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Relay For Life Coming To Escalon
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The decision has been made: The American Cancer Society's signature fundraising event, the 24-hour Relay for Life, will be coming to Escalon next year.

Committee members are being sought now for all positions, from event chair to team development. ACS Senior Manager - Relay for Life, Sheila Doberenz, said a number of factors figure in to the decision when and where to offer the 24-hour cancer fighting event.

"They look at demographics, they look at the size of the community," Doberenz explained.

In the past, Escalon has had participants in Relay for Life in surrounding communities, attending those in Manteca, Oakdale, Modesto and, more recently, Riverbank. But Doberenz said ACS officials agreed the time was right for Escalon to also become a host city.

"I get to build a new one," she said of developing the Escalon relay from the ground up.

It will be the fifth relay for Doberenz, who also serves as the ACS liaison to the Riverbank, Waterford, Turlock and Ceres relays.

"Escalon is a very small, close knit community," she pointed out. "Everything pretty much revolves around the school."

One of her first jobs will be getting the school district on board, to coordinate student participants and possibly securing the school as a host site for the event.

Relay for Life is a 24-hour team event, with one team member walking the track at all times as teams raise money to fight cancer, aid research and provide services to cancer patients and their families.

Doberenz said she has made initial contact with some local residents that have been involved in relays in neighboring cities and is optimistic about having the event come together for the spring of 2011.

"We do have some folks raring to go," she said. "I have a few of my committee members in place already."

While the start up of an Escalon relay may draw some teams and participants away from those they had attended in the past, Doberenz said it really won't be a loss, since people will still be involved in the fight against cancer, whether they walk a track in Oakdale, Riverbank or Escalon.

"It's a win-win for everybody because it (fundraising money) all goes in to the same pot," she pointed out. "I think Escalon will do really well."

Those interested in serving on the committee or just learning more about the Relay for Life can contact Doberenz at 209-404-3065.