Meet Northern Nippys, Twin Cities 3-Day Team

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Twin Cities 3-Dayers take their walking and training seriously all year long, even in the dead of winter temperatures. Minnesota’s freezing temperatures bring teams together early in their 3-Day journey, whether that team is two people or 32 strong. One team, The Northern Nippys, has been both a duo and an army of more than 30 people, and through the years they have become a Twin Cities 3-Day staple thanks to creative fundraising and boundless recruitment energy.

This year, the Nippys, led by Team Captain Laura Lamson, are aiming to raise $100,000 as a team of at least 40 people, and already have 39 team members behind that goal.

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“I’d always dreamed of a big team! And then a friend of mine signed up and she said, “If we have ten, then we should go for 15!” And I said, “Why don’t we go for 20?” Lamson explained.

“It turned into such a positive peer pressure situation from there and escalated up, and that was the year we had 32 people. It was just amazing! A lot more work, but a lot more fun came with it. After that the numbers changed, but this year is my 10th year walking and my friend’s 10th year as a survivor, so we have vowed to raise $100,000.”

Such a bold goal means recruiting new team members, hosting many group meetings for support, and a whole lot of fundraising.

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Recruiting was the easy part for Lamson, who welcomes anyone and everyone onto the Nippys. A few team members signed up immediately after the 2016 3-Day finished, and more soon followed thanks to word-of-mouth through various friend groups, and social media promotion.

A good support system is key for any team, especially one with lots of new members, and the Nippys have it in spades.

“We have team meet and greets to make it fun! I make a video from all of last year’s photos to give them a feel for the 3-Day and make them comfortable right from the start,” Lamson says. “Then, we talk about why you’re walking and who we’re walking for, and just keep it positive! We do ongoing team meetings and brain storming, and see what we can do for fundraising and support. We also have our team Facebook page for people to ask questions, and share ideas or tips from past walks.”

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For veteran walkers like Lamson and a few of the other team members, that means sharing everything from their packing list to their fundraising letters.

Even with a large team, fundraising can be a daunting task, especially for new walkers with a big goal.

“So many of my walkers are intimidated by [fundraising] but I tell them that on average you need about 50 people to donate.”

Getting those donations just depends on what each walker is comfortable with. Lamson has developed a list of more than 500 people she mails letters to each year, and continually reminds new teammates that “it doesn’t hurt to ask.”

The team also runs one fundraiser with a local restaurant and another with a local bowling alley, distributing the proceeds throughout team members who need an extra boost towards their goal. In the past, the team has also done garage sales, dog washes and more.

“Every little thing we do brings fun and brings us together. The more we do, the more it makes us unified as a family.”

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This feeling of family culminates every year on the 3-Day itself.

“You are just in this happy little mode no matter what happens,” Lamson recounts. “It’s how we all wish the world would be. It’s just the kindness and generosity that comes out in everyone, and you feel like a family. The more years I walked, the more I knew how important this was. One in eight women are affected and I’ve got to walk for them! You get on the 3-Day high and it’s too fun to walk away from the little 3-Day bubble.”

So every year, the Northern Nippys come back for more of that family love from their team, and their whole Twin Cities community. This year they have a big goal to achieve, but luckily, they also have each other to help them on their journey.

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The 2016 Susan G. Komen Twin Cities 3-Day Honors Our Opening Ceremony Speakers

We began our 2016 Twin Cities Komen 3-Day with an inspiring and beautiful Opening Ceremony. Although the skies were gray, the enthusiastic spirit couldn’t be dampened by the weather. Walkers, crew members and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep at a time.

As part of the Ceremony, we were honored to welcome some special 3-Day participants to the stage, where they shared their own inspirations—both heart-warming and heartbreaking—for being part of the 3-Day. Hear their compelling and touching reasons for being a part of our 2016 walk. #WeAreThe3Day

Kathy Pepski – My Sister

I am walking with and for my sister, along with her husband. My sister is a two-time breast cancer survivor and this is our second time walking. We are here to honor her strength and passion for beating this disease. She is my best friend and my inspiration. I’m Kathy and I AM the 3-Day.

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Carley Cummings – My Mother

I walk in memory of my mother, Laurie, who fought breast cancer for 12 years. Cancer took her away from us in 2014, hours after my sister and I crossed the 3-Day finish line. Even though my mother lost her battle, it does not mean this war is over. I’m Carley and I AM the 3-Day.

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Ellen Race – My Friend

I walk for my best friend Molly, who passed away just 3 months ago, after an inspiring 6-year struggle. While she was only 39, she was given more time with her 3 children thanks to a Komen-researched chemo. This year, Molly’s Army walks in our fourth 3-Day because we believe in a CURE! I’m Ellen and I AM the 3-Day.

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 Rebecca Kalamen – Myself

I walk in memory of my great-grandmother Sophie, my grandmother Rose, my Aunt Vikki, my Aunt Sharon, and my Dad Gene. I walk for myself. I am a 5-time 3-Day walker and a 10-year survivor. I walk so that my 11-year old son Zach doesn’t have to. I’m Rebecca and I AM the 3-Day.

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Abby Eystad – My Grandmother

We walk in memory of my Grandma, Louise, who battled breast cancer for 20 years before it took her from us.

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John Schwartz – My Daughter

I walk for my daughter Cassie. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at 24 years old. She passed away on May 2, just a couple months short of her 31st birthday. I walk for her and for all those who have breast cancer. Cassie and her best friend, Christi, started Cassie’s Cups and we’re in our 7th year to help find a cure. I’m John and I AM THE 3-DAY.

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The Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches Talk About…The Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches!

They’re the helpful cheerleaders on the other end of the phone call or email when you have questions or concerns. They’re the smiling faces welcoming you and your teams at meet-ups and workshops and building up community excitement for the 3-Day. They’re the guiding hands leading the crew captains and teams to greatness. That’s right, they’re your Susan G. Komen 3-Day® coaches!

As we get ready to return to each of the seven splendid 3-Day locations, we wanted to take a few minutes to catch up with the coaches from each event. You’ve gotten to know them pretty well over the past couple of years on the 3-Day blog and this year, instead of letting them talk about themselves, I asked their fellow coaches to do it for them!

The Twin Cities coaches—Stephanie, Eileen and Amy—are the stars of the show today! Click here to see what we knew about them already, and keep reading to see what they each had to say about each other.

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Stephanie (Twin Cities Local Events Coach)

“Stephanie loves meeting up with new walkers and introducing them to our long-time participants. She is funny and a great partner to work with. I am not sure the rest of us will be able to keep up with her on the Twin Cities 3-Day this year since she is training for the Twin Cities marathon on October 9th. I am sure she will do wonderful in it!” – Eileen

“Stephanie is full of energy and excitement, and she’s the perfect example of ‘Minnesota nice.’ She is always ready for whatever challenge is presented to her and she has an easy-going personality that makes you feel comfortable instantly. Her enthusiasm for the 3-Day is contagious.” – Amy

Eileen (Twin Cities Participant Support Coach)

“Eileen is dedicated to the success of her walkers. Her ability to emotionally connect with participants really inspires me.  She is always looking for ways to introduce people to the 3-Day and give them the opportunity to experience its magic for themselves.” – Amy

“Eileen knows everything there is to know about the 3-Day and is my go-to gal for behind the scenes questions. Not only has she walked in the 3-Day several times, she has been a coach for the last several years. Participants LOVE Eileen! The first season I worked on the 3-Day as a coach, for three full days, participants kept coming up to me and asking me if I was Eileen because they couldn’t wait to meet her. She really spends time trying to get to know our participants on a personal level when they call in for questions. She genuinely cares for people and it shows when you are around her. And I love the quirky sense of humor that she brings to our team.” – Stephanie

Amy (Twin Cities Crew & Volunteer Coordinator)

“Amy is a real whiz when it comes to managing our crew and volunteers. There are many moving parts when working with crew on an event lasting a full three days (really four days for our crew members). She always remains cheerful, calm and ready to help her crew navigate their way through from start to finish. I love her positive, upbeat and laid back attitude, not to mention she’s cute as a button!” – Stephanie

“Amy is our little Tinkerbell with her own supply of magical fairy dust. She is extremely sweet and always full of sunshine. When a problem arises, she steps in and doesn’t quit until the problem disappears.  I am convinced that there are no issues Amy can’t fix with her special magical touch. Well, ok…maybe last year’s weather.” – Eileen

 

Do you know the Twin Cities coaches? How would you describe these fabulous ladies?