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.

Meet Mullet Pig: A Twin Cities 3-Day Celebrity

While you’re out on the route on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, you’ll meet all kinds of people: some first-timers with butterflies in their tummies, some seasoned veterans who approach 20 miles like a quick afternoon stroll. You’ll meet dedicated crew members who donate their time and talents in a multitude of ways, from remedying your blisters to keeping you safe and on track. You’ll meet members of the community who come out adorned in every shade of pink, ready to hand you frozen grapes, a cold drink, a new button, or just to cheer you on. There’s no doubt that this wide variety of people, from every walk of life, is what makes the Komen 3-Day family so incredible. Today, I had the opportunity to meet Dave P., a police officer from Wisconsin who, on the 3-Day®, is known as “Mullet Pig.” Dave is a local celebrity on the Twin Cities event; in fact, in the short time I spoke with him, he was approached for three selfies with participants.  Dave is on the Twin Cities Route Safety crew team for the sixth time this year; it his 7th 3-Day (he walked once as part of the 60 Mile Men team), and last year, he crewed in San Francisco as well. Mullet Pig also has his own Facebook profile, and he lovingly calls his fans the “Bacon Nation.”

Mullet Pig poses for a photo after taking a selfie with a fan!

Mullet Pig poses for a photo after taking a selfie with a fan!

Though we can’t see his feet, Dave tells us about his “10 little piggies”, which are his polished toenails wiggling to the beat of the music blasting at today’s lunch stop. Each toe is painted for someone in his life who has battled breast cancer. “I have 10 relatives that have been affected by breast cancer. Seven are survivors, and three are pink angels. My mother was a 32 year survivor who passed away two years ago. It’s hard to be sad about that, I got 32 more years with her… She owes her 32 years to research and the things that Komen does.” Dave’s grandmother was also diagnosed with breast cancer, and his sister is a survivor.

Besides his deeply personal connection to the cause, what keeps Dave coming back year after year is the 3-Day community. “I’ve known so many people and you get to know everyone as the family. We’re a family.”

When people ask Mullet Pig why he does what he does, he says that he does it for the little boost he can give someone that just might make their day. Dave tells us about a participant he encountered last year who told him that every day, she had seen a sign from her father who had passed away. On the last day, she was a mile from finishing and hadn’t yet seen a sign that her dad was with her that day. She turned the corner, and there was Mullet Pig, loudly singing her dad’s favorite song. “That’s why I do what I do. I never know what I’m going to do, and how it’s going to affect someone, so I just do my best to do something. I like to put a smile on people’s faces.”

Pucker up!

Pucker Up!

Dave describes many other ways he gives people a boost–from the shockingly pink lipstick kiss mark he’ll place on your cheek, to walking the last mile with weary walkers who think that they just can’t go on. As Dave grooves to “Sexy Back,” I ask him how and why he chose the name Mullet Pig. In 2008, after a crew event, he and his wife went shopping for 3-Day decorations. “I went by the dollar bin and saw something pink and pulled out this pig mask. I also grabbed a pink wig, and tied it to the end of the mask. I start wearing it, and all of a sudden people start calling me Pig Man. Everyone was calling me Pig Man. I didn’t like Pig Man, so I told this guy to think of another name. ‘Well, you’re a pig with a mullet,’ he said. ‘Mullet pig!’ And that’s how Mullet Pig was born.”

As another loving fan from the Bacon Nation approaches Mullet Pig for a photo, I ask him if there’s anything else he’d like to add. With his trademark pig mask tucked behind one ear, he says, “We’ve come too far to quit. There are other people that can’t quit. We have to keep going. We do this for the survivors. For the ones that can’t walk. We’ve come this far. We have to keep going.” With the help of people like Mullet Pig, we will.

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Mullet Pig guiding participants to Opening Ceremony on Day 1 of the Twin Cities 3-Day

 

Hashtag #The3Day Wherever You Go!

We can’t wait to see you at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® this year!  While you’re at the event, share your photos and thoughts on social media with the hashtag #The3Day and your specific event hashtag. See our handy chart below to figure out what your hashtag is. We’ll see you online!

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Share these images on social media so all of your 3-Day friends and family know where to find your social media posts. You can pin them on Pinterest, share them on Facebook or Instagram, or tweet them. As a friendly reminder, if you need to use your phone while on the 3-Day route, please step to the side. Do not talk, text or tweet while walking.

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P.S.: do you have the 3-Day jitters? Have no fear! Our Insider’s Guide to the 3-Day is a great place to get a feel for what you might experience. Don’t forget, our coaches can also help you with any last minute questions at 800-996-3DAY.