Congratulations to the 2019 New England 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Ali Pepe

For the 2019 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be continuing the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to participants who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts leading training walks, attending 3-Day community events, supporting the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Please join us in congratulating the 2019 New England 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Ali Pepe!

Ali has participated in 15 3-Days over the course of 13 years, even participating as a member of our Youth Corps! Since then, she has “walked, crewed and has put her heart and soul in to being the Youth Corps Captain since 2012 in Philadelphia and Boston,” according to Coaches Tisho and Sharyn.

3-Day friend Robin Maxcy also can’t say enough about the amazing Ali!

“The words that come to mind when I think of Ali are kind, bold, generous and always doing something bigger than herself to help others. Ali’s smile and energy is contagious to everyone she meets. I feel fortunate to have met Ali and her family at the very first Boston 3-Day many years ago. From that time frame until now, I have watched Ali grow into a beautiful, smart and empowering woman continuing to help others.”

Ali is a joy and such an asset in our 3-Day family. You can learn even more about her, in her own words, below…

What was your inspiration to do your 1st 3-Day?

My mother had done the 3-Day for years to support my aunt, her sister, who had breast cancer. I was young at the time, but when I saw my mom and aunt walk into closing for the first time, I immediately knew I wanted to get involved and support the cause. Luckily, Boston was the home of the Youth Corps, and when I was 14 years old, I was chosen to be a member. It was an experience I will never forget!

What has brought you back to the 3-Day year after year?

After my first 3-Day, I was hooked! Not only does the event support a great cause, but the members of the walk become a second family. I can’t imagine not participating in it. This year will mark my 15th event!

Beyond that, it became an even more important event to me in 2012 when my grandmother, my mom, and my aunt were all diagnosed with breast cancer within 6 months of one another. I vowed I would participate in the 3-Day until we found a cure and there was no need for the walk anymore.

What is the secret to your 3-Day fundraising success?

I’d say the biggest thing is that I’m usually just very open about my experience with the 3-Day and my family’s experience battling breast cancer. So many people have been touched by this horrible disease and want to help. Beyond that, I just incorporate fun into my FUNdraising whether it’s a band at an event, raffle prizes, or more. People are happy to help and having the opportunity to have a good time while doing so makes it even more enjoyable.

What is your best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day?

Get to know anyone and everyone you can on the event! Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a random stranger because I can guarantee in just a few short miles, they will become a great friend. Laugh, cheer, smile, and even cry! It’s all part of the magic of the 3-Day.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I have completed the past two Boston Marathons! Both times running for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, and have raised nearly $22,000 for cancer patients and their families who are in need.

I’m also a huge Bruins and Pats fan!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned on the 3-Day?

Ohhh, this is a hard one…I think it probably has to be that you should count every blessing you have and make every moment count. I know it sounds corny, but when you hear the stories of men and women on the event, and realize how awful the disease can be, I realize how lucky I am. My mom, grandmother, and both my aunts are now all survivors, but not every story ends like mine. Unfortunately, breast cancer claims the lives of too many people, and this is why we all walk. The 3-Day really taught me to cherish the ones I love because. It also taught me that no matter how horrible this disease is, we still have hope and each other. 💜

Walking for MeeMaw: Meet Jessa G. from the San Diego 3-Day

I think the thing I love most about the 3-Day is how much the entire event is like one big family reunion. Everyone is so open and easy to talk to. Everyone is there to support everyone else.”

When Jessa G. talks about the 3-Day, she is truly describing a family affair. Her mom, Heather, has been a part of the 3-Day in one way or another since it began in 2001. Heather, and now Jessa alongside her, walk in memory of their MeeMaw (Jessa’s grandmother, and Heather’s mom). MeeMaw lost her fight to breast cancer when Jessa was young, and since then Heather has been a part of the 3-Day family.

(Jessa and her mom)

A few years ago, Jessa also joined the Pink Bubble as a member of the Youth Corps!

“I had finally found a way that I too could join my mom in memory of my MeeMaw!”

Last year was the first year Jessa was old enough to walk the 3-Day…and walk she did! She and a family friend took on those sixty miles with smiles on their faces and determination in their hearts.

Jessa says, “Although I had already been in the background of the walk, helping make sure things went smoothly and happily for all the walkers, I didn’t know how truly challenging it is. Having that walking experience really gave me a new respect for my mom and all the people who walk the 3-Day year after year. Walking in my mom’s footsteps helped me so much. My mom even let me use the same fanny pack that she used in her first 3-Day, 16 years later.”

Jessa’s mom was there to watch her cross her first-ever 3-Day finish line, and they hope to expand their family’s presence in 2018. Both of Jessa’s younger sisters will be on Youth Corps, and her mom will be part of Lunch Crew. Jessa is hoping to make it back from college in time for the event as well, but no matter if she’s walking, or there in spirit, she will have the 3-Day in her heart.

“It’s so important to me to continue to be a part of the 3-Day in any way, because of the amazing work that I’ve seen through the 3-Day do, just over the past few years that I’ve been there. I’ve seen just how it brings people together and creates lifelong friendships of love and support. The pink bubble is something to love and miss when you aren’t there.”

This past year is still fresh in her mind , and she was more than happy to share tips for first-time walkers:

  • Train more on sidewalks and concrete than on trails!
  • She also warns against doing any form of activity before the event that could put yourself at risk for injury.
  • If you need some extra pep in your step, Jessa loves listening to pop artists like Halsey, Ed Sheeran, Avril Lavigne, Bruno Mars, Little Mix, as well as musicals like Hamilton to keep herself motivated during those long training walks.
  • Need fundraising ideas? Jessa says to “ask literally everyone you know! People are more willing to help out than you would think; teachers, friends, doctors, family, everyone.”
  • She also recommends asking people to donate old furniture or clothes and having a garage sale where all the money goes towards breast cancer.

These tips come from an expert, too! Though Jessa has only walked the 3-Day once, she has grown up around a 3-Day veteran — her mom, Heather. Jessa says that her mom has been a life-long motivation, and the epitome of someone who is More Than Pink.

“She was the first one in my family to start doing the 3-Day, and she has consistently been a part of them for so many years! She’s talked with so many of the people on so many different events. I haven’t gone to a single 3-Day where I haven’t been approached by one person or another asking if I’m Heather’s daughter. Everyone I’ve talked to has had just the greatest things to say about how she has helped them through something in their lives, or just been there to talk with them even outside of the 3-Day.”

With role models like Heather and her MeeMaw, Jessa is going to keeping walking and working towards a world without breast cancer.

Happy National Volunteer Week!

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Happy National Volunteer Week to all our 3-Day Crew and Volunteers!

In honor of this important and exciting week of recognition, we have compiled an album of our Top Crew Photos from 2017! These are just a few of the amazing memories that our 3-Day Crew has created for our More Than Pink family.

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We can not thank you enough for all that you do!

Have a photo you think we missed? Add it in the comments below!