Meet the 2023 Denver 3-Day Crew Impact Award Winner, Amy N.!

Meet Amy N., our Denver Crew Impact Award Winner! 

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

In 2006, a few months after completing my treatment for breast cancer, I was starting to look for a way to be a part of finding the cures. I saw a commercial for the 3-Day on TV, dragged my husband, Mark, to an info meeting, and we were both hooked! Now we can’t imagine not being on event. 

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

We keep coming back because the fight continues, and we must be a part of it. But equally important, it’s the people who bring us back. The first-time walkers who drag themselves into the Closing Ceremony, the young kids cheering on their loved ones, the crew going above and beyond (mostly behind the scenes) to make this an experience the walkers will never forget, and the survivors giving their all (often while still undergoing treatment themselves), so that someday others won’t have to go through this fight. 

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

My favorite part is being able to give back to this community whose efforts helped make it possible for me to beat this monster. Crewing is my way to say thank you to the walkers! I love being able to interact with so many people from different walks of life who are all working toward one goal. 

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

Take time to soak it all in! The nature of the event is that there are a lot of “hurry up and wait” situations, but when it is go-time, the minutes and hours will fly by before you know it! At some point you will probably wonder why you got yourself into this, but then you’ll get a chance to make a difference for someone and it will all be worth it. Also, be prepared to start early in the morning. 

What’s a fun fact about you? 

My heart will always bleed green for Michigan State, but I live in the University of Michigan Wolverine territory, and I still proudly fly my Spartan flag! Also, I often say that I have one purpose on this earth: to make everyone around me feel tall! And I do it really, really well. 

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

I’ve learned that friendships made on the 3-Day will last a lifetime. People you never would have encountered in your normal life become so important to you. You may only see them once a year, but you will pick up right where you left off last time. Obviously, this event is about beating breast cancer, but it is also about people coming together to create a community. We don’t call it the pink bubble for nothing! 

Julie J. is the 2023 Denver Milestone Award Winner! 

Our 2023 Denver 3-Day Milestone Award Winner is Julie J.!  

Affectionately known as Alaska Julie, this is her 32nd 3-Day over the past 14 years, raising a grand total of $90,400.13. Her friend Melissa describes Julie as “one of the most giving people that I know and my ray of sunshine when I need it. If she sees someone in need, she jumps to their aide and makes whatever they are going through just a little bit better. I love that I can call her my friend.” Her friend Heather says that Julie is “the kindest, most selfless person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing,” and that “she is always there to support her fellow 3-Dayers with words of encouragement or much needed advice.” Discover all that makes Julie an embodiment of the 3-Day. 

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

In 2006, I was living in Arizona and saw a commercial for the 3-Day. At the time, I didn’t know anyone who had gone through breast cancer, so I wanted to learn more. I was at a point in my life where I needed to do something to make a difference, so I signed up to walk with a friend who later opted out. Without a walking buddy, I went to a “Get Started” meeting and met someone who told me to call Liz, her team captain. I didn’t think I could be on a team because I spent my summers in Alaska and couldn’t train with my teammates year-round, but I soon found out how wrong I was. Liz kept me engaged while I was away and when I got back to Arizona after my summer in Alaska, I met the team and walked with them for the first time. It taught me that you can be part of a team no matter how far you may be from one another. You can even be part of more than one team! I am currently on BC Babes and Team Walking On, depending on the year and city we’re walking in. 

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

My first year, I said I’d do one 3-Day and be done. Boy was I wrong! The joy of walking is meeting new people and hearing their stories. I once met a woman who was walking with her drainage tubes in, and at that moment I decided I was walking until there were cures. Also, there is the joy of the “Pink Bubble” and how we are changing lives. We know that we all have a huge community to reach out to for advice, strength, prayers, laughter, and that they will let you cry in their arms. 

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

Ask everyone. Ask them more than once. Think outside of the box. Living in Alaska, doing a group (team) fundraiser isn’t an option for me, so I do burlesque to earn money to go toward my fundraising goals. At the burlesque shows, they announce where my money goes and remind people to get a mammogram. Other than that, I once did a 5-mile Alaska run for women and said I would wear a full corset that I designed if I raised $100, add a wig for $150 and a tutu for $200. I raised $100 so I wore the corset for a 5-mile run, causing someone else to donate $200 because they couldn’t believe I did it! Do they not know me? Plus, I attend all the fundraising webinars that Coach Molly does and I learn something new each time I join. 

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

Enjoy the journey! Talk to people to learn their why and tell them why you walk. Also, take a sweep van! You’ve already raised the money and awareness, and your goal is to walk out of the Opening Ceremony and into the Closing Ceremony. The rest is fluff. Stop and smell the roses! Participate in the evening activities, which are very fun and are a great time to meet and reconnect with walkers. 

What’s a fun fact about you?  

I do burlesque and I’ve swam with sea lions, even though I don’t swim. I’ve also done the Polar Bear Jump in Seward, Alaska during February, where the water temperature was warmer than the air temperature. I emcee races dressed in costumes and sing the National Anthem. In fact, I once sang the National Anthem dressed as a zombie and somebody donated $100 because they couldn’t believe I did it. Once again, do they not know me?! 

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

To listen to my body and do what is needed during the walk. I know we are not alone, that each step we take and each dollar we raise is making a difference, and that each person’s journey is different. I’ve learned that I will keep walking till there is a cure. I couldn’t do the walk without the support of all those who donate and send me mail, the coaches, my amazing teammates and all those in the Pink Bubble who radiate love and energy 365 days a year. 

Julie’s friend Tanya says that her “knowledge of the 3-Day, commitment to finding the cures and her eagerness to be of assistance when/wherever she is needed is truly immeasurable. Julie’ s infectious smile and upbeat demeanor portrays the epitome of the 3-Day. Sprinkle on Julie…Sprinkle on.” 

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!