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Relay Participants Plan Paint The Town Event
Relay For Life Spotlight
Shown at the 2015 Relay For Life of Escalon is a survivor signing the banner after putting her handprint on it. There will be special activities at this years June 25 and 26 event for survivors and the community is also encouraged to turn out this Saturday, June 11 to help paint the town purple. Marg Jackson/The Times

Escalon’s 2016 Relay For Life is now just a couple of weeks away, set for Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26 on the football field at the Escalon High School campus.

This weekend, teams will gather – and the community is encouraged to come out and help – for the annual ‘Paint The Town Purple’ on Saturday, June 11. Through this effort, purple ribbons and bows are tied on sign posts, trees and telephone poles to bring attention to the upcoming American Cancer Society signature fundraising event. All those interested in helping out can come to the city’s Main Street Park stage on Saturday morning, with ribbons and bows provided. Hours for the decorating around town are 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Following that, cancer survivors and their caregivers are invited to attend a ‘Survivor Birthday Party’ in the park from 10:15 a.m. to noon, said Event Chair Arianna Kennedy.

‘Paint The Town Purple’ is one of the final community events leading up to the actual Relay later this month and the Escalon event currently lists 12 teams with over 165 participants. More than $26,000 has been raised so far as well. The top three fundraising teams right now are Nuts For Life ($9,600); Saron Lutheran Church ($4,950); and A Walk to Remember ($2,655).

The Times has featured seven of the teams signed up to participate and has five teams remaining to preview: A Walk to Remember, ETC ETC, Cougar Town, Escalon High School, and Team Roberson.

While only participants stay on scene the entire night, walking the track throughout the full 24 hours, all in the community are encouraged to attend the day’s festivities, including opening ceremonies and the Survivor Lap. There will be entertainment and activities all day, and teams will have food and beverages, merchandise for sale, raffle baskets and more. There is also a special Survivor/Caregiver area and a variety of theme laps help make the day memorable and fun. Scheduled theme laps will include Super Heroes, Sports, Disney, Patriotic, Purple and Glow in the Dark laps. The evening luminaria ceremony is a time for reflection, honoring those who have lost their battle with the disease and supporting those who continue the fight.