60 Miles, 3 Days, 1 Goal

I am walking in my 2nd Michigan Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in August 2011. The day after I completed my 1st 3-Day I logged into the Susan G. Komen website and registered for next year's event.

Was the walk easy? No. So why sign up again? Because I can! I can raise the awareness, I can raise the funds, I can walk the walk! And this year I am fortunate enough to have my sister join me on this awesome journey. There are thousands of 3-Day walkers who can't walk with their sisters, I embrace this year's journey with every ounce of gratitude!!

Please follow along as Jennifer and I fundraise, train, raise awareness, possibly argue, and find out more about each other than we ever imagined!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I am so proud of Jennifer and how far she has come since the beginning of the year. She’s not been shy when she tells people that one of the advantages to signing up for 3-Day was to get in to better physical shape while raising awareness and money for a great cause. And let me tell you - - - she looks AWESOME!!!! Remember one of her first blog posts about going to the gym (almost a year ago) and her enemy the elliptical? I can vouch that 11 months later, she looks like a natural on that machine (she knows how to go forward) holding a steady 6+ mph pace for 30 minutes or more and she doesn’t look like she’s gonna pass out!

I also am very, very grateful to all of our family, friends and acquaintances for their generosity to the Sisters Saving the Sistahs! Remember in early March we held our first fundraising event, Euchre Tournament, we had a HORRIBLE snow storm that evening and everyone still came, stayed, played and donated generously!!

Next, we held our first Spaghetti Dinner & Trivia Night fundraiser in the middle of May at the campground and it POURED all weekend! And yet more than 75 people came out, camped, ate, played and again donated!!!

We held a garage sale, the end of April and after experiencing the Spring from hell, we lucked out and had perfect weather! This time not only did we benefit yet again from the generosity of our family and friends. But, we were touched by all the strangers that opened their wallets, shared their stories and wished us well!

In addition to the two "events", we also worked two Detroit Tigers baseball games running a concession booth. We asked our family and friends to sacrifice an evening to attend a training and then an entire Saturday to work the game. We put the call out via e-mail, Facebook and phone calls and got all 16 responses we needed within hours! I think everyone agreed it's a busy day, a lot of work but also a ton of fun!

Jen and I have trained for 23 weeks and we have walked more than 380 miles together. I have thoroughly enjoyed every step of it – the conversations, the quiet moments, the scenery, and the laughs. We grew closer than we’ve ever been, and built a bond that I would not trade for anything. I am honored to walk 60 miles next weekend with my sister, my best friend! Breast cancer has taken away too many sisters; I don’t take for granted how fortunate Jen and I are. We may get blisters, sore muscles, or road rash – but we will have each other!

I am very blessed - I have a beautiful sister with a heart & soul of gold! I have the most thoughtful, caring and tolerant family who made so many sacrifices to help a cause I believe in. And I have the most honorable and charitable friends who opened their hearts and wallets unselfishly (and were some of our biggest cheerleaders!) THANK - YOU!!!!

If you were considering making a donation...there's still time! You too can help put an end to breast cancer...I would love nothing more than to have future generations know this world without cancer. Until then I will continue to walk, raise money and spread hope!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Back to Back Training Walk!

This weekend Jen & I will take on our first high mileage back-to-back training walks of the 2011 season. On Saturday we are scheduled to walk 18 miles at Stoney Creek and on Sunday we will walk 15 miles in the Metro Beach area. This is our "dress rehearsal" for the 3-Day event (which is only 1 month away!). This is when we will get all our whining out of our system, find out the nuances of long-distance walking, and know what our bodies will feel like “the next morning”. Right now the forecast is typical for July in Michigan – HOT! So, we will adorn ourselves in pink tanks and ball caps, lube our feet, lace up our shoes and head out during the wee hours of the morning in hopes of finishing before any oppressive heat and humidity sets in.

Our fanny/hydration packs will be packed with everything we will carry on event which includes: Vaseline, extra pair of socks, lip balm, mini first aid kit, wet wipes, sunblock, hand sanitizer, bandanas & buffs, tissues, poncho, camera, binder clip & zip ties. We will load up a cooler, to keep in the car, filled with water, Gatorade, lunch and snacks.

Undoubtedly, the most important thing we will have is each other!

Only 4 weeks to go until Michigan walkers hit the pavement in one of the biggest and boldest challenges to put an end to breast cancer. I know that many of you who read mine or Jen’s blogs know other walkers participating in this year’s event, so don’t forget you can send a letter or card to your walker which they will receive at camp during the event. Your words of encouragement really help keep the walkers motivated!!

Must be postmarked by August 2, 2011
3-Day for the Cure
ATTN: Participant’s Name
PO BOX 699
South Lyon, MI 48178

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Event Information is Posted

The 2011 3-Day event information has been released for spectators. Please check out the tab on top of my blog to access information regarding cheering stations, closing ceremony and sending cards & letters to walkers.

31 days to go!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

35 Days to Go - Let the Feet Rock!

That’s only 5 weeks until we will walk 60 miles in 3 days with thousands of other women and men. In 5 weeks we will find out if we’ve trained enough, packed the right things, and mentally prepared for this life changing event.

Something else we need in just a few weeks? MUSIC! Good, clean, fun walking music!

For Christmas Jen & I each received portable speakers that we attach to our hydration/fanny packs. They run on batteries and we hook our IPod or MP3 player up to them. This way we are able to enjoy music without the headphones (which are a BIG no, no on the 3-Day walk for obvious safety reasons!). Don’t get me wrong, on event there are a ton of people cheering you on along the side of the road, there are many amazing walkers to have great conversations with along the route, but there are some stretches when you just need that extra little pick-me-up and I find music is a great tool for that!

So if you have any ideas of songs for us to load up on our players – keeping in mind that other walkers around us will have to endure our music selection – please share! You can post a comment here on my blog, post a comment on my Facebook, or send me an e-mail to smithstef.5@gmail.com

We are looking for lots and lots of tunes – it takes about 8-10 hours each day of walking…

Quick update: Our fundraising events have officially come to a close but of course we are continuing to accept personal donations to help reach our goal! Our Spaghetti Dinner, Trivia Night plus Tin Can Auction in May raised $1000 and our last Detroit Tiger game concession gig was June 11th which earned us approximately $800 for the night! We are so appreciative of all of the support, donations, and encouragement that our friends and family have shown us over the past several months!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bitter Sweet

As Jen & I wrap up the final preparations for our last team fund raising event this weekend, the feeling is bitter sweet. We have had a lot of fun planning and executing the events and we have raised a lot of money for a cause that we are committed to, but the work that’s involved can be a little overwhelming and time consuming. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family on weeknights, camping on the weekends and concentrating on getting our training walks in.

There are two large components to signing up for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure…raising a decent chunk of change ($2,300) which means putting all your creative efforts and energy forward and getting your body trained to walk 60 miles in 3 days! We have 92 days left until the walk…3 months, to reach both of those goals!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Catching Up on Blogging!

Wow, the past few weeks have been amazing and my blog has been neglected! Let’s see, Jen & I had our garage sale fundraiser this past weekend which is really what we spent the last several weeks preparing for. We had hundreds and hundreds of items donated to us by friends and family so there was a LOT of cleaning, sorting and pricing going on. To say the sale was a success is an understatement. Not only was it financially successful but we were once again touched by the generosity and support of our family, friends and community (thank you Kay & Hubert for putting in 11 long hours on Friday, we could not have gotten through that day without you!!!). I also have to give big kudos to my two kids who jumped right in throughout the weekend helping us break-down and set-up without a whine, grumble or complaint!

And so now we move forward with the planning of our final fund-raising event – Spaghetti Dinner & Trivia Night with Tin Can Auction, which will be held at the Genesee Otter Lake Campground clubhouse on Saturday, May 14th. The sauce has been made and frozen (thank you Craig family for your generous donation of sauce, noodles & cheese!), and baskets for auction are being assembled, picked-up and tagged. If you’d like to camp for the weekend they are offering “Buy 1 Night, Get 1 Free” so total cost would only be $25 to camp for Friday & Saturday!! But you are always welcome to just come up for the day, enjoy the dinner and have some fun with Trivia.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fund-raising At The Copa!

This past weekend we had the first of two Detroit Tiger concession fundraising games.

This opening weekend game was a great to get our feet wet; fortunately our location had us just busy enough! At 1:15 p.m. (3 hrs before the first pitch) twelve of us filed into booth #327 and began counting, sorting, straightening, cleaning, prepping, stocking, cooking and of course panicking! The gates opened at 2:30 and by 3pm we had our first customers and the nerves were all settled. We happily served with smiles lots of hot dogs, kielbasas, nachos, popcorn, beer, pop and a ton of coffee and hot chocolate!

By 5:40 p.m. the game was over and the sad fans were filing out, since the Tigers lost 3-1. Now it was time for some to again start counting the entire inventory which includes the cups, trays, buns, hot dogs, kielbasas, candy, bags of chips, ice cream, popcorn buckets, nacho trays… And others had to clean the grills, pans, nacho machine, hot chocolate machine, counters & floors. Kay & I counted and sorted the cash, collected uniforms, spoilage and journeyed down to Comerica Park dungeons to turn it all in. And then journey down again because I forgot to get my “coupon voucher” and then journey down AGAIN because we forgot to have the spoilage slip signed! Phew…2 ½ hours later we were in our cars on our way home!

It was a lot of work, a long day, but a ton of fun! AND preliminary reports indicate that we rose close to $500 for our Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure accounts! That makes it all worth it in the end!!

Thank you to all our April Angels for your help on making this yet another successful fundraiser!