Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 0

Posted by: Jenn Latino

Thursday Morning, 4:30am and I am wide awake! This is the day that the training schedule reads “REST.” Tomorrow I will begin the 60-mile journey through the Atlanta area and I am too excited to sleep!

When we return from our amazing adventure, Team New Kids will be a group of women who have shared a life changing experience. Some of us will immediately commit to doing this again in 2011. Others will blog about the spectacle of the Komen For the Cure experience-whether it’s a 5K or a 60 mile trek, Komen puts on a fantastic show! We will all remember the 3 days that are ahead of us for the rest of our lives and our many fans and supporters who have made this possible are the foundation for helping us build these memories. Thank You!

After two summers of weekly blogging, I find myself with very few new ideas or stories to share. But in the early morning hours, I realize that previous blogs have kept you up to date on Days 1, 2, and 3 of the 3-Day experience, but I haven’t given you a glimpse into Day 0. Here it is!

The day begins at 4:30am, apparently. There is a large red duffle bag filled with all of my walking and camping treasures sitting in the kitchen ready to be loaded into the car. These treasures include my daily needs of clothing, shoes, and toiletries but also the motivation to get me through this incredible challenge. My most precious 3-Day swag, my pink ribbons bearing the names of every person who has donated to my fundraising efforts and the names of the women and men who our team honors with every step we take, are secured to my backpack, within arms reach. When things get tough, I just have to put my hand on your names for an instant boost. This year I am also carrying a small journal and pen to help me remember the important details (like what variety of Girl Scout cookies I find at the cheer stations) that I want to share with you when I return.

Jenn Latino, You Just Walked 60 Miles! What are you going to do now? “WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!” Beside the duffle bag is a smaller suitcase all packed and ready for my post-walk adventure! It would be rude to rub it in so I’ll leave it at that.

A third bag is packed for Riley who is off to spend 7 days at Camp Bow Wow! This is her treat for the many miles we have shared since May getting ready for this walk. I estimate that Riley has walked over 250 miles in preparation for the 3-Day. She deserves a week at Camp!

When the sun comes up, my day will start like any other Thursday (minus my usual training walk). I will get ready for work, drop Riley off, and spend the day doing my normal activities. I will teach my class for the last time until November 2nd (they aren’t too disappointed about that). I have a meeting with a student who is interested in graduate school. There are tasks on the To Do that need to be checked off before I go. Day 0 is nothing extraordinary for most people. All the while I will be aware of the butterflies in my stomach, reminding me that today is indeed a special day!

While I am going through my normal motions, my #1 cheerleader will be making her way to Columbia! Mama Linda will not be packed light-35 pounds? PLEASE! She will pack more than that just in snacks! At 3pm I will leave work and head back home to meet up with Mom and consolidate our crap, I mean gear, into one car and begin the journey west! I have the new Sugarland album to keep us company. She has our Disney World itinerary. Perfect combination.

The rest of Team New Kids will spend the day making the journey to Atlanta from North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Florida. Meredith will spend her day running all over Atlanta to collect our goodies-most of us rented gear from REI to avoid having to carry it from our far away homes (and because some of us are NOT campers and don’t own appropriate sleeping gear). Kim will be playing housekeeper, chauffeur, and caterer making airport runs and playing hostess for the Day 0 festivities.

By car or plane, we will all converge at Casa Sterritt-the official headquarters of Team New Kids on the Walk-for a hearty team dinner. Team dinner is one of my favorite 3-Day traditions. This is when all of the teammates get together with their families. There is a lot of food, a lot of laughter, strategizing about cheer stations and car pools, and confessions of nervousness and anxiety. And, if you aren’t properly packed, there may be some “un” and “re” packing as well. (35 lbs folks! And, yes, your sleeping bag has to fit INSIDE the bag, within the weight limit.) After dinner we will turn Kim and Adam’s house into a shantytown. Their 3-bedroom space will sleep 11 on couches and air mattresses.

By this time tomorrow, the alarm clocks will be ringing and Team New Kids will begin making their way to Lake Lanier for the opening ceremonies and the first steps to an amazing adventure!

I’m excited and nervous about what is ahead. Most importantly, I am confident that I can and will complete a 60-mile journey. Every bold step will raise awareness that we must find a cure for Breast Cancer. We have to-because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime!

If you want to follow our journey, keep an eye on my Facebook page. We’ll make periodic updates during our journey. You can also follow me (JennLatino) and Michelle (MLAshcraft) on Twitter. How do you explain this unique experience in 140 characters or less? I expect the most commonly tweeted word will be “Amazing!”

I hope your weekends are also amazing! Thanks to all of you for your cheers, prayers, and high fives! If you aren’t in the Atlanta area this weekend, you can still be part of our cheering team. Tell your friends about what we are doing. Keep raising awareness. While you are talking, we’ll be walking. Our way of saying, “Thank You” for all of your support.

Happy Stepping!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One last Intro of our NEWEST New Kid!

Posted By: Kim Sterritt

While I realize that it is Walk Week, I also realized that I have failed to introduce you all to our Newest New Kid! Please help me officially welcome Priscilla Nunez to Team New Kids on the Walk!

Priscilla Nunez
Status: Walker
Location: Marietta, GA

Are you a NEW New Kid or a New Kid With Experience?
NEW New Kid

What made you decide to take the plunge and sign up for the 2010 3 Day?

I first heard about the 3 Day my last semester in college when 3 of my sorority sisters decided to walk the 2006 3-Day. Every year since then I would consider doing the walk but I kept putting it off because doubted that I could raise the money and no one else I knew wanted to do it with me. I finally decided to do it this year even if at 1st it meant getting out there by myself (again none of my friends want to do the walk). It's my way of giving back and having a memorable 25th birthday that I can always look back on.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Adoring Fan Post #5

Posted by: Kim Sterritt

Please note, tears were shed during this interview.

Adam Sterritt
Status: Walker Stalker
Location: Decatur, GA

What is your connection to Team New Kids on the Walk?

I am Kim's husband as well as a longtime friend of Jenn Latino and Meredith Perlman.

What one 3 Day moment sticks in your brain most?

As anyone who was with me during the walk knows, I found a lot of moments from the weekend pretty overwhelming. The opening ceremony was very memorable as was the closing ceremony, especially as the survivors entered and the walkers saluted them with their shoes in the air. Watching Kim and her team cross the finish line was probably the best memory, I was so proud and happy for Kim and the team.

What did you do to support the New Kids before, during and after the 3 Day?

When Kim started talking about participating in the 3 Day early last year, I told her that I would train with her if she signed up. In early June we started with a 3 mile walk (which nearly killed me) and by the end of the summer we were getting up at 5am to get in 15+ miles before the sun got too hot. It was an incredible experience and I value the physical benefits of training (I'm not afraid to walk ANYWHERE now) as well as the great benefit of spending so much time walking and talking with Kim. As only the walkers know, it is not very easy to get up early on a Saturday and walk for 5 or 6 hours and it was very meaningful to share those challenges with Kim. During the weekend I acted as Team New Kids Driver and drove the Smith Family Minivan to every cheer station to help cheer on our ladies.

What words of encouragement do you have for the New Kids, both New and Experienced?

Another moment that sticks in my brain is the announcement of how much money was raised at the end of the walk. It is important for all walkers to remember the phenomenal amount of good that their fund raising has done and will do in the fight against breast cancer. I know that all of the New Kids will be able complete the walk if they keep the spirit of the whole event in their minds. Plus, they will be able to eat Girl Scout Cookies out of season.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Taste of the Good Life

Last week I got to "taste the good life" on multiple occasions!

First, last weekend I started out on my training walk and went my normal route. Less than a mile into my route, I saw a huge sign that said "Welcome to Mile 8" with the Avon 2-Day symbol on it. I had encountered the Avon 2-Day for the Cure route! I saw women dressed in pink and with pom poms and walking equipment. I kept on the route and ended up walking on the 2-Day route for several miles. I got to experience some of my favorite things about the walk during that Saturday training walk. There were crossing guards on motorcycles helping you at the intersections! I saw the guy in the Sponge Bob outfit and the kilt guy. I mentioned to them that I was a 3-Day walker and they said they would be there too and I should have fun training. There were cheerleaders along the way. I felt kind of guilty as they said "Good job!" and "Congratulations!" There were also sweeper vans...What are sweeper vans you ask? If you get injured or can't walk any more, you can climb into a sweeper van and they will take you to the next pit stop or rest area. My taste of the good life was fabulous! It made me remember my favorite things about the 3-Day and look forward to next weekend even more!

My second "Taste of the Good Life" involved food...and a LOT of it! My fundraiser at Rosebud restaurant in Atlanta was a huge success. Thanks go to Chef Ron Eyester! Teammates Kim Sterritt and Karen Wagner also joined us in their 80s finest. Chef Ron did not disappoint. They had a sampler platter that included fried homemade mozzarella, potato skins and chicken wings. Then there was baked brie and a ramen noodle bowl with a shrimp and shellfish broth. The 4th course was a Monte Cristo and it was delish! Then Chicken Francese with great 80s whipped potatoes and the rage of the day...capers. Then they made their own blizzard that was...dare I say it...better than Dairy Queens! Chef Ron and his team also made some great cocktails that included tab and homemade winecoolers. It was a night to remember and photos can be seen here. Thanks again to Chef Ron for such a memorable night and providing such great food. Thanks also to my "walk widow" of a husband, Ben, for being the DJ and playing such good music...even if people stayed and danced until 11:30 pm!

One more week until the 3-Day....I just got an email saying we could print out our credentials and it is such a scary feeling. Here's to a great 3-Day with great teammates. Thank you to everyone that has donated to me and my teammates. We have raised over $19,000 so far and just need a little more to each reach our fundraising goals. Thank you for supporting us on this journey!

Adoring Fans Interview #4

Posted By: Kim Sterritt

Brad Smith
Status: Surprise Walker Stalker
Location: Perrysburg, OH

What is your connection to Team New Kids on the Walk?

Brother of participant, Kim Smith (editor's note: My brother apparently takes after my father. See Monday's interview question number 1 for comparison!)

What one 3 Day moment sticks in your brain most?

On the morning of Day 2, myself, my wife Shannon, and my two daughters Sydney and Taylor greeted Kim at their first cheering station of the day. Kim was unaware of the fact that we were going to be driving down to support her that weekend. Her response to our surprise is the moment from that weekend that I will remember the most. She could not hide how much it meant to her to have our support. (editor's note: Again, my family LOVES to remember my heart palpitations and sobbing quite fondly.)

What did you do to support the New Kids before, during and after the 3 Day?

To support Kim in the 3 Day event we financially sponsored her, we traveled to Atlanta to support her that weekend, and for Christmas this past year my wife made a scrapbook for Kim that commemorated the 3 Day event. (editor's note: An amazing scrapbook by the way! Really captures the emotional and physical roller coaster of the experience!)

What words of encouragement do you have for the New Kids, both New and Experienced?

This event is for a terrific cause and it was amazing to hear the amount of money that was raised to fight breast cancer. Seeing it first hand, you get a real sense that for the participants, this is a life changing experience.

Brad will not be attending the walk this year as their newest addition, Madelyn Grace, reason #4 that I am participating in the 3 Day, arrived in July and traveling 12 hours with 3 kids under 5 years old is too crazy to attempt! Brad will be taking on his own physical challenge this weekend by running the Columbus Marathon. He may think walking 60 miles is crazy but I think running 26.2 is just plain NUTS!!! Go Brad! I am so proud of you!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Adoring Fans Interview #3

Posted By: Kim Sterritt

This interviewee became better known as the Mamarazzi for the countless number of amazing photos she took! She did a terrific job of capturing the many memories of last year.

Linda Latino
Status: Walker Stalker/Mamarazzi
Location: Raeford, NC

What is your connection to Team New Kids on the Walk? Mom of Jennifer (Latino), and friends of other teammates

What one 3 Day moment sticks in your brain most? The beginning in the dark, meeting the entire team of NEW Kids On The Walk, the meeting places, the finale of seeing the entire team walk into the Atlanta Braves Stadium. I guess the highlight was seeing all the walkers, during closing ceremony take off a shoe and hold it high. I still look at that today and it chokes me up.

What did you do to support the New Kids before, during and after the 3 Day? I walked with Jennifer on some of her training walks, monetary donations, goodie bags for the entire team, and for Christmas, presented Jennifer with a scrapbook of the walk, that included pictures and all of the postings that she did every week. She walked 60 miles and I rode with Tina 570 miles to meet the team at every break point and would not change one minute. Each meeting was very emotional. Sitting in the rain, being cold, but meeting other Moms and we kind of formed our own team and met up with each other and made plans for ourselves.

What words of encouragement do you have for the New Kids, both New and Experienced? Be sure you spend the money and buy good shoes. You are going to spend lots of time in them. Jennifer said that was something she did not skip on.

Anything else you would like to add? The bond that the Moms and support team had was extremely important. Where all the girls knew each other, all the Mom's got to spend time and share stories. Jenn's Mom was a very courageous lady to come out and always be there for her daughter and so was Stu. Loved meeting Ms. Buckeye. Enjoyed her goodies that she made to share. Also the dinner that we had as a group was a nice treat. Hopefully that can be done again this year. (editor's note: final arrangements for this are in the works!)

Linda most likely already has her bags packed and will be again making the trip to cheer us on! Thanks, Linda! Can't wait to see you!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Adoring Fans Interview #2

Posted by: Kim Sterritt

I will allow this interviewee to speak for himself!

Ben Perlman
Status: Self Described “Walk Widow”
Location: Atlanta, GA

What is your connection to Team New Kids on the Walk?
My wife, Meredith, is a walker. And she stole all of my friends from graduate school and now they’re on the team with her.

What one 3 Day moment sticks in your brain most?
Actually, selfishly, I think how much fun I had with the families and loved ones of the team.

What did you do to support the New Kids before, during and after the 3 Day?
Not much? I dunno, Meredith said I was too slow to walk with her in training. I bought stuff. I lot of stuff. I’m good at that. Not as good as Meredith. I cheered people on.

What words of encouragement do you have for the New Kids, both New and Experienced?
Train hard! And figure out what it means for you personally, that seems to help a lot of folks during the tough times.

Anything else you would like to add?
Looking forward to being a walk widow again!

Ben will be there again this year to cheer us on! Thanks for your support, Ben!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Stuff You Should Know

Posted by: Jenn Latino & Meredith Perlman
With only a few short days before the kick off of the Atlanta Komen 3-Day for the Cure, Team New Kids is getting all “geared” up for their big adventure! The only challenge more difficult than actually walking 60 miles in 3 days is PACKING to walk 60 miles in 3 days!

This blog, co authored by veteran New Kids Meredith and Jenn L., is a reflection of things we learned about smart packing for the 3-Day. It is intended to inform our fellow teammates and blog followers of the peculiarities of life on the 3-Day and a few things that we had not anticipated---if we only knew then what we know now!

Caution: Don’t let us be your only source for smart packing. The folks at For the Cure know a thing or two about efficient packing (and there are some rules that you have to follow). Visit the Participant Center and check out the packing information under Event Details where you can find the stern requirement that your bag (yes, just 1 bag) weigh no more than 35lbs. Trust us, you CAN do it!

There are plenty of veteran walkers who have also developed some tips. You can find a few of our favorites at: (pg. 22-27)

We will address the issue of packing in two segments: Walking Gear & Camping Gear. It’s smart to pack these items separately as you will have to surrender your overnight bag before the opening ceremonies. All of the gear will be transported to camp and you will retrieve it when you arrive after the last mile on Day 1.

New Series of Interviews!

Posted by: Kim Sterritt

Can you believe we are under 2 weeks until the main event?! As many of you may remember, we kicked off this 2010 version of our 3 Day journey with a series of getting to know you interviews with each team member. Well, at the same time, I reached out to some of our biggest cheerleaders from the 2009 event to get their insight into the 3 Day from the Cheering Stations side of things. I will post one each day for the rest of the week. Here are two to get us kicked off:

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Is Here!

I can't believe it is October 1st! October is a big month for Team New is 3-Day Month!!! October 1st also marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Take time this month to support the cancer survivors in your life. It is also a great month to Support the New Kids on the Walk.:

October 6 - 80s Dinner at Rosebud (Atlanta, GA) - Make your reservations today and you must have a reservation!

October 9th - Support New Kidder Karen Wagner at her raffle at Pepperoni's Tavern in John's Creek, GA.

October 12th - last day to get your letters in the mail for Team New Kids to open at camp. Believe me, a few kind words really cheer you up while camping!

October 22 - 24 - Come cheer us on in Atlanta. As soon as we know the cheering stations, we'll let you know.

October is going to be a long month but a fun one! The temperatures are cooler and I even pulled out my Team New Kids pullover from last year. I am starting to think about what to pack and remember how to pack - there is an art to it that I will explain later. With only 22 days to the event, we have 3 team members who have reached their fundraising goal, 2 are super close and the rest of us are on our way. We've already raised over $17,500 but we've still got to get to $20,700. Imagine all the good that money can do in the fight against breast and other types of cancer! Until we find a cure, happy walking!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Posted by: Jenn Latino
I pride myself on staying in touch with friends. I’m a relater (that’s relate-er not the misspelling of someone who sells houses). I coordinate phone dates with friends who live in other states. I email old classmates when I see they have won an award or published an article. I demand that we have (and therefore coordinate) a “girls weekend” once a year during which my best friends and I who live in Columbia, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and Atlanta converge on one city for a weekend of PJs and vino. I call people on their birthdays-and I sing. I was Facebook before Mark Zuckerberg even dreamed of the “poke.” (Mom & Dad I will explain that reference later.)

Lately, I have been FAILING at my stay-in-touch efforts. With 2 classes and a few other fun fall commitments at work, most of my evenings are spent grading papers and lesson planning. Weekends are spent walking, and walking, and walking. As a result, my yard needs to be mowed. My hedges are half trimmed where I managed-post walk-to get through 3 of my 7 shrubs before the rain forced me inside on Sunday. My car needs an oil change. My hands need a manicure. My toes are still sporting the engagement party pink that I had put on for my Labor Day adventure in TN. My bathroom hasn’t seen a sponge in months. My “on hold” items at the library have been sitting on the pick up shelf for so long the ink on the hold slip is fading. Today I got an overdue notice for a book I haven’t cracked the spine on yet. Life happens! Sometimes, you can’t fit it all in.

One of my secrets to staying in touch when times are busy is to do a quick “Hi/Lo.” It’s a wonderful tool. It works with my nephews who don’t usually have much to say and are thrilled to just have to answer 2 questions. It works with students who otherwise give me blank stares when I say “How was your week?” And, it’s quick enough to send via text message or online chat to a friend.

Here is how Hi/Lo works. You share one great thing that has happened that day/week and one not so great thing. Easy, right? Your “highest” moment and “lowest” moment. It’s no substitute for a genuine conversation but it makes me feel a little less disconnected.

In the spirit of a quick check in, I thought I’d share a few Hi/Lo events from the week.

HI: I accomplished my longest training walk yet! 15 miles on Saturday. YIPPEE!
LO: Halfway through the walk I finished the audio book I was listening to. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was fantastic! It brought 20+ hours of listening pleasure to my walks over the past few weeks and I was terribly sad to hear it end.

LO: Rain
HI: I got to break in my new raincoat (twice) and it was wonderful! Kept me dry. Didn’t make me sweat. I was totally cute in my Snapdragon Yellow-exactly what I wanted!

HI: Cooler temperatures! I repeat: COOLER TEMPERATURES!! Walking in 60 degree mornings and 75 degree evenings has put the pep back in my step. Even Riley is marching with her tail a little higher in the air.
LO: Dark mornings. I am counting the days until daylight savings time ends. In the meantime, I am wearing my headlamp on my morning walks. (Related LO: Wearing the headlamp has given me a zit-yes, like a 15 year old in puberty-on my forehead.)

HI: I had a friend join me for some miles on Sunday! My co-worker and neighbor, Karen, met me at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning and took me on a new route for a few miles. I was so grateful for the company and Karen was a wonderful tour guide to parts of The Summit that I had never explored.

: The arrival of rain shortened my Sunday walk to about 9 miles when I had planned for 10-12.
HI: The arrival of rain shortened my Sunday walk to about 9 miles! (God bless Mother Nature for knowing just when I needed an excuse to stop.)

: The 3-Day is only 23 days away! I am not sure my feet are quite ready but I am very excited to see Team New Kids. I am sure that with my teammates by my side 20-mile days will seem like nothing. (Either that or I will convince them to carry me. There are 7 of them. They can manage!)

Here’s to wishful thinking!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Making the Sale in 28376

Posted by: Jenn Latino
Fundraising for the 3-Day is not an easy task! With 6 of the New Kids still striving to reach their minimum fundraising goal, it is time to pull out the big guns! And by guns, I mean bazookas! Yard Sale Style!

This weekend I was lucky to host the New Kids yard sale with the help, and by help I mean they did all of the work and I just rolled into town on Friday, of my mom and my aunt. Linda and Bunkie are no strangers to yard sales. You will recall that I sang their praises in a previous post: One Family’s Trash What I arrived to was the finest rummage Hoke County has ever seen! My SUV was packed to the tip top with the treasures of my Columbia friends. Mom and Bunk had 2 additional SUVs and a pick up truck loaded and ready to go.

Now, I walk every morning, with the exception of Friday, at 5:45 a.m. I am no stranger to the dark before the dawn. But when Mom gave me the “It’s time to get up” greeting that I groaned at for 18 years, I was not the happiest camper. But I rallied! I mean, after all, it’s not like I had to walk 10 miles. It was just a yard sale!

Just a yard sale. What an understatement! This yard sale was taking place in the front yard of The Bargain Barn. The Bargain Barn is owned by Roger and his lovely wife Wanda Sue. They are the one-stop-shop for all of your antique goodies. In addition to 1,000s of square feet of perfectly organized, certified, “old stuff,” The Bargain Barn sits on a large piece of land with plenty of room for visitors. Every third Saturday Roger opens his lawn to “vendors” and we were among the lucky few this weekend. You have to arrive early to get a good spot by the road and we were in the 2nd and 3rd spaces-excellent real estate!

The traffic in Raeford, NC is not usually very plentiful. This weekend, however, was the annual Turkey Festival! The House of Raeford turkey factory is the Gold sponsor of this annual event and the Hoke County residents anticipate the annual mayhem for weeks in advance. The Bargain Barn is right along the road that leads to downtown Raeford so we were expecting some good traffic!

I would be remiss to those of you who have not visited Raeford if I didn’t give you a brief description of what it is like to drive through the town. Two words: Turkey. Feathers. They are EVERYWHERE! As you pass the House of Raeford, which we did, just before 6am, when the shifts are changing, it looks as if snow has fallen. You are likely to be stopped by an 18 wheeler truck loaded up with…well, since Mandie is one of my most faithful readers, and a vegetarian, I better not go into much more detail. You know where the feathers come from.

Once we got all set up: electronics on one table, candles and glassware on another. Clothes on the rack, books organized by age group under the 2nd knick knack table, large items displayed out front, 4 step ladders displayed prominently near the shoes (because step ladders and shoes make a lot of sense together), and the Team New Kids on the Walk banner and donation jar beautiful hung and displayed. We were open for business!

Throughout the day Roger was a wonderful host. He offered to help with anything we needed as we got set up, shared his kettle corn made by a fellow vendor-which prompted us to get a bag (best $2 we spent all day), and around lunch time came through to ask if anyone wanted a burger from Hardees. It was Roger’s treat but he didn’t take special offers. If you want a burger, you get the one he buys and you can scrape off anything you don’t want. This was not Bunk’s first time at The Bargain Barn event and she had warned me ahead of time of the burger stipulations. Wanda Sue made change for us when we ran out of $1s, and bought a bag full of homemade Christmas ornaments from the “ornament box” in support of our sales efforts.

In addition to our gracious hosts, we met a parade of interesting Raeford residents. From the woman who collects anything Winnie the Pooh (she hit the JACKPOT at our sale) and left with 12 stuffed animals, to the woman who came by 3 times-once by herself, once with a girlfriend, and finally with her husband-and filled her entire backseat with treasures from our booths-the residents were happy to support our team. Mom, dressed in her custom made Atlanta 3 Day pink ribbon shirt, talked boobs with folks, told them about the walk, pointed out “That’s my daughter and she is walking in the Komen 3-Day event. Yea, 60 miles! I know. We are so proud of her!” and thanked them for their support. Bunkie kept the snacks on a steady rotation, and Dad-between loading goodies into customer’s cars, represented the Latino and Garber families at the festival when he went “into town” to see how things were going on Main Street.

The traffic died down as the thermometer inched up and soon it was time to pack it in. Clean up was easier than unloading because we got rid of a lot of crap! By mid afternoon the sale was a wrap and I was tucked away on my folks’ couch enjoying a well-deserved nap!

We made $260, pushing the New Kids a little closer to their goal. Thanks to Roger and Wanda Sue, my mom & dad, Aunt Bunkie & Uncle Lee, and to all of our friends who donated gear to be sold. Mark you calendars now for the 2011 Turkey Festival! It promises to be a fantastic time-and if you get there early enough-you can make a little cash if you set up a booth at The Bargain Barn.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Return of Mr. Pickles

As we are quickly entering into the home stretch of the walk, I feel like I should take some time to thank two very important members of my family for their support throughout this mission...Shannon and the infamous Mr. Pickles. As many of you know, Shannon is my husband and has been supporting me and providing motivation for me to get up and stick with my training. Mr. Pickles is our almost three year old Springer Spaniel with an attitude... he's quite vocal about his wants and  has no problem voicing his opinion. Below you will read a short portion of an actual email I recieved from Mr. Pickes this evening. Nope, I am not kidding, his email address is  try it and see. Up to this point he has been a very supportive part of this training process, but I guess I can't say that anymore...

Dear Floppy Hair,

We have a problem.  For some reason based in perpetual insanity you woke me up again this morning real early to go out for a little walk.  First off, why 5:30?  Really, 5:30?  Is there no other time for this heinous activity?  Moreover, why so far?  5.6 miles, really? Don't you remember we have an orange box that I ride in all the time, why can't we use that?  Heck, I looked like a fool this morning running up to its door thinking I was going  some place fun, like to the park to do things I like to do.  Remember how much I like going to get the ball?  You can't throw it too far for me.  And, remember my speed?  I am sooo fast, it'll make your head hurt.  So why did we have to stop going and start this early morning stuff?
I like a morning walk as much as the next guy, but why so long? I good for about an hour, not four.  And, you didn't throw the ball for me at all?  Are you trying to hurt me?  And, you said that we were going to keep making this a morning thing between now and you breast cancer walk, really? When is that again?  Well, I hope it is tomorrow because I can't take much more of this abuse.  But, if I have to go then I'll be getting ol' Pancake Butt up so he'll share in the misery.  Hey, if he goes well have something to laugh at, I mean, really ... can't you just hear him wheezing now?  Begging for one of those raspberry zingers things he likes so much?  Oh, this is gonna happen because if I have to keep going, then I'll be requiring comedy.  Tomorrow is gonna be so fun.
_Mr. Pickles

So for those of you I don't have the pleasure of knowing for a long time, I hope you've enjoyed your first installment of the Chronicles of Mr. Pickles. By the way: I am "Floppy Hair" and Shannon is "pancake butt"

I always find it as amusing as I do. A great "pick me up" regardless of the type of day. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rainy Days and Sundays

Posted by: Jenn Latino
I am a fairly quick decision maker. I don’t dwell over things. My “gut” typically leads me toward one option or another and I confidently make my choice and move forward. When a decision calls for a more complex process than just the “gut,” I rely on my trusty, no fail, method of Rock, Paper, Scissors. A game of R-P-S aided in my decision to buy my first (and only) brand new car (R.I.P. Winnie the marvelous CRV) and solidified my decision to become a Seminole when the graduate school choices were too overwhelming. It works!! My CRV hung in there for 10 years and nearly 250,000 miles and Florida State University served me well and I landed one of their diplomas on my wall.

I don’t see much need for dwelling over decisions. I find it easier to make a quick choice and then deal with the circumstances (or consequences) that come with it afterwards. Kind of like taking off a band-aid. Just rip it! Then rub it really fast to take the sting away.

This method works in most aspects of my life. I have found only a few situations where decisions do not come quickly. One of those situations is the Komen 3-Day for the Cure! A lot of the decisions that come with the 3-Day process have been challenging for me. From deciding to join in 2009 to choosing just the right “luggage” to carry (do you remember the fanny pack or back pack woes of Captain Kim last year?) there are many very important decisions that daunt a 3-Day walker and it can be quite stressful!

This weekend I had another adventure at REI (you can find a series of REI reports from many of my teammates in the archives of our blog) and, as usual, I spent far too much time trying to make a decision. I do not accept all of the blame for this indecisiveness. REI is like the Ikea of sporting goods. They are only located in really fun, large cities (NOT Columbia, SC) so when you are near one, you just have to go in! And, since the store is larger than some countries, it’s overwhelming!

I was looking forward to my trip to Raleigh this weekend because I needed to make a final purchase to complete my gear for the 3-Day. A raincoat! My logic is, if I have a raincoat, we won’t need it. Last year, we needed it. And, I had my cheap “water resistant” plastic jacket that had accompanied me to several outdoor concerts and sporting events. On Day 1, when the rain started during the opening ceremonies as a light mist and by lunch became a torrential downpour that soaked our sandwiches (and our tushes), my trusty coat was a complete failure. Water resistant and water proof are two very different promises. I actually tested this theory with one of my dad’s watches when I was a child. The same held true then and my dad landed himself a new watch and I am sure I landed myself with some time alone in my bedroom. A water resistant rain coat is about as effective as placing a patio umbrella up in Florida during hurricane season. It may look good, but it’s not going to function well. It resisted the water for a few minutes but quickly became like a second skin, sticking to my arms and chest, anywhere that skin was exposed, and turning my entire body into a Dutch oven! I was wet and roasting in that jacket, making for a less than pleasant first 20 miles. I promised that I would invest in more appropriate rain gear for the 2010 event and, thanks to two of my aunts, I entered REI armed with the funds and the gusto to find just the right jacket.

You might be surprised how many options there are for raincoats! There were at least 5 racks, 4 arms per rack, all completely loaded with an array of rain gear. I eliminated a few immediately based on price tags. Holy cow! My dad has purchased vehicles for less than the cost of a Marmot brand jacket. And it was a BMW! The second elimination was any tag that read “water resistant.” I have already learned that lesson. The third elimination was based on the cuteness factor. While I am the first to admit that the 3-Day is Not for Pretty, there is no excuse for wearing a shiny smock of nylon just because it will keep you both dry and warm in sub zero temperatures. Just layer up in cute sweatshirts and quit whining!

Once I had the initial 3 levels of elimination taken care of, I had 2 racks of rain jacket options to cruise. I tried on 4-5 different styles and decided that the perfect fit, weight, and style was The North Face Venture. This was, conveniently, one of the least expensive options AND I could fit into the Medium!!! Anything with an M on the tag and I am SOLD! Now, color. This is where the real challenge began. The Venture was available at the Raleigh REI in Loganberry red (AKA: Purple), Alpine blue (AKA: Carolina blue), Weimarnar (AKA: Puke Green), and Black. The one I most liked was the Alpine blue. Perhaps an appropriate choice for the walk. It’s the color of both Kim and Meredith’s backpacks and Meredith’s rain jacket so we would be easy to spot in the crowd of walkers. However, if I expect to ever wear this jacket again, say at an NCSU football game….Alpine Blue=Eliminated. The Weimarnar was a definite No! I blame my Fayetteville, NC upbringing for my complete aversion to anything camouflage tone. The Loganberry was just too, well, loganberry. I began to settle on the black. This process of selecting the very cute and affordable North Face Venture took nearly 45 minutes. I was in a hurry to get back to the house in time for the 8pm football game so I needed to pick up the pace. Still not 100% sure of my choice, I sent a text to Captain Kim and asked what she thought. After a quick affirmation that I definitely could not be caught dead in Alpine blue, she reminded me that after the rain often comes the very bright and very warm sun. If I had a black jacket, that may make for a very sweaty walk. TRUE! Last year after the down pour we faced an incredibly sunny and humid afternoon. Black=Eliminated.

Completely frustrated, I left REI empty handed.

Certain that my inability to make a decision was only because I had no one to talk through things with, I conned/convinced Dana to go back to REI with me on Sunday. It wasn’t difficult to do. I told her that I saw a few clearance racks in the cycling section and that was all it took. Dana had full agreement that the Alpine blue was not an option. She wasn’t very helpful beyond that. But, on Sunday, we met Jacob, a friendly (maybe too friendly) sales associate who took a very keen interest in my rain jacket selection. Jacob brought a variety of rain gear to the space were I was camped out near the full-length mirror. He started with the $300+ jackets. I had to school Jacob pretty quickly on my Saturday adventure. My time with Jacob was not very efficient or effective. At one point he took me to the back room (the brains of REI) to look on the computer and see if any other stores had the Venture in another color. Dana had long disappeared to the sunglasses display across the store and I was a little concerned that no one would know that I was in the back room with a strange sales associate. The shorter version of this very long story of my indecisiveness is that I let Jacob convince me that the REI brand of rain jacket was very similar to the Venture, with even a few more features. For only $20 more, he thought I would be very happy with this choice. The REI jacket came in a lime green that matched my CamelBak so I conceded and left, a little disappointed, with this jacket. We weren’t even out of the parking lot when I looked at Dana and said, “I don’t want this jacket.” I left it in Raleigh for her to return.

I am frustrated with this process. I’m frustrated with myself for being so indecisive. I’m frustrated with REI for not carrying the really cute colors that they have on the North Face website. I’m going to order the jacket online. It will be the jacket I want. In Melon Red (AKA: NC State Red). THIS jacket. And I hope, even after all this, that we won’t need it after all.
As I was wrapping up this blog, I had the feeling that some of my thoughts were quite familiar. After a quick review of last year’s blog postings, I found that yes, in fact, some of my sentiments from this week also appeared in the 2009 post: An Ounce of Faith is Just Enough. This may be the first step toward the devastating revelation that I, a girl with the gift for gab, may be running out of original thoughts (and words!). Good thing there are only 4 more posts before the big event!

Next week I’ll be sharing the exciting updates from the New Kids on the Walk yard sale that is happening Saturday! My car is loaded up with lots of treasures from the Columbia crew and Mom and Bunkie have been gathering goodies from the Fayetteville gang. We have a prime location in downtown Raeford and the weather is looking great! I hope we make Million$!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What Inspires Me...

I recently received an email announcing the passing of a Kappa sister. She wasn't anyone I'd ever met but she was someone I admired. Kelln Zimmer was a 29 year old attorney. She was a leadership consultant for Kappa Kappa Gamma. She was my age. She passed away from breast cancer.

Most people think that breast cancer effects older women. That wasn't the case with Kelln and isn't the case for so many women. Kelln was diagnosed at the young age of 22 with breast cancer. It was during the year that she spent traveling for Kappa Kappa Gamma. She began treatment and continued to travel to chapters for the rest of the year.

I first heard Kelln's story when she wrote an article for the Kappa magazine, The Key. She spoke with such eloquence and courage. Her story is one that stuck with me. I remember reading it and thinking that this young woman was so brave and I didn't know if something like that had happened to me that I would go forward with so much dignity.

Kelln went on to law school and fought a re-occurrence the disease while attending classes. She became a successful attorney and her life was cut all too short by this awful disease. Kelln is going to be on my heart during this year's walk. Breast cancer isn't just for older women. It is now striking down women in their prime, young girls, and even men. Kelln inspires me to walk 60 miles this year and to keep walking until we find a cure.

You can read Kelln's powerful words here and here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Got Mail?

You've Got Mail
There’s nothing like a letter from a loved one to inspire us to keep going. Friends, family and supporters can write a letter to their favorite New Kid on the Walk, which will be delivered to us on the event at the 3-Day for the Cure Camp Post Office.

Send letters to:
3-Day for the Cure PO
12195 Highway 92, Suite 114-392
Woodstock, GA 30188

Envelopes only, please. No boxes or large packages. Mail must be postmarked no later than October 12 in order to ensure delivery at the 3-Day for the Cure Camp Post Office. This address is not the actual location of camp, but a PO Box for mail delivery only. Any mail that is not retrieved by the participant by November 7 will be destroyed.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The 3-Day Is Not For Pretty!

Posted by: Jenn Latino

Shout outs for two more donations this week from Bill Mattera and Jennie Duval! As I have said before, when you work in higher education, your co-workers become your friends and those friends are often like family. Bill and I were co-workers and classmates at FSU. I can’t share most of our adventures because my mother reads this blog but if there was ever a partner in crime, Bill is it! Through countless weekends in Disney World and 2 seasons of football festivities, Bill has always been a huge supporter of “Team Jenn!” Jennie D. is a current co-worker who, every Monday, without fail, starts the week asking me “How were your walks this weekend?” No matter how busy it is in the office, Jennie always takes the time to listen to my stories. And, when I need a boost (like today), Jennie the Candy Fairy shows up with a little treat to get me through the afternoon.

I am always honored when someone makes a donation to the Komen Foundation in recognition of my efforts. That is, after all, why we walk! I’m even more honored that, even though I have met my fundraising goal (and exceeded it by $247) every week I have more to report.

There are still a few New Kids who are trying to reach the fundraising minimum of $2300. If you are planning to make a donation, considering crediting the amount to one of my teammates! I’ll still give you a proper Shout Out in my weekly update! You can find the links to all of our pages at: Team New Kids on the Walk

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Friends, War Wounds, and Battle Scars

Like Jenn, I did a mental jump for joy on Sept. 1, not only because it is my BFF Melissa’s birthday, but because Aug is over. Orientations are over, move in days are complete, school is once again in session, and best of all the much anticipated football season is under way!! For all of you out there that don’t understand the dedication to college football in the South (and throughout the country), we plan weddings (and funerals) around game time, ladies and gents easily drive multiple hours to stand outdoors all day in 90+ degree heat—in their Sunday best nonetheless--and best of all we get up at 5:30 on a Sat morning just so we can get all our miles in before kickoff. But it is all Ok because IT IS GAMEDAY and this is dedication.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Looking For(ward to) the Magic

Posted by: Jenn Latino
An update on Team Ashley

I have to start this blog with an update from last week. I had 3 responses from folks regarding the mysterious “Team Ashley” bumper stickers that I have seen.

1. Dana was the first to chime in guessing that it was either a nod to a professional male soccer player named Ashley OR a young woman in Columbia who died a few years ago from a terminal illness. The “Team Ashley” stickers were her friend’s effort to rally support for Ashley and to memorialize her.

2. My friend Julie (who lives in Miami but has mad Google skills) got it exactly right and shared a link to a social media page for Ashley Dent.

3. Julie’s story was backed up by local gal, Viki Fecas, who not only confirmed that Ashley was a young woman from Columbia but also that she died from a battle with cancer. Here is the link to her obituary honoring a life too short:

Thanks for all of the work uncovering Ashley’s story. I had no idea when I inquired about the stickers that yet another story of a life lost too soon because of cancer would be the story that was uncovered. Another reminder that the work we are doing is important.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Walk of Firsts...Neither Bald nor Pink

Good evening,

I am sad to say that I am neither going bald nor pink within the next few weeks. Ironically, I received the opposite effect of this contest than anticipated--most people boycotted! So thank you to those that boycotted and said they would donate once the contest is over--Its over so keep the donations rolling in! I am a little less than 1/2 way there and starting to feel the crunch, but I have faith that I can make the goal.

On a more laughable note, I have to tell you all the story of my first "war wound"...yep, that's right walking is very dangerous. This past weekend was a series of firsts--my first 15 mile walk, my first walk surrounded by family and friends, and my first walk solely on the treadmill.

Shannon and I headed to South Mississippi to visit parents, family and friends for the weekend. I was very excited to walk around Ten Mile Creek (the name of their community does accurately describe the distance) and get most of my walking in outdoors. This would be a new area with new scenery and possibly new company (they have three dogs), but I was disappointed to find out that Ten Mile creek was not a walking friendly community. People drive way too fast on the road without sidewalks to be safe... so my longest walk yet was to be completed on the treadmill. This, my friends, was bittersweet... I don't know if any of you are familiar with South MS in August, but its hot and humid--being on the treadmill meant that I didn't have to do the crack of dawn walking, but I did have to be running indoors for quite some time.

Flash forward many miles. I am bored, tired of listening to my play-list, can't read any more of the work I brought and don't have a book. My solution is to "Kick it up a notch" as Emeril says and began running. As many of you know I am terribly "exercised challenged" so this was certainly a bold move on my part, but I am doing well--booking it actually! Another mile down quickly because of the pace I kept--awesome... this is certainly working out for me. Around the time I started to get cocky I also got thirsty. I decided to hop onto either side of the treadmill itself, get some water and get right back to running. Just about the time I was getting back on (at the running pace still) I slipped. Yep, and just like Emeril says "BAM" in the splits hitting hard on the treadmill--giving me my first "war wound" and making the third of my firsts "being surrounded by family and friends" quite embarrassing. Thank goodness I think they are used to me and my grace.

Stayed tuned next week as my blogging takes a more exciting turn... The Chronicles of Mr. Pickles returns!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Walking down Emory lane...

First, thank you to all of the people who have donated so far! The walk is getting closer and closer and I am getting more excited. I am hosting a Pampered Chef fundraiser as my next big act. Pampered Chef is a great company that had kitchen products. They are donating 15% of the sales from the catalog party to Susan G. Komen and the 3-Day.

To shop by catalog show go to the website, Here are specific instructions for ordering because it can get confusing sometimes:

Go to

Click on "SHOP ONLINE" (lower left-hand corner of home page)

Under Option 1 ("Already Invited to a Show and would like to place an order"), type in "Meredith Perlman", then click on "Search for Host"

Click on "Meredith Perlman"

Click on "Shop Catalog" or use the links on the left to shop the different collections.


Now, on to my post.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bumper to Bumper

Posted By: Jenn Latino
Look out Atlanta-I am going to be looking good in my new walking digs! This week I received support to assist in my walk preparation from Sandy Lassiter, my personal concierge to Sin City and the reason for my addiction to the slot machines and my aunts, the Virginia contingency. Maria and Joan are Komen for the Cure walkers as well, in memory of my great Auntie Rae. Thanks to these ladies I will have my final pair of shoes to get me to and through the walk, and I plan on refreshing my 3 over washed and thinning training shirts. I am also going to invest in a real rain jacket. The rain jacket I have is great for keeping the rain off of you but also doubles as a sauna. I can’t wait to make a visit to REI to stock up on the gear that will keep me looking fine and feeling great for all 60 miles! Thanks, Ladies!

This week the evidence that fall is approaching was a comfort on my morning walks. The temperatures are at least 10 degrees cooler than they have been in recent weeks and, thanks to the sun hiding for a little longer, I have had to move my 5:45 start time to 6:00am. 15 extra minutes in bed? A sacrifice I am willing to make on behalf of Mother Nature’s seasonal schedule.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One Family's Trash is Another Family's Treasure!

Posted by: Jenn Latino
The madness on college campuses continues this week but that hasn’t stopped my friends in higher education from joining the fight to find a cure for breast cancer. The busiest man on campus at SC is Andy Shaffer, our bookstore manager. In the midst of the chaos, Andy took a moment to send me a note and donation to honor his mother, Sandi Shaffer, who is an 8-year breast cancer survivor. Andy included a quick note about his mother’s strength: She had a mastectomy in June of 2002 and danced with me at my wedding two weeks later. I continue to be amazed by the strength of the many women, like Sandi, affected by this disease. Team New Kids is honored to walk in recognition of Sandi.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Challenge of the Week: Bald or Pink?

Hello New Kid Readers and Walk supporters,

Well, I promised updates and activity from me on the site, but I bet you didn't think it would be two in one night. This post you don't want to miss.

For those of you who've already donated on my behalf--THANK YOU! For those of you thinking about it... this week is your chance to make it happen and help make a decision--BALD OR PINK? Make a donation to cast your vote, should I shave my head or dye my hair NEON pink!

Roxxy, brighter than your hair was when we met and for those of you who knew me with the last really short hair cut--yep, it will be shorter!

There are a few incentives here:

If the donation goal is reached by 11:59 PM Tues night-- I will do both. Yes, I will be a pink "cue ball"
If the donation goal is reached by 12 noon on Thurs. I will listen to the people and do one or the other.
If the donation goal is not reached by Thurs. at noon I will not do either.
Literally, You decide my head's fate.

I am having a hard time getting the link for the survey to post to my donation site so I will add it here as well--in good faith :)

Donation Page:

Bald or Pink Page:

Happy choosing!

I Finally Figured it Out.

Hi New Kids on the walk readers... I have finally figured out how to add blog entries to the site--amazing right? Now that I have this licked, I will start updating you on a regular basis. So here's a flashback to the past. This post is from the beginning of my walking journey... Hope you enjoy!

Date: End of May

As many of you know at this point, I have officially joined the 3-day walk to help raise awareness and end breast cancer. What you might not know (because I have not been an avid blogger) is how much fun I am having during the training process. I am NOT--repeat NOT-- a fan of exercise or strenuous activity... I will gladly take a book and boat over a run or nice hike any day of the week. Those of you who had the pleasure of attending the Student Success Center 2006 Winter retreat might remember Nicholas Sparks is my favorite. However, I have dragged Shannon and Mr.Pickles along on many occasions and on the rare ones I am alone, I get a chance to relax a little.

I got up this morning, got dressed in the cutest walking outfit (crummy running shorts and ratty t-shirt), tied my shoes, sat of the couch for a second waiting for the sun to peek out just a little more... and fell right to sleep... I woke up just in time for work!

The hardest thing for me isn't the walking itself, its finding the time to actually do it. I have tried the morning (around 5:30 or 6:00 walks) which are great (and the ones I normally do alone), but getting out of bed is ridiculous...I have tried the afternoon/after-work walk, but getting my happy tail out of the office chair and onto the walking track is insane...those are the ones Shannon normally has to force me out of the house to do... ha. But I think my favorite are the random times of day walks. It's that time when the "stars align" and the phone stops ringing, the emails stop coming, the energy level is beginning to plateau, but there is just enough motivation to get a few miles in...those are the walks I love. MP in tow--along with the trust "chuck it" we walk, play fetch, and listen to the the favorite concert for a short cruise! I come back revived and MP is exhausted! What a great treat.

Here's to planning and sticking with it. Ladies and gents--boys and girls, I need all the help and motivation you can provide.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fitting It All In

Posted by: Jenn Latino
This week I reached and surpassed the $2300 minimum fundraising requirement to participate in the Komen 3-Day event! My current total is $2349 and I am thrilled to have had the support of many family and friends to help me get there.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Struggles and A New Freedom!

Ok I have to be honest. I have been struggling for past couple of weeks. Here in Atlanta, the temperatures have been extremely hot and work has been extremely busy. So, walks have been hard. Also, with $1700 left to raise, it is a little daunting. However, I think I have turned a corner and am getting excited about my walks again. After following the 3-days of the last 3 weekends, I am getting pumped.

This Saturday I got a new kind of freedom. My sister gave me an iPod + Nike device for my birthday. It calculates your mileage for you and even lets you set goals for your workouts. Saturday I had a 10 mile walk to do. I had planned on just walking my 3.5 mile loop 3 times and being done for the day. However, when I got to my first turn I realized that I could turn left instead of right and walk a whole new route! I was pretty excited about it and the saw all the new possibilities in front of me. I just started walking and enjoying the new scenery in front of me. My little device kept track of the miles for me and on the second half of the walk even counted down the mileage for me. With this new spring in my step and an accountability tool I was able to walk 10 miles in exactly 3 hours. I walked to Oakhurt and saw exactly how close things were in proximity to our house.

So, with this new tool, I am looking forward to my new freedom and not having to map out my routes before I leave the house.

Happy Walking!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Putting the "Fun" in FUNdraising!

Posted By: Jenn Latino Sponsored by: Shawn Seuberling
WHAT A WEEK!! In just 7 short days I have come within $156 of reaching the minimum fund raising requirement to participate in the Komen 3-Day for the Cure!

I received 3 donations this week and they were all from people who have been my supporters since the first step in this journey (and for some, from my very first steps). I am thrilled to tell you about this trio.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Yards Wore Ribbons in Their Hair

Posted By: Jenn Latino
This weekend the first walk of the 2010 3-Day schedule took place in Boston, MA! Our friend Caroline and her family were there staffing a cheer station and supporting family members who were participating in the walk. Before she took to her cheering post for the Boston teams, Caroline made a donation to my walk. Cheers to the Joy/White families who have been greatly affected by breast cancer. Team NKOTW is inspired by your strength.

My current total is $892. On June 28th last year I had $1895 raised and was well on my way to reaching my $2300 goal. I realize it is time to step up my fundraising efforts. I have been so focused on my walking that I haven’t been as deliberate with reaching my goal and with only 87 days until the walk, I need to get moving fast. Send any fundraising ideas my way!!

As soon as the 2010 season began, the 2011 events were announced! For those of you who have considered participating as a walker or volunteering as a crew member, you have a full year or more to prepare!!

2011 3-Day for the Cure Schedule
Boston July 22-24
Cleveland July 29-31
Chicago August 5-7
Michigan August 12-14
Twin Cities August 19-21
Denver August 26-28
San Francisco Bay Area September 9-11
Seattle September 16-18
Washington, D.C. September 23-25
Philadelphia October 14-16
Atlanta October 21-23
Tampa Bay October 28-30
Dallas/Fort Worth November 4-6
Arizona November 11-13
San Diego November 18-20

While the Boston walkers were taking to the streets of New England, my weekend walks took me through the streets of Brunswick Plantation in Calabash, NC. It was girls weekend with Valerie and Melissa and we hit the jackpot with a condo at a snazzy resort!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Getting to Know You, Part 8

Posted By: Kim Sterritt

Voila! Katie Lynch-Holmes

Katie Lynch-Holmes
Location: Memphis, TN

Are you a NEW New Kid or a New Kid With Experience?
NEW New Kid!

What made you decide to take the plunge and sign up for the 2010 3 Day?
I had the great experience of living last year’s walk and training through Jenn Latino. After being totally amazed by her dedication and commitment to the cause… I too became inspired to help vicariously through her. A little after Jenn finished her walk, a very inspirational woman in my life was diagnosed and later beat breast cancer. Knowing her experience and that of her family, I decided that living through another person’s dedication was not going to cut it this year.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Little Packages … and BIG Surprises

Posted By: Michelle Ashcraft

Last week was full of milestones! First, I completed my 10th week of training! Can you believe it? Wow, the time has flown by! I also completed my longest walk to date … 10 miles! (Well, sort of … more on that later.)

Knowing that big training miles were coming up, I knew it was time to add a new piece of equipment to my 3-Day gear … something to carry things longer walks require, like fluids, snacks, a cell phone (for emergencies) and personal identification. I recruited my new friend Shelley (she’s the intern in our office this summer) to go along with me on an adventure to Dick’s to find the right item.

The Hello Walk

Posted By: Michelle Ashcraft (for week of July 5-11)

I went to college at Purdue University. As some say, I may have been born a Hoosier, but I became a Boilermaker by the grace of God. (I realize that some of you have crimson blood that is starting to boil right now … it’s a friendly rivalry, I promise.) At Purdue there is a beautiful green space called the Memorial Mall. There is a maze of sidewalks that pass through this beautiful space, but smack dab in the middle of the Memorial Mall is one unique sidewalk. It’s the Hello Walk.

Rise and Shine!

Posted by: Jenn Latino
This week I received 2 donations from “old friends.” The first was from Linda Byrne who, with the exception of blood relatives, is the person who has known me the longest. The Byrne daughters (all 3 of them at one time or another) were mine and Joyce’s baby sitters growing up. The Latino/Byrne family connections run deep and this weekend during their annual summer visit to SC, Linda made a late night donation from inside my house while she was up hanging out with the kids in our families and I was resting up for an early morning walk the next day. The second donation was from Paul Bright. The Latino/Bright family ties run as deep as the Byrne’s from shared classes (Joyce was in Paul’s class, his brother Nino was in mine) to a shared stage when Paul and I starred in Love Letters, a 2-person play, during our college years. Paul is also the lucky man who married and has made a family with my beautiful college roommate, Michelle. Thanks to these old friends for your continued support.

In an effort to beat the heat, I try to walk first thing in the morning. On weekends, this is a great plan because if I start early enough, even 10-14 mile walks can be completed in time to still enjoy a full day in a far too short weekend. I’m a morning person anyway. I am at my best between the hours of 6am and 12pm. By lunchtime, any great ideas I have are usually less than great and any ambitious plans I had to tackle the “to do” list are usually less than ambitious.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Getting to Know You, Part 7

Posted By: Kim Sterritt

wait for it.....wait for it........Karen Wagner!

Karen Wagner
Location: Alpharetta, GA

Are you a NEW New Kid or a New Kid With Experience?
I am new to the team, but I have previous AVON 3-Day experience.

What made you decide to take the plunge and sign up for the 2010 3 Day?

My Aunt Robin was diagnosed with breast cancer last year (thankfully she is a SURVIVOR!) so I decided to walk in celebration of her.

How did you get suckered into joining, I mean, get connected with Team New Kids?

All of Kim's emails from last year really inspired me and she made it sound like so much fun that I decided to join.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's Not a Race...It's a Journey

With high temps and threat of rain most of the week, I took my 3 mile walk Thursday to the treadmill in the gym. We belong to a gym on a college campus and I was surrounded by college students working out. On the other treadmills beside me, there were plenty of young men and women running on the treadmill. It made me jealous that they were finishing their miles in a much shorter period of time than I was! A couple came and left while I was still walking at a decent pace but yet still walking. I had to keep reminding myself that the 3-day isn't a race.

This is something that the 3-day coaches drill into your head at Getting Started Meetings, on emails, and finally even on the race. The 3-day is all about achieving something on your own, at your own pace. Running isn't even allowed! As a person that doesn't believe in running unless someone is chasing me, I wholeheartedly support the no running rule. In fact, last year the only times we ran were to get in line for the bathrooms - but that is a different story for a different time! Each individual on the 3-day can walk at the beginning, middle or back of the pack. If you need a little help, there are sweeper vans to help you along the way. It is all about a personal journey and doing the best that you can.

The 3-day isn't just a journey during those three days in October. I have realized that it is a journey for the entire training and fundraising process. As selfish as it sounds, I love having an hour to myself to walk a couple times a week. It gives me time to think and the training process makes me put myself first. The hardest part of training is making home and changing into workout clothes before I hit the couch. However, knowing the commitment I have made, I have to put on my workout clothes and start putting my walking first. It's healthy and fun.

The fundraising process is also a journey. It is hard to ask for money but knowing that my $2300 will be added to others from Atlanta and the other walks is important. I know that I am making a difference in funding for research to help end breast cancer and other cancers.

Each thing that we get involved in, we should look at the journey that we are on and not just the end result!

Thanks for helping me during the 2010 3-day journey.

Happy Walking!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'd Rather Die While I'm Living Than Live While I'm Dead

Posted by: Jenn Latino
Fundraising update!
This week I am sending a shout out to the Lowe family! Valerie's parents have been wonderful supporters of many of my adventures in life. In their most recent demonstration of support, I received a generous donation toward my fund raising efforts. I ca also credit Sue and Stan for my new kicks!! I will go through 2 pair of training shoes and then a 3rd to complete the walk. Walking shoes are not cute, but they are necessary I am going to survive with limited blisters and other foot related discomfort. Thanks to the Lowe's for the sponsorship. Maybe I'll get a patch to wear on my shirt during the walk-just like those NASCAR drivers!! (Note: This still does NOT dismiss the fact that from August-December we are dire enemies on the football field.)

I have a lot of friends who have birthdays in July. It seems like every day I am calling to sing my signature birthday medley to a friend or family member. What is it about July? Blame it on the cold winter months when folks are cooped up in the house. Meredith’s husband Ben and my coworker Bert kicked off the month with July 3rd celebrations. Last week fellow 3-Day veteran, Amber, my friend Chip, and my favorite now 5 year old, Julia, celebrated. My friend’s Heather and Reese both have birthdays this week. Yesterday was a trifeca of birthday madness with Dana, Sara, and my uncle, Robert, all blowing out a few candles. My mom, dad, my cousin Vincent, and Aunt Bunkie will close out the month with all four birthdays in a 6-day period. Like my sister and I, my mom and her sister are separated by only a few days. When we were growing up, we always thought I was older since if my birthday was on a Monday, Joyce’s was Wednesday. If mine was Tuesday, her’s was Thursday. Mine came first. It made sense to us.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting to Know You, Part 6

Posted By: Kim Sterritt

This interview is brought to you by the letter S, Shawn Seuberling!

Shawn Seuberling

Location: Raleigh, NC

Are you a NEW New Kid or a New Kid With Experience?
I am a NEW New Kid and looking forward to meeting all of my teammates!

What made you decide to take the plunge and sign up for the 2010 3 Day?
2 words: Jenn Latino!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Is it hot enough for you?

Posted By: Meredith Perlman

Hot 'Lanta has really been living up to its name recently! With temperatures in the upper 90s each evening, it makes it difficult to walk but as the 16 week training schedule approached I knew that I had to start training. I am so excited to be on this exciting journey again this year and with some old friends and new ones on our team!

Since we were traveling on Tuesday, I postponed my first official training walk to Wednesday evening. I packed up from work, went to the grocery store, and then headed home to hit the trail. My car on the way home read 95 but I was excited to get back to walking. I grabbed my water bottle and put my new favorite drink in it - crystal light pure fitness.

I decided to walk without headphones on my first walk and reflect on the experiences I had last year and look forward to this year. As I was walking (and sweating), I walked past a woman who was visiting a friend and she said "Is it hot enough for you?" I replied with a little laugh and "I just started a training schedule and you have to walk no matter what." She told me good for you and got in her air conditioned car :) It made me think of the women that have been effected by this horrible disease. They don't have a choice of leaving their scheduled appointments for radiation and chemotherapy. They don't have a choice when their skin is burned and scarred by the same treatment that is meant to save their lives. Instead, they get up each day and work towards their goal - being cancer free. I walk for this reason. I walk so these women - our friends, family, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, mothers, and my future niece - won't have to walk and won't have to face a world with breast cancer.

Thank you for all of your support last year and I am so excited about this year!

Happy stepping!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Boom, Boom, Pow!

Posted by: Jenn Latino
I have some fund raising shout outs to give!! First, to Stuart and David Hunter from USC. Stuart is my co-worker and one of my greatest cheerleaders, both in the fight against breast cancer and other personal challenges. Stuart is a regular “stepper” herself, always striving for 10,000 steps a day. The Hunter’s were joined this week by two of my favorite breast cancer survivors!! I introduced you last year to two amazing women, Jan Ziegler and Teri Carpenter. Jan was part of the inspiration for me to sign up for the 2009 3-Day and Teri received her diagnosis during my training. I am thrilled to report that both Jan and Teri are now through with their treatment and are cancer free!! Jan is celebrating with an upcoming retirement from the Univ. of SC. I am looking forward to celebrating with her at her shindig in August. I will celebrate with Teri and her entire family on a cruise in December. Take THAT breast cancer! Thanks to both of these ladies for their contributions. You continue to inspire me and all of Team New Kids on the Walk!

This weekend marked the annual summer pilgrimage from Columbia, SC to Fayetteville, NC. Between Joyce and me, we had 4 dogs, 3 children, 1 mini van, 1 SUV (both garnet Nissans), 8 suitcases, and 2 dog crates headed up I-95. All we were missing was granny in her rocking chair tied to the top of the car. We left the 2 birds behind this trip. It was just a weekend visit and we didn’t want to over do it. We haven’t made the trip as a family since Christmas so this was a long anticipated visit to see Mom and Dad/Grandma and Grandpa. (Okay, I totally gave Joe and Linda an upgrade. We were headed to Raeford, NC, not Fayetteville, NC.)

I love this annual trip not only because a weekend with Joe and Linda always means a ton of laughs, usually shared around a table of great food. But also because it’s so much fun to watch the family pile in and cram themselves around my parent’s house. When I say “cram,” I mean it! The house they live in is plenty big for the 2 of them (though the Mickey room upstairs is starting to sag under the weight of the junk-I mean, vintage collectibles.) It is much larger than the house we grew up in. I tell stories about our childhood home on Brentford Dr by telling folks that you couldn’t wear two layers of clothing and still pass each other in the hallway. That hallway was home to the bathroom that housed the ONLY shower in the house. I think my parent’s subscribed to the philosophy that families that live in close quarters form close bonds. It worked!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

“It’s the little things in life …”

Posted By: Michelle Ashcraft

This week found me walking in two states and three different cities thanks to the holiday weekend. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s walks were completed in Lexington (KY), Saturday’s walk was completed in Seymour (IN) and Monday’s walk (to replace Sunday’s walk) was completed in Lafayette (IN).

This past weekend was obviously the 4th of July, which always calls for a celebration, and perhaps a little bit of reflection on what really matters. The 4th of July typically brings family and friends together, and that’s just what it did for me. On Friday I traveled to Seymour to spend the first part of the long weekend with my parents and brother, and then I headed to Lafayette to spend the weekend with my sister, Jake, and their friends. It turned out to be a very fun (though very sleepless) weekend.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Getting to Know You, Part 5

Posted By: Kim Sterritt

Ta Da! Meredith Perlman!

Meredith Perlman
Location: Atlanta, GA

Are you a NEW New Kid or a New Kid With Experience?

Experienced. But not much. Last year was an adventure and I'm excited about doing it again.

What made you decide to take the plunge and sign up for the 2010 3 Day?

I had a blast last year and was so inspired. So, why not do it again? AND...I loved my teammates :)

How did you get suckered into joining, I mean, get connected with Team New Kids?

Well see Dooley talked Kim into it and then Kim talked Latino into it and I got curious and got talked into the 3-day by Latino. Then, why not form a team, right? Also, NKOTW tends to have fun...singing Miley Cyrus, freedom hour, etc.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Good Samaritans

Posted By: Michelle Ashcraft

(Note: I realize that some of you have already heard part of this story, but keep reading - there’s more to it than what you’ve been told.)

By now most of you have probably figured out my training schedule. Off Monday, walk Tuesday, cross-train Wednesday, walk Thursday, cross-train Friday, walk Saturday, walk Monday … and then start the cycle over, adding mileage and cross-training time according to the training schedule each week. I had 21 miles to pack in this week and was surprised at how easy the walks were - even the 7 miles on Saturday! I finished each of my walks in record time, so the training is obviously paying off!

However, there was an “event” on Monday morning that set me back a bit. As most of you know, I work at the University of Kentucky in the Office of New Student and Parent Programs. Our office coordinates a variety of programs for new students and parents, but we do not coordinate Summer Advising Conferences (i.e. summer orientation/registration). However, our staff does make presentations to students and parents during those sessions. I was scheduled to present at a session for transfer students on Monday morning but wasn’t sure exactly where I needed to be and when. So, at 8:30 a.m. I set off to the building next door to find the folks that could tell me where to go. As I stepped off the elevator and looked out the glass doors to Patterson Office Tower my gaze fell upon a woman lying on the concrete plaza outside with all of her belongings strewn about around here.

The Summer Feast of 2010

Posted by: Jenn Latino
I signed up for the 3-Day event because I believe that with increased awareness and contributions toward research, we can find a cure for breast cancer. The greatest benefit of my participation is the feeling that I have made a difference in the fight to find this cure. But, there are some other benefits to a 24-week training program. Let’s be honest-it helps in the “calories burned” department.

During my weight loss journey, I have learned the simple formula: If you want to see a decrease in your weight, you have to burn more than you take in. This is not a new concept. The same theory applies to other things in life like your checking account (oh wait, with that you need to take in more than you take out---still working on that lesson).

Here is the skinny on how the increase in my walking activity has affected my eating activities. On average, someone my size will burn 100 calories a mile (that is walking or running). In 3-Day talk, that is 1.25 Snickers bars; 3 tablespoons of peanut butter; 1.5 cups of frozen yogurt; 45 gummy bears….per Tuesday, and that is the shortest distance of the week! A Saturday walk equals a Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity!

This week, we put this theory to the test. I went on a weekend adventure in Atlanta to visit Kim. I was thrilled to have the company of one of my teammates (Meredith was out of town) for the 7 mile Saturday and 6 mile Sunday. I was also excited to have a weekend to visit all of my favorite Atlanta eating spots! The weekend training came to about a 1300-calorie burn and, considering the heat, we probably had a couple hundred bonus burned.

It’s time for some true confessions. Note: This play by play is not for the weak or squeamish.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting to Know You, Part 4

Posted By: Kim Sterritt

::Drum roll Please::..........Jennifer Latino!

Jennifer Latino

Location, Columbia, SC

Are you a NEW New Kid or a New Kid With Experience?

I'm a veteran kid! I was fortunate to be part of the inaugural New Kid team in 2009 and was crazy enough to sign up and do it again!

What made you decide to take the plunge and sign up for the 2010 3 Day?

I was awestruck at the impact my participation in the 2009 event had on my family, friends, and co workers. Not only did our team make a significant financial contribution to finding a cure for Breast Cancer, we made Beating Breast Cancer the talk of the town! There was a significant following on our blog site, my training became the talk of our office lunch chats, friends and neighbors were supporting me by joining me for training walks, and even the youngest members of my family showed their enthusiasm by cheering us on with signs.
The purpose of the 3-Day event is to bring attention to this terrible disease and by training, fund raising, and participating in this event, beating breast cancer became part of the daily conversations in every facet of my life. There was no doubt in my mind that mile 60 would not be my last!! (Okay, maybe I did have some doubt around mile 44 but, I bounced back!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Spreading the Bright Pink Message

Posted By: Michelle Ashcraft

Today when I was getting ready to leave work I briefly checked Facebook to view a message from a friend, and happened to see an update from Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure on my mini feed. While I haven’t gotten to read the full post yet, I noticed that it was sharing a link to another walker’s blog, and the topic of that blog was along the lines of how to deal with our training schedule when life gets off schedule. I am looking forward to reading that post after I write this one because it’ll probably give me some good advice regarding how to move forward after last week.

I Miss My Old Camper!

Posted by: Jenn Latino
The heat of SC has started to make me delirious! There are still 121 days till the event and I am already dreaming about the 3-Day!

I have always said as I prepare for my annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas that all I want is to meet the “men in the suits!” You know when the machine is squealing and lighting up like Wishes, the men in suits are going to bring you a W-2G form. THAT would be a dream come true!!

I blame my obsession with meeting the men in suits for part of my 3-Day dream. I blame the rest on paint fumes as I have been painting my guest room.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Getting to Know You, Part 3

Posted By: Kim Sterritt

Ladies and gentlemen, I present.....Katie Baioni!

Katie Baioni
Location: Worthington, OH

Are you a NEW New Kid or a New Kid With Experience?

I'm a New Kid...holla.

What made you decide to take the plunge and sign up for the 2010 3 Day?

It is a great way for me to FINALLY get to spend time with one of my best friends...Kim Sterritt...AND it is a great opportunity to make new friends, take on a new challenge...and bring awareness to a very important topic.

How did you get suckered into joining, I mean, get connected with Team New Kids?
Kimberly Joy :)

What is your favorite snack?
McDonalds Cheesburger Happy Meals...yes, it's not just a's a snack too.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Makeover Surprise!

Posted by: Kim Sterritt

After the hot pink and black motif of the past year, I thought the blog deserved a bit of a makeover. If you hate it, we can always change again. If you love it, so happy to hear it! Let us know what you think in the comments section. Happy Walking!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thank You for Being a Friend!

Posted by: Jenn Latino
Week 5! WHEW! Summer has arrived a little early. In SC we saw temperatures in the triple digits this week-Brutal! It can be hard to stay motivated when the sun is so bright but I was not discouraged this week because I had great company on 14 of my 17 training miles! It is amazing what a walking partner can do for your motivation.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The “Benefits” of Being a Big Girl

Posted By: Michelle Ashcraft

I have to admit that this was one of my most difficult training weeks yet. Being tired and a little sick, having crazy weather, and adding a few extra miles made me a little less than excited for training for the first time in this journey. However, by the end of my first walk of the week on Tuesday, all that changed …

The Benefits of Being a Big Girl
My steps were a little slower than usual on Tuesday, and I found myself looking at my pedometer quite a bit more often than I usually do, thinking “only [insert #] more miles” along the way. I had a little more than a mile left to go as I rounded a bend in the trail I take home when I stumbled across two young girls. As I approached them from behind, I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. It went a little something like this:

Girl #1 (with cute braids): My mom is going to come out here soon and tell me I have to go to bed.
Girl #2 (wearing pink!): Mine too. That’s stupid …
Girl #1: Yeah, I can’t wait till I’m a big girl.
Girl #2: Me too. We can stay up as late as we want.
Girl #1: And hang out with our friends …
Girl #2: And do whatever we want …
Girl #1: And drive!
Girl #2: And wear makeup!
Girl #1: AND WEAR A BRA!!!

Getting to Know You, Part 2

Posted By: Kim Sterritt

As promised, please enjoy getting to know MIGHTY Michelle Ashcraft!

Michelle Ashcraft

Location: Lexington, KY

Are you a NEW New Kid or a New Kid With Experience?
NEW New Kid!

What made you decide to take the plunge and sign up for the 2010 3 Day?

After reading the weekly NKOTW blog last year and then seeing all of the TV commercials advertising the 3-Day for the Cure, a voice started popping up in the back of my mind saying, "Get out there and go for it!" One night I was sitting on my couch reflecting on a stressful day and wondering what sort of impact I was making on the world, and I got the sudden urge to do something bigger than myself. A few days later after some researching I called Jenn to tell her I was taking the plunge and asked if I could join NKOTW ... now here I am!

How did you get suckered into joining, I mean, get connected with Team New Kids?
I was absolutely inspired by Team New Kids on the Walk last year, especially by Jenn Latino. Jenn and I became very close when I worked for her as a graduate assistant, and we continue to remain close now that I am in my first job. Her blog posts were often the highlight of my week throughout her training schedule, and it was very inspirational to see not only the positive impact that NKOTW had on finding the cure, but also to see the impact the training and walk had on the team. I was proud to call those of you that I knew my friends and colleagues! About halfway through your training I secretly decided that I wanted to do the 3-Day this year. Now that I have committed, I only hope that I can motivate even one of my friends, family members, or colleagues in the way that NKOTW 2009 motivated me.