Eighteen teams, with more than 200 participants, are already signed up to take part in the Relay For Life of Escalon in a couple of weeks. Dates for this year’s American Cancer Society signature event are Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23 and the relay will be staged on the campus of Escalon High School. Teams will set up camp on the infield of the football field and walk the track surrounding the campsites for the 24 hours.
Serving as chairperson this year is Megan McNinch, who said there is still time to sign up and get a team together or just join in with an existing team. Community members not on a team are also invited to come during the event to support the cause, attend the various ceremonies and celebrate the survivors while also remembering those lost to the disease.
Teams include several returning, such as the Nuts for Life team that currently leads the way in overall fundraising, with $6,360 and team member Suzanne Longstreth is third in individual fundraising, coming in at $730. The team hosted a table setting event earlier this spring as a fundraiser for relay.
Sandy Bomer leads the individual fundraising at $2570 and Diane Lial is currently second at $1300.
Connie’s Crusaders has raised $4,171 so far and Wings of Hope currently has $2,400 to its credit.
The 24 hours of relay, with opening ceremonies at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 22 followed by the Survivor Lap at 9 a.m., includes plenty of entertainment, special activities, food, music, the luminaria ceremony and lots of walking around the track. At least one person from each team is on the track at all times, keeping the relay going for 24 hours to signify that ‘cancer never sleeps.’
The Cancer Stampers team is back again and members have also done some pre-event fundraisers, while team Cancerous Suckitous will be putting on a soccer clinic the day of the event. There is no charge for the youth clinic, but donations will be gladly accepted and will benefit the team at relay. Team captain Caryn Ball said the clinic will include instruction for kindergarten through second graders from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on June 22, with third through eighth graders meeting for the clinic from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The clinic will be overseen by EHS varsity girls soccer coach Jamie Peoples and assistant Kacey Ball. It will be on the soccer field, adjacent to the Relay For Life going on at the football field.
Escalon will also celebrate the cancer survivors at the event, with a special area set aside for them and treats throughout the day. Saron Lutheran Church, which also has a team, hosted a Survivors Birthday Party in late April and all survivors are welcome and encouraged to attend any or all of the upcoming event at the high school.
Other teams coming back this year include the Escalon Firefighters and the Enterprise 4-H Kids team, with many more featuring families, churches, service organizations and more.
Over $21,000 has been raised already for the Escalon Relay For Life; more information about how to get involved is available by contacting chairperson McNinch at 209-471-6891.