Next up to share some of her 3-day insight: Misty Higgins
Misty will be walking for the second time in 2009. She is a member of team Walking Angels and walked with them in Atlanta last year. She also had the honor of holding the "In honor of my Mother" banner during the opening and closing ceremonies last year. So if you walked in Atlanta, not only did you see Misty on stage during closing ceremonies, you also saw Sandy, Misty's mother! (All photos, courtesy of Misty Higgins.)
Q1: What is your connection to breast cancer?
My mom will be a 6 year survivor on September 11, 2009! She is my inspiration, my motivation, my hero. I have had my own BC scare in the recent past and have aunts and friends who are survivors or lost their fight. Not to mention that I walk so my 10 year old daughter will hopefully not have to walk!!
Q2: How did you get the chance to participate in the 3 day ceremony?
I volunteered to help out several weeks before the walk to distribute flyers and signs to homes and businesses on the route so that there would be an awareness of the walk ahead of time and the community could come out to rally and support the walkers and crew members. It worked! We were so supported and cared for all along the route as well as in camp. It was a life-changing and life-affirming experience for me. It gave me the motivation and helped me to make my mission to "walk until there is no breast cancer."
While I was volunteering, I shared my story with many people...one of which was the regional person who was in charge of the opening/closing ceremony participants. She asked if I would be interested in participating and bringing my mom as well and I jumped at the chance! I am so very glad I did...the closeness and love for my mother was enriched by sharing that experience together. It was very special for both of us- even more so now because my hero, my heart, my mom...will begin chemotherapy for recurrent breast cancer on (ironically enough) this Wednesday, July 1st.
Q3: What advice to you have for new walkers?
Make sure you have a camera(s), take everything in during those 3 days- making as many friends/connections as possible, telling your story as often as you can, train on many different terrains/conditions, ask anyone/everyone for a donation, and always remember WHY? you walk.
Q4: What fundraising advice do you have? (And as a walker who is already above her minimum this year, and raised over $5000 last year, you should be listening to her...grab your notebooks now!)
I truly do ask EVERYONE!! I send emails, snail mail, flyers w/donation forms in my neighborhood and businesses, update emails, asking for sponsors, etc.
Also, this is the 3rd year our team has had "Crafts for a Cause". C4C is a craft fair, flea market, children's place, bake sale, silent auction, cake walk, face painting, etc. This is our biggest event and we basically begin the planning in November for a May date. It has really grown since year one!
We also do Krispy Kreme, Yankee Candle, Tupperware, Tastefully Simple, Love Stuff fundraisers. We just had a "Happy Hour" for a 3 hour span at a downtown restaurant and got 15%. We will have "Girls Night Out" at a nail salon, "Bowling for Boobs", Pancake Breakfast, and a gold party...as well as anything else we can think up between now and the walk.
I always have cards or some of the pink rubber bracelets to begin a conversation ad perhaps get a donation...I always wear something to do with the walk as well.
Another great idea is ...if you have a school you can work with, you can have the children draw/paint pictures, get donated frames, then have a "Gallery Night" hanging all the artwork and inviting all of the parents and community to come and view the artwork. Sell the original, signed artwork and everything you make is profit!! If you have this right before a holiday (mothers/fathers/day, thanksgiving, Christmas, etc) these make a great gift!!
Thanks so much, Misty, for all of your fantastic advice!
In communicating with Misty, I really could tell she believes in the 3 day, heart and soul. I send all my best wishes, thoughts and prayers to Misty and her mom, as Sandy gets ready to kick some cancer butt. All of us are behind you, ladies! Please join me and add your best wishes, as well.