“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything was a miracle.”- Albert Einstein.
That quote lies below Dennis Kirkpatrick’s name as his email signature, and no quote could more perfectly sum up the impact he has made on the 3-Day. His official role is Route Safety Crew Member, but he also considers his job to be the “giving the walkers a ‘hard time’ person, hug giver and receiver.”
After greeting his wife at the finish line of her first 3-Day he knew he had to find a way to participate, too. He saw how much fun the crew was having together, all while keeping 3-Dayers safe and giving to a great cause. He decided to join the 3-Day as a crew member the next year.
The 3-Day is now a family affair as his wife continues to walk, and his daughter supports the walkers as well.
“I love to watch my wife figure out the route (before and during) the walk. I love working with my daughter taking care of the walkers while making them smile! We are working together for a cause which helps to bring us closer as a family.”
For those who are interested in joining the crew alongside Dennis and his family, Dennis says,
“If you like having fun and meeting very interesting people, come join us.
If you like to hear good stories of fun and encouragement, come join us.
If you like to hear about bravery and why supporting the 3-Day is so important, come join us.”
Dennis says he loves the combination of working with and seeing the same, familiar 3-Day faces each year, while also adding new faces to the walk! The 3-Day is “tiring, fun and inspiring,” but that’s what keeps him coming back year after year.
“It takes a lot of people behind the scenes to make big events work. We are a team that works together!”
If you want to join the 3-Day crew alongside Dennis this year, you can find out about all the opportunities on our website. We’d love to have you!
Now tell us, what are some of your favorite Crew memories from 3-Days past?
With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, we wanted to make sure to recognize all the men, whether they are fathers or not, who make up our 3-Day family. One such amazing guy is Ian Glenn, Twin Cities Route Safety Captain, husband, father and all-around super 3-Dayer.
When Ian began dating his now-wife Missy in 2005, she was already a 3-Day walker, and she brought him into the 3-Day family. Year by year, Ian became even more involved.
“After a few years of being the Day 1 chauffeur, I joked with Missy that the only way I’d seriously consider participating was if I could ride my motorcycle on the event as a crew member. She didn’t miss a beat when she told me that the safety crew had bicycles and motorcycles on it. I knew that she was always excited leading up to the event, and had nothing but good things to say about it after, so I had no choice but to try to get on the route safety crew.”
After Ian joined the safety crew, the whole family started getting involved, beginning with their oldest son Gaven and now including their daughter Alex, both of whom are in the Youth Corps.
“I think it’s fantastic that the event is accessible to all ages, and we can include our kids in something that is bigger than us, and bigger than our family. It has been a good lesson for them that working for the greater good, and giving of themselves in service to others, is incredibly rewarding. I think too, that it has gone a long way for us to have something shared amongst our family, something that will continue to bring us together year after year, no matter how old the kids get.”
Whether they are walking or volunteering or crewing, Ian and his family know the true value of the 3-Day crew, and want others to join them this year!
“As a longtime crew member, I can say that volunteering your time on the crew is vital to the success and atmosphere of the event. Having crew members smiling, and cheering, and being there to support the walkers when they’re tired, and their feet hurt, and they’re hot, it just makes their day. We’re there to support the walkers on their journey and let them know that they’re appreciated, and we support what they’re doing. The can-do attitude of the crew makes the hard work not so hard, and even fun.”
If you want to walk those 60 miles though, the Glenn family won’t be the only ones cheering you on. Ian says that no one should be nervous about starting their 3-Day walking journey.
“I think making the leap as a walker is scary, but incredibly rewarding. There are lots of resources in your participant center on training, and packing, and general help. If you reach out on social media, you won’t find a more caring, supportive group of people to meet and go on training walks, or fundraising tips, or even shoe recommendations.”
That support and community have extended beyond the online community and into their lives.
“Many of our longtime friends we’ve met on the 3-Day and continue to have contact with them all the time. It’s a physical and mental challenge, there’s no doubt, but with the right support, a new walker can do it, and have a great time too.”
It’s more than just fun and family for Ian. Though his three days and many miles of service are an investment, he does them gladly, to make a difference for his family and beyond.
“It’s a satisfied feeling that is hard to put into words. After the long weekend, and the work is over, I find myself renewed every year, and I am reminded that despite everything that is going on in the world, there are lots of great people who care about big causes, and have committed to support them any way they can.
The walkers and other crew give me way more every year than I feel I give back, but I think the feeling is mutual, and that’s why I keep coming back.”
Don’t count the Glenn family out of their involvement anytime soon either! There are more Glenns to come as 3-Day volunteers and walkers.
“Our almost 9-year-old is practically counting the days until he can apply for Youth Corps. It’s rewarding to see that enthusiasm from all our kids for something that doesn’t directly benefit them.”
Welcome to part three of the ABC’s of the Komen 3-Day Crew! We’ve shared letters A – E, F – J and this week, we’re excited to present letters K through O. We invite you to tell us your ideas for each letter here or on Facebook, and to share these images with your family and friends. (To see the 3-Day walker version of the ABC’s, click here!)
The 3-Day is a place where crew members go above and beyond to show kindness in everything they do. They work long hours and get little sleep. They work together, with strangers for the good of a common cause. They’re ready for anything that could pop up at any time. Being on the 3-Day is like living in a perfect world for three days: kindness, goodwill, adventure and the joy of working towards one amazing goal – ending breast cancer forever.
See also: Knife (This may seem like an odd thing to spotlight on the ABC’s, but many veteran crew members would agree about the importance of a good cutting tool. Whether it’s for opening the dozens of boxes of packaged food at pit stops, quickly slicing through zip ties to take down route arrows, or cutting apart cardboard for walkers to sit on at lunch, having a good knife is important for a lot of the crew.)
Being a 3-Day crew member is not an easy alternative to walking. Many crew jobs require great physical demands from team members, including heavy lifting. This could include loading luggage onto gear trucks, moving bags of ice or boxes of food, or even setting up the large tent structures in camp.
See Also: Lasting Memories (You’ll make lots of them!); Legacy Pins
Some of the coolest looking crew members you’ll see are on the Route Safety crew. They’re the ones on motorcycles, patrolling the route to ensure safety and monitoring intersections to make sure walkers get safely across. And if those motorcycles are occasionally wearing giant pink bras, then you know you’re on the 3-Day for sure.
The 3-Day medical crew is made up of Doctors, PAs, NPs, RNs, LVNs/LPNs and EMTs (Basic and Paramedic), ready to lend their professional expertise in service of the walkers.
When you arrive for the Opening Ceremony on Friday morning, the 3-Day crew teams have already been up for hours, directing traffic, loading your gear, setting up pit stops and much more. Many crew teams will attend the Opening Ceremony and be there to cheer the walkers out, but then it’s right back to work!
What other words can you think of for these letters? How about for P,Q,R,S, and T? Tell us here in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!