By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Locals Join Fight In Relay For Life
From the MOMS Club of Escalon team to firefighter Steve Sawyer to some Escalon High School students ... all were there, joining with hundreds of others in the weekend's Relay for Life staged at Oakdale High School.

There were more than 50 teams, about 1,000 participants on those teams, and plenty to see and do over the 24 hours of relay, with the focus on raising money and awareness about cancer.

Among those attending was Escalon resident and cancer survivor Liz Lee, who walked on a team and had her family and friends there to support her. She was one of the opening ceremony speakers a couple of years ago for Oakdale's relay and has made it a point to take part in the local event ever since.

"In the past few years, the relays I've gone to, Oakdale, I think, has an amazing turnout of young people," she noted. "The high school age kids really participate and that's a great thing, it means the awareness is there and that may mean they get tested (for certain types of cancers) earlier."

Several teams had Escalon connections and there was never a shortage of things to do. Musical entertainment, booths run by the teams, activities, learning opportunities, demonstrations and more were all featured as part of the event.

The evening brought the luminaria ceremony and guest speaker Jonyce O'Neill, who spoke of her time serving as caregiver for friend and co-worker at the Oakdale Learning Tree, Joyce Cuslidge, who passed away due to pancreatic cancer. The luminaria bags lit the way for walkers during the overnight hours, since there is someone on the track at all times to signify that cancer never rests.

By the time the event was over, organizers indicated that after expenses were met, about $200,000 was raised to benefit the American Cancer Society.

This was the eighth annual Relay for Life in Oakdale. It is offered each year on the last weekend of April. Riverbank, meanwhile, will have its Relay for Life next month, coming up May 30 and 31 at Riverbank High School.