On every Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event, a special award is given to one individual who has contributed above and beyond in terms of fundraising and commitment to finding a cure for breast cancer. At the Komen 3-Day this year in San Diego, Lauren Wagner is being recognized for her amazing contribution to the 3-Day by participating in San Diego for the past eight years. “It’s hard to believe that I have raised almost $73,000 over eight years of walking and fundraising,” mentioned Lauren. “My inspiration to start walking came from my brother, ‘Moto Crew Michael’ who lost his wife Sally to breast cancer,” explained Lauren. “She was only 39 years old.” Michael began crewing in 2003, and Lauren first walked the 60-mile route in 2005. Even though she became involved in the 3-Day because of Sally, she continues to walk for friends and family – many of whom are survivors, but she also walks for some who have passed.
Lauren’s success in fundraising each year seems easy when she follows her own advice. She starts early, asks everyone, and especially lets them all know why she is walking. “Make it a little fun, too,” she says, “I’ve thrown Pink Bunco parties (aka ‘Bunco for Boobs’) which is a great way to raise a lot of money quickly while having fun with your friends and neighbors. (Oh, and you will be amazed at how many restaurants and local stores will donate gift cards, food, or items to be raffled off or used as Bunco prizes!)” Lauren’s infectious energy continues on to the event itself, even though it is before dawn on Friday morning.
“I keep coming back because I know that I am a part of something bigger!” Lauren’s excitement for the event seems to radiate onto all those around her. “We celebrate breast cancer survivors, we honor those who have lost their battle, and we help raise money and awareness to find a cure.” Lauren has some advice for the first-timers as well: “Once you get to the event, CELEBRATE! Enjoy your time, and don’t worry if you can’t walk all 60 miles. You did the hard part by raising the money. Now, take a deep breath, look around, and talk to all those other amazing walkers and crew, and enjoy the experience!”
A big salute to Lauren this weekend on the San Diego 3-Day!