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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Congratulations to 2015 Twin Cities 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner: Jessica S.

For the 2015 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be featuring a new recognition on each Komen 3-Day event: the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to walkers or crew members who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® in their communities throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees are participants who go above and beyond with things like leading training walks, attending local events, supporting the local 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference in their 3-Day community by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

We’re pleased to share the Twin Cities 3-Day Local Impact award winner: Jessica Stockamp.

Jessica is walking in the Twin Cities 3-Day for the ninth year in a row and is returning as the captain of Team Jill, named after her dear friend who passed away from breast cancer in 2006, one day after her 31st birthday. Jessica saw a television commercial for the Twin Cities 3-Day shortly after Jill’s death, and recalls, “I felt so helpless in watching her lose her battle in the end and I figured it was the least I could do to help another person never have to say good-bye like I did. I called my friend, Darcy and she signed up to walk with me; she never even hesitated. All these years later the team has grown and changed and no one has ever regretted saying yes to walking, crewing or stalking. I have to say I am surrounded by some awesome, inspiring and loving people. I am truly blessed!”

Team Jill, with Jessica holding the N

Team Jill, with Jessica holding the N

The impact Jessica has had in the Twin Cities 3-Day community is far-reaching. Over the last nine years, Jessica has recruited dozens of Team Jill team members (as a team they have raised more than $157,000, including more than $28,000 credited to Jessica alone). She shared, “I don’t know if you should call it recruiting or just talking about my dedication and passion for this…. I’ve had people call me over the years to find out about the 3-Day. I’ll often spend over an hour telling them about my experience and then they sign up! I remember the first year not knowing what it meant to be a team since there were only two of us and then some years having a team of 25 and trying to make a connection with each of them because I wanted them to take away all the positive feelings I have.”

Jessica is also a visible 3-Day advocate around town. At a team fundraising event in the community, a recently-diagnosed woman approached Jessica and thanked her for all of her years of 3-Day participation. “It’s always hard to take the compliment because I feel like I am just walking. They have the hard job of fighting!”

On the 2015 Twin Cities 3-Day, Jessica’s influence touched especially close to home. “This year I have my twin daughters participating with me in the Young Women Walking program. They have watched me walk for eight years and it’s pretty exciting to see that they are able to join me on my 9th year walking.”TC Local Impact Jessica Stockamp and daughters

Jessica calls the 3-Day inspiring, emotional and challenging, and advises her fellow walkers to always bring with them “Good socks and shoes, and a sense of humor. Talking makes the time go by fast, and so does singing—I love to sing! Not sure if my team likes my songs but you can throw out any word and I can sing you a song with that word in it.”

But for all the laughter and songs, the real power behind Jessica’s 3-Day journey always comes back to Jill. “She told us when she was dying that we should never worry about missing her because she would always be with us. She said when we found a dime to think of her and we would know she was watching over us. Team Jill has had many dime sightings and we have shared that story for the past 9 years with other walkers along the route. Finding the dimes is so comforting because watching her suffer was one of the hardest things to see.”

Jessica leaves us with these final thoughts: “I have so much support from my friends and family and I look forward to the 3-Day weekend with them, having one goal in mind­­–finding a cure! We all do things in our everyday lives that we hope matters; this is what I believe I can do to make a difference.”

Thank you, Jessica, for your passionate dedication to the 3-Day and your unwavering commitment to putting an end to breast cancer. We’re proud to have you as part of our family.

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.