Congratulations to 2015 Twin Cities 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner: Jessica S.

For the 2015 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be featuring a new recognition on each Komen 3-Day event: the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to walkers or crew members who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® in their communities throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees are participants who go above and beyond with things like leading training walks, attending local events, supporting the local 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference in their 3-Day community by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

We’re pleased to share the Twin Cities 3-Day Local Impact award winner: Jessica Stockamp.

Jessica is walking in the Twin Cities 3-Day for the ninth year in a row and is returning as the captain of Team Jill, named after her dear friend who passed away from breast cancer in 2006, one day after her 31st birthday. Jessica saw a television commercial for the Twin Cities 3-Day shortly after Jill’s death, and recalls, “I felt so helpless in watching her lose her battle in the end and I figured it was the least I could do to help another person never have to say good-bye like I did. I called my friend, Darcy and she signed up to walk with me; she never even hesitated. All these years later the team has grown and changed and no one has ever regretted saying yes to walking, crewing or stalking. I have to say I am surrounded by some awesome, inspiring and loving people. I am truly blessed!”

Team Jill, with Jessica holding the N

Team Jill, with Jessica holding the N

The impact Jessica has had in the Twin Cities 3-Day community is far-reaching. Over the last nine years, Jessica has recruited dozens of Team Jill team members (as a team they have raised more than $157,000, including more than $28,000 credited to Jessica alone). She shared, “I don’t know if you should call it recruiting or just talking about my dedication and passion for this…. I’ve had people call me over the years to find out about the 3-Day. I’ll often spend over an hour telling them about my experience and then they sign up! I remember the first year not knowing what it meant to be a team since there were only two of us and then some years having a team of 25 and trying to make a connection with each of them because I wanted them to take away all the positive feelings I have.”

Jessica is also a visible 3-Day advocate around town. At a team fundraising event in the community, a recently-diagnosed woman approached Jessica and thanked her for all of her years of 3-Day participation. “It’s always hard to take the compliment because I feel like I am just walking. They have the hard job of fighting!”

On the 2015 Twin Cities 3-Day, Jessica’s influence touched especially close to home. “This year I have my twin daughters participating with me in the Young Women Walking program. They have watched me walk for eight years and it’s pretty exciting to see that they are able to join me on my 9th year walking.”TC Local Impact Jessica Stockamp and daughters

Jessica calls the 3-Day inspiring, emotional and challenging, and advises her fellow walkers to always bring with them “Good socks and shoes, and a sense of humor. Talking makes the time go by fast, and so does singing—I love to sing! Not sure if my team likes my songs but you can throw out any word and I can sing you a song with that word in it.”

But for all the laughter and songs, the real power behind Jessica’s 3-Day journey always comes back to Jill. “She told us when she was dying that we should never worry about missing her because she would always be with us. She said when we found a dime to think of her and we would know she was watching over us. Team Jill has had many dime sightings and we have shared that story for the past 9 years with other walkers along the route. Finding the dimes is so comforting because watching her suffer was one of the hardest things to see.”

Jessica leaves us with these final thoughts: “I have so much support from my friends and family and I look forward to the 3-Day weekend with them, having one goal in mind­­–finding a cure! We all do things in our everyday lives that we hope matters; this is what I believe I can do to make a difference.”

Thank you, Jessica, for your passionate dedication to the 3-Day and your unwavering commitment to putting an end to breast cancer. We’re proud to have you as part of our family.

Congratulations to Bob H., the 2015 Twin Cities 3-Day Milestone Award Winner

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Milestone Award is given at each event to a walker or crew member who has an outstanding history of participation in the Komen 3-Day. At the Twin Cities 3-Day camp show, we presented Bob Howard with this special honor. Bob is walking in his ninth 3-Day® in the Twin Cities this year, having previously walked seven times in Arizona and once in Philadelphia.

When asked what first got him involved with the 3-Day, Bob responded, “It’s actually a little embarrassing, but the first year I walked was essentially on a dare. I had a friend who had done the 3-Day, and I said ‘I can do that, heck it’s just walking…’ Boy did I have a lot to learn!” While his initial motivation to take on the 3-Day was lighthearted, Bob’s real inspiration came two years later when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. “It was then that it took on a whole new meaning for me.”

Bob and Coach Stephanie at the Twin Cities 3-Day

Bob and Coach Stephanie at the Twin Cities 3-Day

In almost a decade of walking in the 3-Day, Bob has raised more than $55,000. He credits his fundraising success largely to his work family. “I work for a company that matches donations every year. I’m really very fortunate, to work with people who are so giving.” And what if someone doesn’t have such a generous network through their jobs? Bob assures them that generous people are everywhere. “I always tell people who are trying to get donations to ‘JUST ASK!’ Everyone knows someone whose life has been touched by cancer, and most people are happy to give what they can to help put an end to this disease.”

With Bob’s history of giving his time and energy to the 3-Day, it’s hard to believe his answer when we asked him what brings him back year after year: “It’s sort of a selfish thing. Aside from the event being very emotional and rewarding, it just makes me feel good. When I read about the advances that are being made in breast cancer research and treatment each year, it makes me realize the importance each of us plays in putting an end to this disease. When I see the survivors and hear people’s stories, I feel that we can make a difference.”

Just in case you’re not already inspired by Bob’s great attitude, we think you’ll like his advice to his fellow 3-Day walkers: “Enjoy the walk, look around at things while you walk, just enjoy the moments. When I feel I cannot walk another step, I think of the reasons I joined the 3-Day, I think of how much suffering so many women who have had this disease have gone through, and the pain they must have endured, and somehow I find that my pain is nothing and then I find the energy to keep walking.”

Bob, your energy, passion and dedication are truly moving. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for the amazing mark you have left on the 3-Day community.

2015 Twin Cities 3-Day Wrap-Up

The second Susan G. Komen 3-Day® of the year has wrapped up in the Twin Cities, and it was an incredible and memorable weekend for everyone involved.

We kicked off the event on Friday morning at Southdale Center in Edina, under sunny skies (wonderful while they lasted!). Participants were witness to an inspiring Opening Ceremony, hosted by the wonderful Dr. Sheri, as well as Chrissy Mathews from Susan G. Komen® and Twin Cities local events coach, Stephanie. The 2015 Ceremonies have some exciting changes, so even the veterans who’ve seen more than a few were treated to some lovely new features.048 027

At the end of the Opening Ceremony, the walkers headed out through Edina to the Mardi Bra themed pit stop 1 at Utley Park. In addition to the usual snacks, drinks and potties, there were also beads, music and a fun photo backdrop where many walkers stopped to snap pics.203 Cheering stations in Minneapolis were set up before and after pit stop 2 (located on the shore of Lake Calhoun), where many walkers were cheered through by the always energetic Youth Corps.425 122 One of the most photographed spots on the Day 1 route was the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, where nearly every walker stopped to snap some shots in front of the huge spoon and cherry.652 Just over a short foot bridge overpass, the lunch stop at Loring Park greeted walkers to “Boob-on Street,” another amazing Mardi Bra theme. 688After lunch, it was onward through a quick stop at the Grab & Go, then the third (wow!) cheering station of the day. The crew team at pit stop 3 was out to tackle breast cancer (someone is ready for football season…) and pit stop 4’s crew were temporary police officers, out to “bust” breast cancer (Get it? Aren’t our crew teams clever?).pit 3842 Nearly 19 miles after leaving the Opening Ceremony, walkers were welcomed home to a spacious and scenic camp at Harvest Park in Maplewood, and at the Friday night camp show, heard from Dr. Sheri and Chrissy again, as well as a moving young survivor who spoke about the power of never giving up the fight. Top Fundraisers and our Milestone Award winner were honored, and then it was off to bed to rest up for the day ahead!IMG_6099

And what a day Day 2 was! Although forecasts for nasty evening weather were on everyone’s minds (and smartphones) even in the morning, the sun stuck around as long as it could, well into the afternoon.081 143 The communities of Little Canada, Shoreview, Maplewood and more came out in full force to support the walkers passing through, and that encouragement included at least three (might have been more that I just didn’t see) fire stations who set up their officers, trucks and ladders, and even a refreshing water spray at one.388 The route took walkers through lovely wooded trails and parks, and since Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, of course, the route spent a lot of time on the shores of these beautiful bodies of water.414 Three public cheering stations, plus dozens of private cheer groups and walkers stalkers meant that the Twin Cities walkers were never far from another friendly face, encouraging them to keep trucking through Day 2’s 22.6 miles.498

And then…night 2.

This recap would be incomplete without recognizing the great attitudes and “roll with it” flexibility that our walkers and crew members showed when the decision was made to relocate the sleeping area of camp to an indoor facility. With thunderstorms brewing and even a tornado watch called in the late afternoon, it became clear that taking our tired participants inside was the safest and best option. It was very sad that we had to pull the plug on the Saturday camp show, Friends & Family Night activities and dance party, but the Twin Cities 3-Dayers made the best of the situation, loading up on buses and moving their sleeping quarters into a nearby high school gym, where the evening was filled with friendly conversations, reminiscing about the day, and a yummy pizza dinner delivered to the site (Sorry we couldn’t get pans of mac n’ cheese to you! Guess you’ll just have to come back next year…).relo signsreloSome of the gloom from Saturday night’s storms carried over into the Sunday morning start of Day 3, but even a bit of wind and rain couldn’t stop our walkers from finishing their last 18 miles with enthusiasm and determination.IMG_6845IMG_6909  The route was packed with even more lakeside pathways and friendly neighborhoods as walkers moved into St. Paul. Nature was on full display along Beaver Lake and through the gorgeous Battle Creek Trail, and walkers eventually made their way along Indian Mounds Park to enjoy stunning views of the downtown St. Paul skyline before crossing the river and covering the final few miles to the beautiful Participant Finish Area on Raspberry Island.IMG_7047IMG_7200 IMG_7419 Walkers and crew members took an emotional procession to the Closing Ceremony arena, where, even though some stage elements had to be taken down because of the high winds, the scene was beautiful and the energy was tangible.IMG_7535IMG_7592 Dr. Sheri, Chrissy and Stephanie, our hosts from the Opening Ceremony and camp shows, were once again there to thank our 550 walkers, 200 crew members, countless supporters, and event sponsors, and to celebrate the incredible accomplishment that the Twin Cities 3-Day achieved: raising $1.6 million to fight breast cancer.IMG_7669

We at the 3-Day can’t say thank you enough to every single person who makes this event what it is. We truly could not do it without each of your spirit, energy and passion. We look forward to seeing many of you down the road this year, welcoming many MORE back in the Twin Cities next year and carrying each of you in our hearts every day. Onward to Seattle!

This is the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Promise: A world without breast cancer.

To view a sneak peek of photos from the Twin Cities 3-Day, click here. Stay tuned later this week for all Twin Cities 3-Day photos that you can share and download on our 3-Day Facebook page!