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Regional Relay Event Slowly Taking Shape
Relay Graphic

Just a little less than three months away, a combined Relay For Life for the communities of Oakdale, Riverbank, Escalon and Waterford is seeing the pieces fall into place.

Committee members say they are excited about welcoming a large crowd to the soccer fields at Oakdale High School for the 24-hour American Cancer Society event, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6.

“They’re reverting back to the way it used to be,” ACS Community Development Manager Donna Stephens said.

Originally, many smaller communities did join forces for one large event but the last several years have seen multiple Relay For Life events in communities including Escalon, Waterford, Linden, Ripon and the like. With the consolidation, Stephens said ACS hopes to “be better stewards of donor dollars” by spending less on overhead to coordinate multiple events, combining the smaller ones into one large regional Relay For Life.

The next Team Captain meeting for the local relay is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Valley Oak Medical Plaza, 1425 W. H St., Oakdale. Anyone interested in taking part in Relay For Life or learning more about it is welcome to attend the meeting.

Stephens will oversee both the combined event in Oakdale and the Modesto Relay For Life, which will be hosted at Johansen High School on May 19 and 20. Both those events will be the traditional 24-hour format, while some others have gone to a 12-hour, one day relay.

Special fundraising activities already being planned for the Oakdale-Riverbank-Escalon-Waterford Relay For Life include an upcoming See’s Candy fundraiser and the annual Tri-Tip drive thru dinner hosted by the Escalon based Nuts For Life relay team. The candy fundraiser is scheduled for mid-March while Saturday, March 3 is the Nuts For Life fundraiser.

Tickets for the tri-tip dinner are available pre-sale only; call 838-2892 or 838-1838 for more information or to purchase tickets. The dinner will be offered from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on March 3, staged at the Saron Lutheran Church, 1742 North St., Escalon. Cost per ticket is $40 and that gets you dinner for four, including a whole BBQ tri-tip, four baked potatoes, a bag of salad, a loaf of French bread and a two-liter bottle of soda. Dinners are delivered to your car; no need to get out and pick it up.

Also planned prior to the May relay are a Survivor Brunch on Saturday, April 7 and the annual ‘Paint The Town Purple’ event, which will be hosted in the participating communities on April 21.

Stephens said they encourage residents in all the communities to get involved, either as part of the planning committee, as a team captain, team member or just by coming out to support Relay For Life on the day of the event.

“Absolutely,” Stephens said. “We’re always looking for more people.”