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.
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!
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.
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!