The Diamond Divas 3 Day, 60 mile Walk for Breast Cancer

October 7, 2009

Mary Banta, our IT Director, wrote this story about her experience participating in the Susan G. Komen 2009 Seattle Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk. Her team, the appropriately named “Diamond Divas,” included Colleen Stansbery, Diamond Buyer, Karen Donnelly, Inventory Control Manager, and Alla Ivanchenko, Audit.

Congratulations to them on two terrific acheivements–both completing the walk and raising over $12,000 for the fight against breast cancer. Wow!


By Mary Banta

What an incredible experience!

All in!

All in!

The walk began bright and early, (well actually it was still dark as the opening ceremonies started at 6am) on a Friday. We gathered with about 2,200 other walkers and after a very emotional and uplifting ceremony, we hit the pavement. Along our route there were many supporters cheering us along. People in front of their homes, cheerleaders forming gateways for us to pass through, children with bowls of candy and later in the day with water misters to cool us down as the temperature rose, were just a few examples of those that encouraged us to “keep walking”. That first day we walked close to 22 miles from Shoreline Community College through Edmonds, Lynnwood, and completing the day in Everett. Needless to say we all slept well that night.

Go Diamond Divas!

Go Diamond Divas! Colleen Stansbery, Karen Donnelly, Mary Banta, and Alla Ivanchenko

Day two started out early as well.  We looped around Everett completing another 22 miles of our journey. We were greeted by church groups with dozens and dozens of cookies, we passed through a balloon archway, and the Parrot Heads of Puget Sound provided delicious green Gatoritas (Gatorade with crushed ice).  We passed by dozens of people at two large cheering stations, everyone encouraging us on and thanking us for walking. I walked for a while behind a woman pushing a wheelchair.  She was a survivor and was determined to do the entire walk. I am thrilled to report she accomplished her goal. There were also five Sea-Tac Airport fire fighters; one had lost his mother a year before to breast cancer that walked the entire route in full firefighting gear.

Mercifully, day three was only 16 miles. We were bussed from Everett back to Northgate where we proceeded to walk south past Green Lake, through Gas Works Park, up “the hill” at Capital Hill, then beautiful Volunteer Park, winding our way down through downtown. Our route took us right past store #9. Terry Gibson and the crew working that Sunday afternoon were quite surprised when the Ben Bridge Diamond Divas decided to slip in one side door and say hello, barely breaking stride as we continued out the other side door. We proceeded to walk along the waterfront, through the Olympic Sculpture Park finally arriving at Key Arena to an emotional welcome from hundreds of spectators, volunteers, and other walkers. A celebratory Closing Ceremony at Memorial Stadium was a beautiful end to a beautiful weekend.

A city of pink tents!

A city of pink tents!

These pictures focus on the actual 3 Day Walk but there is so much more that goes into this event. Roughly eight months ago, Karen Donnelly, Colleen Stansbury, Alla Ivanchenko, and I made the decision to commit to raising $2,300 each and to training for the 3 day 60 mile walk. Over the course of the winter, spring and summer we worked together doing various fundraising events. Many of you at Ben Bridge participated in these events and helped us along our journey. Because of your generosity we were able to increase our goal to $2,500 each and actually exceeded that goal with a grand total of $12,258! THANK YOU SO MUCH, the money we raised will help Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund save lives.

I would also like to add a special THANK YOU to the crew at store #13 Alderwood Mall for raising money to pay for our Ben Bridge Diamond Divas team t-shirts. What a thoughtful idea, we really appreciated your generosity!

And last but not least, another special THANK YOU to our fabulous “walker stalkers” support team, Susan Good and Debbie Robinson. Your support throughout the year and during the walk was priceless!

Will I do the 3 day walk again in 2010? I’m still deciding. Anyone interested in getting more information can go to www.the3day.org


One comment

  1. Go Mary and teams! This was a wonderful event and I am glad you and the Ben Bridge family took part of it.


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