2023 3-Day New England Crew Impact Award Winners: Kris and Ken K. 

Meet Kris and Ken K., “The TuTu Brothers”, our New England Crew Impact Award Winners!  

For 15 years, brothers Kris and Ken K. have been participating in the 3-Day as crew members, raising a combined total of almost $15,000. This power duo shows up year after year to honor their mother and provide support to 3-Day walkers. Get to know their impact below! 

What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day? 

Our inspiration to get involved with the 3-Day stems from our mom. Back in 2006, she was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, a very rare and aggressive form of the disease. After multiple rounds of chemo, surgeries, and radiation, she was given a clean bill of health. In 2008, our family life was getting back to normal when we, as a family, knew it was time to pay it forward and get involved anyway possible with fighting this disease. Little did we know that getting involved would lead to the 3-Day, which has changed all of our lives for the better. 

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year? 

What keeps us coming back is the inability to stop coming year after year. To be given the chance to be surrounded by our heroes and extended family makes it hard to stay away. And, of course, the need to keep fighting for the cures. 

What is your favorite aspect of crewing the 3-Day?  

There are so many favorite aspects of crewing for us, including spending time with each other, the rest of our family, and certainly our 3-Day family. 

What is your best advice to anyone crewing the 3-Day?  

Be ready to work hard and have a good time doing it! The days may be long, but being able to support the walkers makes the day go by fast. The walkers? Yeah, they love the crew, and it shows. We love them right back. 

What’s a fun fact about you?  

Ken: I am an Architectural Project Manager and have worked on projects in/been to 48 states. Kris: I’m the Technical Director and ADA coordinator for a small theatre company in Burlington, NJ. 

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day? 

The most important lesson for us is to be reminded that there are a lot of good people in the world doing good things. With so much negativity around us, it’s important to know that in your own part of the world, the best people are the ones you surround yourself with and do good things with. 

Jen R. is the 2023 New England Milestone Award Winner!

Meet Jen R., our New England Milestone Award Winner!  

Over the past 14 years, Jen has participated in 15 3-Day events, walking in honor of her best friend, Lori, who lost her battle many years ago. She has been described as a ball of energy when it comes to raising money for the cause, bringing in a whopping $144,904.05 in contributions to breast cancer research and treatment. Her friends and family describe her as a loving, caring and devoted person who will not stop until the cures are found. Since the passing of her best friend, Jen stepped up to help be there for Lori’s three boys and has always treated them as her own. She puts a lot of time into raising money so that others will not have to go through what Lori went through before she passed. Described as having a heart of gold, Jen has volunteered for many activities that will help make the New England 3-Day a success. Get to know this year’s New England Milestone Award Winner.  

What was your inspiration to do your first 3-Day?    

My best friend, Lori, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and walked in 2006 after treatment. She planned on walking in 2007, but her cancer metastasized, and she was too sick. She passed a month after the Boston 3-Day that year. I wanted to walk the 3-Day in her memory, but honestly didn’t know if I would be strong enough. I’ve never looked back since my first walk in 2008. 

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?   

I walk for Lori, I walk for the cures, I walk because I believe in Komen’s mission. But the 3-Day is more than those things. The Pink Bubble can change you; it can help heal your soul. It did for me, and that is why the 3-Day has become such an important part of my life. Lori was my best friend and cousin, but we were like sisters. She was my person. When she passed, I knew I had to be strong and present for her three boys, who I lovingly call my nephews, but I had lost meaning in my world. The 3-Day gave me back that meaning when I needed it most. I will continue to participate until there are cures – for Lori, for her boys, for everyone who has lost someone or is going through this fight. 

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?   

First, I have an AMAZING support system of friends and family who don’t turn their back on me even though I ask them for donations year after year. At this point, I think they all know I’m a 3-Day Lifer and will be asking for donations. The key is to ask. Second, the team that formed around Lori, Lori’s Breast Friends, hosts fundraising events like an annual golf tournament and divides the proceeds among the team members each year. The golf tournament is hard work, but it’s always a great time and a great success. There, too, we have loyal participants who show up year after year. We had one team travel from Colorado to Massachusetts this year to make the tournament! 

What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?   

The best advice I can give to a 3-Day participant, whether walker or crew (I’ve done both), is to enjoy the journey. The 3-Day is different for everyone because we all have our own story and our own 3-Day. You might walk the entire thing, you might sweep, you might work at a pit stop — it’s all a beautiful journey and part of your story. I’ve actually tried to take a little bit of that philosophy into my non-Pink Bubble life — appreciate the journey. 

What’s a fun fact about you?

I am an avid Boston University Men’s Ice Hockey fan. In fact, I usually only post on Facebook about the 3-Day/my fundraising or to share my feelings about how the hockey team is doing. I am a season ticket holder and have taken my nephews to games since they were little. I’m proud that they are all Terriers fans! 

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?   

This goes back to my advice for participants — enjoy the journey. I think that’s a great way we can bring the Pink Bubble to the rest of the world year-round.  

Denver 2023 3-Day Event Recap 

The Denver 3-Day made its much-anticipated return after a 12-year hiatus! Between August 25-27, the Pink Bubble gathered in the Mile High City to complete 60, 40 or 20 miles over the course of three days. Together, 700 walkers and 225 crew raised a total of $1.9 million for breast cancer research, community health, patient care and advocacy.  

Day 1 

The Denver 3-Day began with a beautiful Opening Ceremony, an opportunity for walkers and crew to gather for the first time before setting out on the route. The spirit of the Pink Bubble radiated as the room filled with excited participants ready to embark on Day 1 of the 3-Day.  

As our first speaker, Tweet B., began her speech, the room fell silent, and hearts felt full while she spoke in her native language to honor the Navajo Nation. On her 12th journey in the Pink Bubble, she spoke of her grandmother, best friend, and “sole” sister who have all lost their lives to cancer. She spoke to their legacy and how they taught her what grace looks like under fire, inspiring her to walk year after year. Next, survivor Michele S. took the stage to speak of her sisters and herself who have been affected by breast cancer. Michele continues to walk to honor her sister who passed, her sister who’s a survivor, herself, and her grandchildren. Finally, Beth N. joined the stage to honor those participants we’ve lost to breast cancer this past year. Beth had the privilege of sharing Kim L.’s story as she raised the Promise Flag and we took a moment of silence to remember those who have died from breast cancer. After taking a moment to honor those survivors and thrivers who are part of our 3-Day community, we set out on Day 1.  

Walkers found themselves at Coors Field before passing by the Denver Zoo. Here, over a dozen people cheered them on as they walked toward the Lowry District where many walkers were met with a bit of liquid sunshine for the remainder of the day. But, if we know anything about our Pink Bubble community, nothing can rain on our parade! As Day 1 wrapped up and our final walker returned to camp, participants were treated to the well-deserved Bank of America massage chairs before a delicious dinner, a 20th Anniversary cake-cutting and our Celebration of Champions program! 

The Celebration of Champions soon commenced where Bank of America rewarded our Top Fundraisers, Milestone Award Winner, and Crew Impact Award Winners with donations up to $500 for their 2024 3-Day fundraising. New this year, Bank of America hosted a raffle where five Denver 3-Day participants won $250 toward their 2024 fundraising efforts.  

With Day 1 complete, walkers headed to bed to rest their feet for the next day! 

Day 2 

This sunny day began with 2-Day walkers checking in and all walkers taking a quick bus ride to Greenwood Village. The Denver Ultimate Event Experience winner Jeanne A. led the way and walkers were greeted by Cherry Creek Cheerleaders who kept spirits high at three different spots along the route. Other cheering stations were lively, including one where a 4-year-old girl, adorned in all of her favorite princess regalia, handed out candy to walkers, including her grandma. Thrilled with her experience in the Pink Bubble, she later recalled it as being the “best day of my life.”  

Crew kept it cool with themed pit stops including the groovy 60’s, Grease Lightning, and Denver sports teams. Walkers passed through Greenwood Village and Washington Park before stepping through the streamers to celebrate the halfway point at lunch. Afterwards, the black and pink arrows led our inspired walkers through the Santa Fe Arts District toward downtown Denver where the iconic Big Blue Bear sculpture welcomed us home. 

With stomachs full and feet rested, the Honor Ceremony began. Youth Corps kicked things off by sharing who inspires them to participate in the 3-Day, and were followed by speakers Steph S. and Jesse K. As the room went dark, the 3-Day community lit their candles in tribute to the friends and family who inspire their participation.  
After sharing many hugs and tears, walkers and crew called it a night and rested up for their final day of the Denver 3-Day. 

Day 3 

Sunday began by welcoming our 1-Day walkers. With the Denver 3-Day Pink Bubble complete, walkers made their way out on route, ready to show the Mile High City, once again, why we’re back! Walkers enjoyed sunshine and scenic views all day long as they passed through RiNo Arts District, over South Platte River, and ventured into Edgewater. With hungry hearts and stomachs, walkers filled up during lunch at Sloan Lake Park where they were treated to the picturesque landscape. After resting their feet, walkers continued their journey toward the Finish Line Festival at the Tivoli Quad.  

It was a warm yet beautiful day and thanks to Mohawk, our walkers were comfortable on Smart Cushions as they waited for the ceremony to start! Additionally, Nature’s Bounty, READY, and Health Images were there to congratulate walkers for their tremendous accomplishments. As the last walker joined the Pink Bubble, the celebration officially began! Our amazing Crew lined the way toward the stage as we welcomed the courageous survivors and thrivers who remind us why we walk. Our hosts revealed that our Crew, Youth Corps, and 1-Day, 2-Day, and 3-Day Walkers at the Denver 3-Day raised a collective $1.9 million for Susan G. Komen®. The funds raised will be used to invest in cutting-edge research that will lead to new, more effective treatments, working in communities across the country to ensure all people can access the care they need, and mobilizing passionate supporters to make certain the voice of the breast cancer community is heard by policymakers. It was a wonderful return to Denver and we can’t wait to do it all over again in 2024!