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November 8-10, 2013

The Susan G. Komen Arizona 3-Day opened on November 8, 2013 with beautiful clear skies in Crossroads Park in Gilbert. After community stretching and Zumba, the crew watched as breast cancer survivors and flag bearers led the walkers past the cheering Gilbert Fire Department and onto the streets of the city. The 19.1-mile route passed by the children from Bright Beginnings Charter School, who sung inspirational and choral renditions of pop music in front of their school to the delight of the walkers. The Chandler Fire Department supported the walkers, encouraging participants at multiple locations. The entire route from Gilbert to Chandler, and into Tempe, was dotted with great pop-up cheering stations, and the walkers had significant support from a strong contingent of walker stalkers. The participants finished the day as the cheerleaders and band from Desert Foothills High School welcomed them into camp. After dinner and some relaxation in the Bank of America massage chairs, walkers and crew enjoyed a camp show which included local entertainers, the Sun City Palms. Bonny Dolinsek gave a touching survivor speech, and walkers and crew slept comfortably in great weather in Benedict Park.

The 20-mile route of Day 2 started in clear weather with some community stretching before the walkers took to the streets of Tempe and quickly moved into the neighborhoods of Phoenix. Many cheering stations along the early route encouraged the walkers by handing out water, juice, and treats. A New Balance-sponsored cheerleading group welcomed the walkers into pit stop 2. A public cheering station included posters made by elementary cchool students from Kryene de las Lomas. The walkers enjoyed a large number of walker stalkers and homes that opened up their lawns for cheering, helping walkers with the increasing temperatures of the day. Pit Stop 3 was livened up by neighbors who set up a complete drum set across the street. A second high school cheerleading group welcomed the walkers back to camp for dinner. There was great entertainment from a college-age a cappella group "Priority Male" and a camp show which included a recap of the day, a speech by Chrystine Holcomb, co-survivor, and a speech by Justine Perez, a young survivor. After an energetic dance party, the walkers and crew then returned to their pink tents to enjoy a night's sleep under the Arizona stars.

The final day of the Arizona 3-Day included a 16-mile route with gorgeous sunny weather. The walkers passed through downtown Tempe, Moeur and Indian Bend Parks, and into Scottsdale. The Emerald Society Bagpipes were a fun way to start the day as they marched with the walkers and set up after pit stop 2. A local group of five young saxophonists, one of whom was the son of a breast cancer survivor, serenaded the participants as they passed into historic Scottsdale. An inspiring cheering station kept the walkers going as they finished the last few miles of their journey. A beautiful Closing Ceremony in Scottsdale Stadium, capped off the perfect weekend. Walkers and crew paraded around the perimeter of the baseball field before celebrating the end of another Arizona 3-Day, complete with the raising of the flag, "We Will Never Give Up" by the Survivors' Circle.

Read more stories and see photos on the 3-Day® blog.

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