Holding Hands Every Step of the Way: Jenn and Bruce’s 3-Day Love Story

They met at a training walk in July of 2006. They’d both walked in the 3-Day in 2002, but it took four years for fate to bring them together. From there, they joined the same 3-Day team, Viva Las Chicas, and saw each other at meetings, awareness days, and of course, on the event. As their friendship grew and their lives changed, they realized something. They were falling in love. The 3-Day was the beginning of Jenn and Bruce’s love story, but it certainly wasn’t the end.

Now, they’re married! And they still participate in the 3-Day together, both as crew and walkers. Through illness and strength, good times and many miles, the 3-Day has continued to be a huge part of their love story, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

This year for Valentine’s Day, Jenn is sharing how we all can take the 3-Day love into our own relationships. She says, “every day is Valentine’s Day in our house,” which makes her the perfect person to share stories and memories for this holiday.

How have you brought your love story onto the 3-Day?

There have been many small moments and gestures over the years. But by far the most impactful was the result of a health crisis. In March of 2014, Bruce suffered a hemorrhagic stroke after a Tampa 3-Day reunion gathering. We had planned to walk in Dallas that year, but the 3-Day was put on the back burner. His recovery was remarkable. We had the support of so many of our Chica and 3-Day family!

We married the following January, made our return to the 3-Day as part of the Event Support Crew Team in Atlanta in 2015, then embarked on our biggest challenge. We decided to walk the Philadelphia 3-Day in 2016. With the help, love, and generosity of that same 3-Day family, we trained, met our fundraising goals, and landed in Philly to walk with team “A String of Pearls.” Bruce was determined to walk every step. It was his 7th time walking and my 6th time walking. We walked every mile, most of it hand in hand. What we didn’t realize was the impact it was making with the other walkers and crew members around us. We were just being us.

But near the end of Day 1, we met another walker who had been taking our photo from behind. At about Mile 58, we posed for a photo, briefly told our story, and became Instagram famous for about 15 minutes! As we walked into the Closing Ceremony holding hands, the Route Safety Crew asked us to take a photo with them because we’d been holding hands all weekend. The entire experience was more overwhelming than usual, if that’s even possible. I was so incredibly proud of my husband’s determination!

What are some lessons you learned on the 3-Day that apply to your marriage?

Kindness rocks! Couples who wear tutus together stay together. Teamwork, compromise, and sharing ideas is essential. Hugging is appropriate at all times, even while sweaty. Love and accept each other, practice patience, and be grateful for every moment.

What are some tips for couples who want to be involved in the 3-Day together?

Learn to take care of yourself as much you take care your spouse. It’s okay to be on different crew teams, in different sweep vans, or for one to crew while the other walks. You don’t have to follow your partner onto a sweep van, and you also shouldn’t expect your partner to follow you onto a sweep van. Partners give the BEST foot rubs! Have fun! Dance in the street! Hold hands!

What are some of your best 3-Day memories with Bruce?

Bruce being the ultimate walker stalker in 2006! Staying up past lights out and talking in the 3-Day lounge. Teaching Bruce the Cupid Shuffle in the streets of Tampa. Our 3-Day friends surprising us on a training walk to tell us that they’d raised enough money for Bruce to walk in 2016, so he could concentrate on training. Miles 58-60 in Philadelphia 2016. Walking hand in hand together, not just during training, but on the event. There are too many to list!

Tell us some of your favorite love songs.

  • Can’t Help Falling in Love
  • Thinking Out Loud
  • A Thousand Years
  • All of Me
  • When You Say Nothing at All
  • If I Had Million Dollars
  • Love Someone

How would you summarize your love story?

We’re just two ordinary people who found each other because of the 3-Day. And because of our experiences together, we know that time is precious, so it’s not worth wasting on the petty things. We want to be silly, love each other, be there for one another, and enjoy all the time that we have together.

Little Ways to Show Love This Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and whether you have one special Valentine, or a whole bunch of them, it’s the perfect excuse to remind them just how special they are. But what if you haven’t made a fancy dinner reservation or forgot to order a gorgeous bouquet for your Valentine? Don’t worry!

The 3-Day is all about love of every kind, and that includes the smallest and every day gestures of support, compassion and caring. So, if you’re a little last minute with thoughts of love, we have some easy ways to show your 3-Day spirit of kindness.

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Pick up a sweet treat and have dessert for breakfast! Bring some home for your family, roommates or even to the office for all your coworkers. There’s never a bad time for a cupcake or donut, after all.

Let your love bloom with even a single rose. Lots of flower shops run specials on Valentine’s Day for last minute buyers, and most pharmacies and grocery stores also carry bouquets day-of.

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Send a little e-love to your team with a heartfelt email or silly virtual card! Let them know you’re thinking of them, even if you’re not right there with them on this holiday.

See if there are any local events or restaurant specials for the holiday in your town. It’s a great way to support local businesses, plus you won’t have to go far to have a fun time.

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Sign someone up for the 3-Day! You can save $20 on registration now through February 20th automatically, no discount code required, so help your friend or love sign up to walk with you this year at The3Day.org.

Do you have any ideas for the Valentine’s Day holiday? Tell us in the comments!

Valentine’s Day Fundraising Ideas

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Valentine’s Day is next week, and we can’t wait to see how all our 3-Dayers spread the love! From sweethearts to Galentines and beyond, it’s the perfect time to show everyone just how much you care. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for your donors to show YOU a little 3-Day love, so here are some unique ways to ask for a donation. Valentine’s Day can be a fun holiday to start or reinvigorate your 2018 fundraising with easy ideas like these…

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Valentine Donor Letters

This is the easiest and most simple way to start your Valentine’s Day fundraising. Pick your favorite Valentine (you can buy whole packs of them on a budget) and include your next donor outreach inside a “love letter”. Explain why you care about the 3-Day, how it brings happiness and joy to your life, and encourage your friends and family to donate in 2018. By adding a more personal touch, and showing the emotion behind why you walk, you can bring people into the pink bubble just by sending some snail mail.

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Appeal to their Sweet Tooth

Candy and other sweets go on super sale the day after Valentine’s Day (sometimes even the day of), so take advantage of this chance  to make or buy tasty treats at a bargain. Pick up a range of goodies, and make gift bags to deliver to your friends and neighbors. It gives a personal touch, will have them feeling sweet inside and out, and you can attach a quick donation reminder to the treat!

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Throw a Galentine’s or (Guy’entine’s) Party

If you’re single this holiday, or just want to give your pals some extra love, celebrate with a party on February 13th. That’s the official Galentine’s Day holiday, and you can plan a fun night for yourself, your team, and all your favorite people.

If you’re part of a team, invite all of them to bring their best friends over for a night in with romantic movies, house made snacks and lots of fun times celebrating each other. Then, remind your friends to donate to your pink family — or join it — this year. You can accept donations that night, and send your guests away with information about how to donate and join the 3-Day.

You can do the same thing if you’re walking alone — just cast a wider net for your invites.

Also, be sure to remind your friends that if they sign up before February 20th, they can take $20 off their registration fee!

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Use Flower Power

Just like candy, many florists put flowers on sale after the Valentine’s Day rush. If you call ahead, and work with your local flower shops, you might be able to get options at an even bigger discount, or for free. There are often leftover buds and stems from bouquets, or whole arrangements that don’t get picked up. See if the shops will donate flowers directly to you, for you to use for your fundraising efforts. Then, deliver them to potential donors with donation forms, or let donors “send” them to loved ones, with you playing the mail carrier.

How will you be celebrating the love-filled holiday? Tell us in the comments!

And don’t forget, if you haven’t signed up for the 3-Day yet, now is the perfect time! Through February 20th, you can take $20 off your registration fee with no code needed.

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