If you didn’t already know that August is Family Fun Month, don’t worry! You still have a few days to make the most of this festive month by enjoying some sunshiny summer fun with your favorite people. Whether your family walks with you on the 3-Day or you just lean on them during your 3-Day journey, family is part of everything that the 3-Day stands for.
Someone who knows that all too well is Dan Sinclair from Michigan. 3-Dayers will recognize his smiling face (and pink ponytail) from his time as a walker and Route Safety Crew member. He has been participating in the 3-Day in various ways since 2002, many times alongside his family. This year, however, was different.
This year in Michigan was the first time he walked with his daughter Dawn and two of his granddaughters, Emma and Megan. It was that combination of special women that meant so much to Dan.
“My daughter has walked a lot, and I’ve crewed and walked a lot. But we’ve never gotten to walk together. So, being able to walk together with her, and her daughter, was magical. It culminated everything we have done and was super fun.
It was also important because I walked with my granddaughter, who’s 16. That’s why we walk. She’s the reason. My reason. Being at the Closing Ceremony with all of them was just a magical moment.”
He is not the only one who feels this way. Other members of his family have joined him on his 3-Day journey to support the women in their lives. Aside from Dawn, Emma and Megan, his Michigan 3-Day team included his sister-in-law Sue, nephew Dave and niece Michelle, plus his “Navy sister” Sherry and her son Robbie. Dan met Sherry on the 3-Day years ago, and though they were united by a shared history in the military, it was the 3-Day that really brought them together. Sherry and Robbie came in from Texas to be a part of Dan’s team, “70, Surviving and Sweeping.”
But Dan’s love and dedication goes beyond his family, and even beyond his team to the whole 3-Day community. He is participating in six 3-Days this year (only missing Dallas/Fort Worth) and appreciates that the 3-Day brings out happiness and love all around.
“You get to see people at their kindest. At their best.”
He hopes that some of that spirit rubs off on his family, especially a certain someone…
“I’m hoping that my granddaughter picks some of this up. She’s a really good kid already! And she’s been glowing since that weekend. This walk ain’t for sissies! And she did it!”
Other lessons he would pass on to families who 3-Day together are:
- “Learn kindness through adversity. Life isn’t always pleasant, and if you lose it, you’ve lost it. You can’t take words and actions back. So just be kind.”
- “Be careful and plan your fundraising! We had 11 people on the same team, all fundraising at the same time. You have to start early and plan ahead! Put your goal out there early and remind people. Work together and plan and hope for a little bit of luck.”
- And finally, “Be prepared to cry together. It’s a happy cry, but you will cry.”
Though his own family won’t be with him on the rest of his 2019 3-Days, he knows he won’t be alone this fall. He has another family to look forward to.
“My family says, ‘Oh, Dad’s out playing in the Pink Bubble!’ They go back to school and I go to my pink family.”
We’re honored to have Dan, and all the other families who participate with us, as part of our pink family. We can’t wait to share more fun, love and kindness with all of them, in August and beyond.