to treatments. And that’s why I continue to walk. I’m Melissa, I am More Than Pink… and I’m honored to welcome you to the 2017 Twin Cities 3-Day!

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Twin Cities Coaches’ Memories and Favorite Spots

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For those who are Minnesota-bound for this weekend’s Twin Cities 3-Day, there is plenty to be excited about! You’ve already met your Twin Cities 3-Day coaches, and all of them are so excited to welcome this year’s group of walkers, crew, Youth Corps, volunteers and supporters to the route.

To keep your mood high and your feet stepping, we asked the team for some of their favorite memories of the Twin Cities 3-Day. Their answers are sure to have you smiling, and will make you more than ready for 60 miles this weekend.

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What are your favorite memories of the Twin Cities 3-Days past?

Coach Kiki Setterlund: I always enjoy the weather-related memories. Crazy, right? Having to relocate or cut off a part of the route due to excessive heat or torrential downpours can bring out the worst in people, but they also bring out the best. It’s where we truly shine as one big pink community. We come together, put a plan in place and get it done. It warms my heart to see people taking care of each other!

Coach Stephanie Mayer: Happy memories for me are always the Opening and Closing Ceremonies- I love the energy and emotion and being in that moment with our participants and crew members.

Tell us a great Crew memory!

Kiki: As a Crew & Volunteer Coordinator, you meet with your captains each day on-event. You rehash how the day went. What was great? What didn’t work so well? How do we make tomorrow better than today (not just for the walkers but for the crew as well)? During one meeting at camp a few years ago, I poured each captain a mocktail, put an umbrella in their drink and before chatting, we sat on top of the hill and looked down at our campsite. It was bustling with activity and for a moment (a very quick moment) we could witness all that we created together. In silence. And it was awesome.

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And what about the Youth Corps?

Coach Dana Dalpra: Every time I see the Youth Corps volunteers, I get goose bumps. I just love these kids. I’m so proud of them and their families for supporting them to learn about what it means to be hands on for such an important cause. I can only imagine how big of an impact this experience is making in their lives and they probably don’t even know it yet. I could squeeze each and every one of them. Their smiles are contagious and their hard work is truly appreciated. I’m just so proud of them.

Stephanie: My daughter Ava was part of the Youth Corps last year for the first time. She was the Top Youth Corps fundraiser, raising $1325. She was awarded a special cape to wear all weekend. She participated in honor of my mom, her nana. I LOVED having her on the event and seeing her out on the route with all the other kids. She is hooked big time on the 3-Day and this cause. She hopes to be a walker herself someday.

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What are you looking forward to most for this year’s walk?

Dana: It has been such a blessing to connect with the 3-Day again and now coach for the Twin Cities. It feels great to be back with the 3-Day family again. I missed them!

Kiki: Seeing the whole team back in action. The walkers, crew members, day volunteers and staff. It’s so fun to see everyone greet each other at the beginning of a new season.

For out-of-towners, what are your favorite spots in the Twin Cities to eat and play when you’re not on the 3-Day route?

Kiki: Sea Change is near the route, and located within the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. It’s near the Stone Arch Bridge and Gold Medal Park. If you want the epitome of Minneapolis, this is your area. Gorgeous views, parks, food and entertainment. You can’t go wrong!

Spoon & Stable is also near the route.  Amazing! Food, drinks, ambiance and the service. If you want to see Minnesota at its best, grab dinner here!

I also love lots of spots along the Day 1 and Day 3 routes that get into the heart of Minneapolis and St. Paul. There are so many amazing places to grab food and drinks so keep an eye out!

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Stephanie: My all-time favorite place in the summer is W.A. Frost located in St. Paul. We love their patio! Each year it gets voted best patio in the Twin Cities because it’s so pretty. I also got married here so that’s another reason why I love it so much.

A trendier spot is The Commodore, a historical St. Paul building that was recently renovated. It’s beautiful. Pezzaluna, The St. Paul Grill and Kincaids are fun as well. All of these that I’ve mentioned are either walking distance or a short cab ride from our camp hotel so be sure to try one of them when you’re here!

 

Note: Coach Stephanie and Coach Dana won’t be present throughout the entire event at the 3-Day this year due to personal circumstances, but they will both be making an appearance to cheer on all of the Twin Cities walkers.

 

Meet Your Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches

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The Twin Cities 3-Day is coming up fast, and our coaches can’t wait to welcome all the walkers to their hometown! Some of the Twin Cities coaches and staff have been with the 3-Day for a while, but there are also some new faces. It’s the perfect time to get to know your coaches better!

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A new addition this year is Coach Dana Dalpra, who is joining the Twin Cities 3-Day team after spending the last six years living in Hawaii (lucky lady!).

Coach Stephanie says her “kind heart, her willingness to help everyone and her go get ‘em attitude” all make Dana a great part of the coaching team.

A big heart is common among all three ladies, with Coach Kiki Setterlund saying, “I love the care and compassion my colleagues have for, not only the big picture of ending breast cancer, but for each and every one of our participants. I participate in many different events for non-profits locally. I haven’t received the care and attention like my colleagues provide our participants. Truly.”

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Dana echoes that, and is happy to join in the cause!

“I love my team! I don’t think we’ve had a call where we aren’t laughing. Their sense of humor is everything. […] Stephanie, Kiki and Eileen are so informed and organized that it’s helped me to dive right in with confidence. Additionally, I work very closely with the other 3-Day coaches across the country. Because of all of them, I feel supported which leads to the success of the Twin Cities 3-Day this year. It’s definitely a supportive, welcoming group effort.”

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That is, in part, because of their history with the 3-Day cause. Coach Kiki used to be the Race Director for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Madison, WI, while Dana coached the 3-Day in Tampa Bay, FL for five years before her big move to Hawaii. Even Stephanie’s family has gotten involved, including her daughter who has served on the Twin Cities 3-Day Youth Corps.

In addition to their love for the 3-Day, both Stephanie and Dana have a passion for Italy, and list it on the top of their “must-visit” travel lists. All the coaches also love food! From a lavender glazed lemon donut (Dana) to “anything fried and on a stick” (Minnesota native Kiki), even salad (Stephanie)!

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They also have some interesting past lives!

When she was young, Stephanie was a speed skater in Wisconsin, and trained at the same facility as future speed skating Olympians! Dana used to be a marine biologist, working at a range of zoos and aquariums, and Kiki was a Vocal Performance major in college who still has Eminem on her walking playlist of pump-up jams!

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However, before they can take any time off for an Italian vacation or hold an Eminem dance party, they are working hard to have the Twin Cities 3-Day all ready for their walkers! Stay tuned for more fun memories and exciting plans from the coaches next week on the blog, and be sure to follow along with them on Facebook too!

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Note: Coach Stephanie and Coach Dana won’t be present throughout the entire event at the 3-Day this year due to personal circumstances, but they will both be making an appearance to cheer on all of the Twin Cities walkers.