Sunday, October 18, 2009

2009 Washington DC Breast Cancer 3-Day

Well, we did it again!! This year, the walk was a week later in the season and definitely brought some colder and wetter weather than last year! The event started off with Crew Day on Thursday, October 8. Crew Day is a half day event that brings all the volunteers together to do a meet and greet and learn about all the logistics for the upcoming weekend. This year was unique because Crew Day took place at National's Park! I can't imagine how the 3-Day was able to book Crew Day so far in advance knowing this was the beginning of the baseball playoffs.....OH, I know how they did it!! There was NO chance the Nats would have ANY opportunity to make it to the post season this year!!! OH, DC're killin' me!! But I digress.......Crew Day went off beautifully. We all gathered in a conference room on the 2oo level of the stadium. Crazy, who knew there were conference rooms up there?? Anywho, with Lee and Sarah as our Crew Captains this year, we knew we were in for a great time!! Our crew consisted of: Lee, Sarah, Greg, Elisha, Eric, Patti, Suzanne, Pam, Laura and me. We met Elisha last year on our crew and she decided to join us again this year and bring her boyfriend Eric along for the adventure! Patti and Suzanne are good friends from Snowshoe, West Virginia. They walked in the DC walk last year and decided to join the crew this year. They were an absolute blast! Pam is a former walker who's father is a breast cancer survivor. She and her family have walked in numerous 3-Day events on a team called "Breast Man Walking". She is a fantastic person and added a ton of personality and positive energy to our team! Laura was riding the metro one day and saw an advertisement for the 3-Day and decided to sign up! What a trooper!! She was amazing and we were so happy to have her!!! Here are a few pictures from Crew Day.

The crew learning about the Pit Can and Western Shelters
Sarah was asked to be a flag carrier for Opening Ceremonies - this is rehearsal during Crew Day
Sarah carrying the "DREAMS" flag during rehearsal for Opening Ceremonies
After Crew Day ended, Lee and I met Elisha and Eric in Clarendon for some dinner before heading home to do some last minute packing and getting rest for the weekend ahead!

3:45 came pretty early on Friday morning! We left the house and picked up Greg and Sarah before heading back to National's Park for Day 1. Once we got there, we picked up our Pit Van (12 passenger van) for the weekend. Sarah and Pam had to stay back because they were both carrying flags during Opening Ceremonies. The rest of us headed to our Pit Stop for Day 1. Our Pit Stop for Day 1 was at the Historical Society of Washington DC at K and 9th streets. We pulled up in the dark, so we had to rely on what little moonlight was out in order to get all our items out of the pit can and placed on the grassy area for set up. Our team was very fast and got things done so efficiently! And, we had 2 less people since Sarah and Pam were still back at Opening Ceremonies!

Greg was the team leader for the beverage tent since he worked that tent last year and I was the team leader for the food tent for the same reason. This worked out great since we always had somebody in those tents who knew the ins and outs of the process. Greg had Eric and Patti helping him out and I had Suzanne and Laura with me. Pam worked the "Potty Lotto" station. Potty Lotto is a game that is played to encourage the walkers to use the johns. This is important to ensure they are drinking enough so they don't get dehydrated. So, in our game, the walkers would choose a ticket out of a bag that Pam was holding. If the ticket had a sticker on the back, they won a prize! Our prizes consisted of candy and sticker tattoos. Fun times! Elisha and Sarah were at the entrance of the Pit. Elisha had the duty of counting all the walkers that came through. This ensures we are accounting for all the walkers and gives us an idea of when the last walker will be coming through our pit. Sarah handed out stickers to all the walkers. This is a tradition during the walks. We made different ones for each day. Since we had a Rock 'N' Roll theme, our stickers were guitars with pink ribbons, drum kits with pink ribbons, and a bass guitar with pink ribbons. The walkers collect these on their name badges. By the end of the walk, they get pretty full!! There aren't many pictures from Day 1 for reasons explained below.

After closing the Pit for Day 1, we all gathered around and ate our lunches that are provided by the event. It was a really beautiful day and we all enjoyed each other's company as we talked about the day. After finishing up our lunch, we headed across the street to our van. As we were getting ready to pull away and head to Pit Stop 5 to help them out, we realized Lee's bag was not in the van. Oh boy. This was the beginning of the biggest drama of our weekend. We all got out of the van and looked under the seats and in the back before realizing that the bag was just gone. This was very bad news. Both of our wallets were in that bag, along with my cell phone and about $4,000 of camera equipment that Lee worked very hard to acquire. Lee immediately called the bank to cancel our debit cards. Elisha then noticed her wallet had been stolen as well. So, she began calling her bank and credit card companies as well. Eric was the one who called the cops. The cop showed up and took down all our information and sent a crime unit by to take fingerprints and take pictures of the "crime scene".

Just unbelievable! Here we are, doing a great thing and this is what happens to us. Just insane. But, we had to move on! So, after the cops all left, we headed to our original destination of Pit 5 to help them out. On Day 1, Pit 5 was the last stop of the day. From there, the walkers were being bussed to the Camp Site which was set up at Avenel Park. This is right across from where the Kemper Open, now the Booz Allen Classic, used to be played. We hung out at Pit Stop 5 cheering in the walkers after their long first day.

After helping out here, we left and headed back to camp. We got there and set up our tents for the weekend and headed to the dinner tent for a spaghetti dinner and entertainment. We were able to welcome in the last walker of the day by watching the traditional flag raise at the end of the day.After getting our much needed nourishment, we showered and got into our night clothes so we could watch some 3-Day Rock Star (karaoke) and head up to our tents for "lights out" at 9 PM. Sleeping Friday night was pretty hard due to the crazy wind and the rain that decided to come in. We managed to get some sleep so that we could wake up at 5:15 for breakfast and in the car for Day 2. Today we were at the Bethesda United Church of Christ where there was also to be a Farmers Market. Busy day at the church! Again, we set up in the dark and as the day went on, it got cooler and cooler and then came the rain. Ugh! We managed to keep our spirits high and focus on the tasks at hand.

Day 2 was definitely a cold and rainy one! After packing up we headed to another stop to help them out, only to find out they didn't need us! So, we headed back to camp to shower and put on some warm and dry clothes. The rain had subsided by this point, so we headed to the finish line (today the walkers walked right into camp to end the day) to cheer on the walkers. Here's a look at some of the folks we saw today!

The best Team name of the weekend!! (Cuck Fancer)

After cheering the walkers on for a few hours, we decided to go walk around and then get some food before the big crowd of walkers came in. A few things we saw while walking from the finish line to the Dining Tent:

A look at Main Street - all the vendor tents and camp services

Encouraging sign
We ate (chicken I think) and relaxed while trying to stay warm. The entertainment on Day 2 was very strange. It started with a youth musical theater group, cute. Then an old man and an old woman decided to grace us with their opera and show tunes. I stayed warm by doing my "jazz hands" during "All That Jazz".

Luckily, the last walker was arriving at camp, so we all got up and went out to the flagpole to watch the raising of the flag for Day 2.

It was time to head back to our tents for sleepy time, so we all walked up and got in our sleeping bags and bundled up as much as we could for a COLD night of sleep. We struggled to stay warm (well, at least I did) and before too long, it was time to get up for Day 3!

We woke up at 5, packed up our gear and tents, put them on the truck (they will take all this to closing ceremonies for us to pick up) and headed to breakfast and then on the road at 6 for our final day, Day 3. Our pit stop today was at the Carnegie Institute. This was a beautiful day. It definitely started off pretty cold, but shaped up to be perfect. Here are some pictures of our 3rd and final day of the weekend:

Sarah, Greg and Sarah's Parents right before Closing Ceremonies

Can't see Pam, but she's holding the "My Father" flag during Closing Ceremonies

Pam's Father, Lee, raises the flag as a survivor to end Day 3 of the DC Walk

All in all, the weekend was a success. Aside from the Friday robbery, we managed to make it through the weekend with smiles and energy. I managed to survive while being 14 weeks pregnant! I didn't lift too much, I ate when I needed to and got plenty of water. Can't say I got as much rest as I should've, but since we took Monday off, I think I made up for it, at least a little bit.

Thank you for your support as we entered into our 2nd year as Crew for the DC Breast Cancer 3-Day. Having a 6 month old when next year's walk rolls around, I think Lee and I will find other ways to volunteer our time.

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