Meet Dennis Kirkpatrick, 3-Day Route Safety Crew Member

Escorting last walker

“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.

Family time when Sandy and Carol were walking

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 on his motorcycle heading to next stop

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!”

Dennis and Sandy (Daughter) going for a ride

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?

Meet Ian Glenn, Twin Cities Route Safety Captain

 

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All photos via Ian Glenn

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.

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“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.

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“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.”

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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.

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“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.”

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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.”

 

 

Bras, Tutus, and Harleys

Most of the motorcycle-riding contingent of the Route Safety Crew pose for a photograph at the Opening Ceremony on the Atlanta 3-Day (bicycle riders not shown)

No one will argue that Harley Davidson owners form some of the most closely-knit communities in America (and abroad!), but the Harley Davidson owners who decorate their prized motorcycles in pink bras form an even tighter and more colorful subset of the riders of the open road. And where exactly do you spot such an elusive group? It’s definitely not at Sturgis.

This weekend, it’s in Atlanta at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®.

Robin awaits for the Komen 3-Day to get under way in Atlanta

Robin awaits for the Komen 3-Day to get under way in Atlanta

All over the country, however, riders like Robin Davis, a policeman from Virginia, suit up in the wildest of pink attire, pimp out their rides in bras, beads, and tutus, and take to the routes of the 3-Day walkers to provide road safety for the hundreds and hundreds who are walking to help end breast cancer. “Years ago, my friend asked me to do the walk. After seeing that I could volunteer on my bike, I was hooked,” said Robin, gearing up for this week’s Atlanta 3-Day, which started this morning. “I have two aunts who are breast cancer survivors, my wife walks the fundraiser, and my son is involved in Youth Corps [youth volunteer group].” And as every Harley is unique, Robin has the names of his friends, fallen law enforcement officers, detailed on his front panel. Around the sides and front are the corresponding views of the Police National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial.

Paula, a Harley-riding route safety crew member, preps her ride with its customary pink outfit for the Atlanta 3-Day

The full Route Safety Crew is also made up of dedicated cyclists who cover the entire course and especially areas on trails and backroads where motorcycles and cars cannot go. They deserve some special attention in their own article. The entire Route Safety Crew does a remarkable job on both motorcycle and bicycle in keeping 1,000 walkers safe over 60 miles. What a feat!

And while I used to think most of the breast cancer survivors were walkers, that is not the case. They make up a large contingent of the “crew,” the machinery of volunteers who make the event run. A pink SURVIVOR patch emblazoned on one Harley rider affirmed this. “I actually signed up to help with the 3-Day® before I got breast cancer,” said Paula from Atlanta. “I lost my mom to breast cancer, and I am a two-time survivor!” Paula and her husband Lyle have provided route safety for nine events, eight of which have been in Atlanta. Paula carefully decorates her Harley with pink tutus, explaining to a novice like me that her “Softtail” just refers to the soft leather saddle bags.  Lyle’s are hard saddlebags, perfect for writing “Chemo Sucks!” in pink tape and derogatory terms, appropriate for both a solid biker and for someone who hates breast cancer.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day walkers cross the street that is guarded by a bra-wrapped motorcycle

Sam, the crew captain of this helpful group of riders, has been protecting  3-Day walkers for some time. Sam’s mother is a 15-year breast cancer survivor, and she walked the 60 miles several years ago: “When I found out I could volunteer with my Harley, I couldn’t stop! This is my 17th event.” The walkers should feel safe this weekend with this motley group of professionals. Besides Robin, there are two Atlanta-area policemen on the crew, and not all with Harley’s. To be fair, they are very accepting of other bikes: BMWs, Triumphs, and Hondas all have a place in this lineup, “but we still give them a hard time” says one Harley owner.

Earl throws down his own style on his Honda, complete with fresh decals with pink running ribbon of the breast cancer fight

“It’s OK if you don’t have a Harley,” quips Danny. “They’re known for leaking some, but the ‘sport’ bikes have batteries that die.” The joking among the group is similar everywhere in the world among bikers, but it’s all in good fun. By the time they have enough bras on them, you can’t really tell anyway.

(Thanks to all of the Route Safety Crew on the Atlanta 3-Day: Christopher, Gene, Kerri, Michael B, Krystal, Jerry, Barbara, Grant, Theresa, Paula C, Gary C, Andy, Glenn, Richard, Danny, Earl, Albert, Michael K, Kirk, Laure, Sam, Lisa, Leslie, Charles, Lyle, Paula, Gary W, Pamela W)

ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS 

Atlanta 3-Day Day 1 Atlanta 3-Day Day 1 Atlanta 3-Day Day 1 Atlanta 3-Day Day 1 Atlanta 3-Day Day 1 Atlanta 3-Day Day 1 Atlanta 3-Day Day 1

Atlanta 3-Day Day 1 Atlanta 3-Day Day 1