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Jim And Danas Crusaders Fight For Cure
Relay Team Spotlight
sack race
Participants in a sack race, hosted at the 2015 Relay For Life of Escalon, try to outdo each other on their way to the finish line. The team of Jim and Danas Crusaders with co-captains Lizzi and Tina Langum, will host the races again at this years event. Times File Photo

A staple of the Relay For Life of Escalon, the team with co-captains and sisters Lizzi and Tina Langum will be back for 2016.

The team has gone through a few different names and this year, is known as ‘Jim and Dana’s Crusaders,’ named in honor of Trinity Church pastor Jim Davis – currently undergoing cancer treatment – and in memory of the late Dana Pereira, who lost her battle with the disease.

Lizzi said they attend Trinity Church and have known Pastor Jim for years and also were friends with Dana and worked with her through 4-H.

“During Relay we will be having a bake sale, we will be selling tri-tip sandwiches toward dinner time and we also will be having raffles,” Lizzi said of offering up several opportunity drawings with a wide range of items available.

Their team also plans to bring back its popular sack race event, just for fun, and will make sure that they bring their familiar cowbells as well. Lizzi and sister Tina – or whoever is available at the time – typically ring the bell when whatever team member is on the track passes by the team campsite.

While they have been part of the Escalon Relay since its inception, their involvement in the American Cancer Society’s signature event goes back longer than that.

“We actually started in Modesto; that was through my mom’s work,” Lizzi said.

Now, drawing members from their Escalon 4-H group as well as family and friends, the Langum sisters are looking forward to this year’s event in late June.

They also are doing pre-event fundraisers.

“We have done ‘Parents’ Night Out’ and we babysit for the kids,” Lizzi said, with the team hosting the babysitting clinics while parents get a chance for a night out. The proceeds benefit the Jim and Dana’s Crusaders team.

“We haven’t scheduled one for May yet but they have gone well,” Lizzi said of the pre-event fundraisers.

This year, each team has also picked a country to use as a theme for decorating their campsite and China was chosen by Lizzi and Tina.

Lizzi said it is in honor of the adopted son of Jim and Brenda Davis, who originally was from China.

The team co-captain also noted that Pastor Jim anticipates attending Relay, hoping to be there for opening ceremonies and many of the other activities during the day.

Relay For Life of Escalon is scheduled for June 24 and 25 at Escalon High School.

For Lizzi and the rest of the team, she said their involvement – though fun – also serves an important purpose.

“Just trying to raise money to find a cure,” Lizzi said of her reason to Relay.

Next week, look for another team preview, as The Times profiles the participating teams in the weeks leading up to the late June event.