We Crew for MaMa Tutu: Meet Ken and Kris Kauker

The sign says it all!

Eight family members. More than 30 events. Walkers, crew, youth corps, walker stalkers. The Kauker and Lawrie families have the 3-Day running through their veins. And that includes Ken and Kris Kauker. Most Philadelphia 3-Dayers know them as the TuTu Brothers and remember their fun outfits and wide smiles as they ride by while on the Safety Crew.

They are just a small part of a true family movement to support the 3-Day’s mission, in memory of their mother, Julie Kauker (MaMa TuTu), who passed away from inflammatory breast cancer in 2011. With Mother’s Day this Sunday, Ken and Kris are giving us a deeper look at their family’s dedication to the 3-Day, and the love for their parents that started it all.

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Meet the Kauker/Lawrie family (TuTu family) members…

Our family of five was always a close family. We did everything together: family camping on the weekends, participating and watching sporting events, vacations to local destinations, working behind-the-scene at our local community theatre and even performing as a colonial family at local historic sites.

Thankfully, many of those things we still do. And yes, still as a family. At the head of the family were our parents. Mom and Dad (MaMa and PaPa TuTu) were involved with everything the family did. No one family member would ever end up being the only one. This goes for everything we do. If one of us is involved, we are all involved.

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And then in 2006, everything changed…

When our Mom was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, she wasn’t the only one getting ready for the battle. We were all involved with every aspect of the treatments, doctor’s visits, hospital stays and everything else that goes along with it. She didn’t go anywhere alone. Someone was always there taking notes, holding all the paperwork, asking all the questions and anything else we could do to make things a little easier.

Things moved quickly through chemo treatments, surgeries, and radiation treatments. We describe the days after a diagnosis like riding a roller coaster. There were the days of climbing the hills. There were the days of flying down the hill. There were the days of screaming around curves. There were days of being turned upside down. There were days when all we could do is hold on and scream in fear. But, like with all rollercoasters, the ride came to an end.

With the help of countless doctors and countless nurses, Mom was given a clean bill of health and the road to recovery was complete. And just like riding a rollercoaster, we laughed and were joyous that the ride was over.

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From there, the family began to move forward…

With everything behind us, it was a radio commercial that sparked the realization to pay it forward and the medium in which to do it. The commercial was for the Philadelphia 3-Day that would be taking place in October. It was this commercial that pushed our family into the realm of the 3-Day family.

And they never looked back…

Our 3-Day family has been with us since 2008. They’ve been there when we needed them and when we didn’t know we needed them. They were there when our Mom passed away and again 10 months later when our Dad passed away. They provided the light down the dark passages that cancer and losing someone forces you to go down. Every city that we’ve crewed has welcomed all of us with loving, open arms and made us a part of their family.

The Philadelphia 3-Day may be our home event, but when it comes down to it, the Crew is a part of every walk, no matter what city it takes place in.

That means our family is always part of the 3-Day, no matter where we are.

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Spread the love this Mother’s Day to the special women in your own life! You can share a personalized love note with your mom this Mother’s Day and Susan G. Komen will then share one with a mother facing breast cancer. komen.org/withlovexoxo

Recruiting 3-Day Crew Members with Coach Kiki

We want anyone and everyone to commit to the 3-Day in 2019. That includes, of course, our amazing 3-Day Crew! Crew members are the heart and soul of the 3-Day. They keep the walkers walking, keep all participants safe and well-fed; they make every 60-mile journey one of fun and inspiration.

How can you recruit friends and family to join you on this amazing Crew team? Coach Kiki, our Crew & Volunteer Coordinator, is sharing some of her best tips and tricks for bringing people into the welcoming arms of the 3-Day Crew. They’re a great group, so you’ll want to have all your besties by your side!

Grab a Friend

I’m trying to be as efficient as possible these days. Pay the bills! Update the family calendar! Get the kids to their activities! Feed the dog!  I’m also, trying to give myself a bit of self-care on a regular basis. That includes time with my girlfriends (who are also super busy).

Crewing the 3-Day with your BFF lets you take a few days to help an organization while you get to spend time with your favorite people. Get some quality in-person time while you help your community. It’s a win-win. If you only have a few hours, and not a few days, sign up to volunteer!

Work Gives

Many companies offer paid time off for employees who volunteer within their community. Did you know this? This is not only a great way to get out of the office cubicle, but an amazing team exercise opportunity. If you can connect with your colleagues on a more personal level (volunteering together is a great way to do that), you might find that your working relationship strengthens.

Power in Numbers

Are you a member of a church group? Book club? National or local organization? Like work, this is also a great way to break from the norm and get your group to connect and do some good…together! A person can do amazing work and making a difference. A group can move mountains.

Get the family involved

One of my favorite holiday memories is when my family made bathroom kits for the homeless. We all went out shopping for soap, shampoo, razors, and shaving cream. Your family and children truly do want to help others! They just may need a little nudge. My husband and I want to instill the value of giving to others early on with our kids. It is the greatest gift that we as humans, can give others. To help each other. Volunteer as a family. Incorporate it into your family holiday. Register to volunteer together. Connect with an organization that your family is passionate about, like the 3-Day!

Share Your Story

I’m often blown away by how social networking can connect long-lost friends and colleagues. Post a notice on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram about an upcoming volunteering opportunity you’re supporting. Share your story as to why you’re supporting this cause. You may be surprised by how many friends pop up and join the fight with you. Sharing your story along the social media lines can create huge numbers and amazing results!

View from the 3-Day Crew: Looking Back with the Michigan 3-Day Crew

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The 3-Day Crew is an integral, amazing and appreciated part of the 3-Day family. We simply could not do it without them! They work tirelessly for long hours to make sure that every step of our walkers’ 60-mile journey is a wonderful one. And they do it all with a smile on their face!

That’s why we are honored to be featuring a few members of our Michigan 3-Day Crew. These ladies are all-stars and have made such a difference in our community. As 2018 fades into the past, it’s people like these that are already getting us excited for the 2019 Michigan 3-Day!

Let’s hear it for all the Michigan 3-Day Crew!

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Monika Schmidt on Camp Support knows that her job is hard work because this group of Crew members are up very early and go to bed very late to make sure every walker can camp in comfort. But she says that being on Crew is like having a really big family, so she never minds the hours!

“I love my pink family! It can be exhausting work, but its oh so rewarding. I love to see everyone coming back to Crew year after year. We are crying together and laughing so hard. I would not miss it in the world.”

She was also a part of our Opening Ceremony in 2018 and was humbled by the honor! But she says her favorite memory every year is to see all those lovely walkers coming back to camp each day 😊

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Becky Jo Beverly, a long-time Crew member, echoes that 3-Day love.

“There are so many things to love about the 3-Day – the pink bubble is legit! If the rest of the world was as strong, kind, accepting, loving and GOOD as the 3-Day world, it would be a better place.”

She has so many wonderful memories from her time on the Michigan Crew, everything from tons of grahamwiches, tutus on peoples’ heads, pink fountains, problems with air mattresses, accidental strobe lights and “so. many. dance. moves.”

Even with those laughs and fun times on her mind, Becky Jo and the Michigan Crew all take their “duty to serve and care for our walkers (yeah, I said OUR walkers … we love them that much) very seriously. For those three days, they are our whole world. We. Love. OUR. Walkers.”

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And they’re thankful for them, too!

“Thankful. That is the best word I can come up with when I think of this event. I am thankful for the people that work behind the scenes to use the funds raised to make a difference in this war we are waging. For the experiences I have had along the way (blisters, dehydration, sunburns and all) that have made me stronger. For the people I’ve met that have made me a better person. I am thankful for the pink bubble that proves again and again that this world is full of beautiful potential. I am Blessed beyond measure to be part of the pink family … and I am forever thankful.”

We are also forever thankful for Becky Jo, Monika, our 3-Day Michigan Crew….and our 3-Day Crew across the country. You motivate our steps and make our journey even more special

Michigan Crew sound off! What are some of your best 3-Day memories? What memories do you hope to make in 2019?

Remember, if you register at The3Day.org by TOMORROW 12/6, you’ll automatically get 50% off your registration fee—no special codes required! Come join us and make new amazing memories in 2019!