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Teams Invited To Relay Kick Off Event Jan. 8

After a one-year trial run with a reduced time frame, the 2020 Relay For Life of Oakdale, Riverbank, Escalon and Waterford will be returning to the traditional 24-hour period.

Scheduled for Saturday, May 2 at 9 a.m. through Sunday, May 3 at 9 a.m., the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event will again be hosted at the Oakdale High School soccer fields.

Teams are being formed now and a Relay For Life Kickoff is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Oak Valley Medical Plaza at 1425 W. H St., Oakdale. Theme for 2020 will be ‘Carnival’ and teams will also be able to select a cancer color for use at their booth, to correspond with their information displayed on the day of the event. Registration can be done online by visiting the Relay For Life website.

A special feature at the kickoff meeting will be a two-for-one sale of luminaria bags; the bags purchased in memory of someone lost to the disease or in honor of those who have won their battle or those still fighting the fight. At kickoff, two bags can be purchased for $10; the bags line the walking path at Relay and provide a light throughout the night.

ACS CAN, Cancer Action Network, representative Lisa Vorse is scheduled to attend the kickoff and bring attendees up to the date on the work the organization is doing.

There will be some carnival-themed snacks provided at the meeting along with information about the activities being planned for Relay day, assistance with registration and more. Team captain meetings, which are also open to all team members, are being planned for February, March and April leading up to the early May event.

Teams typically consist of 12 to 24 people, with the goal of having at least one team member on the track at all times during the 24-hour Relay, helping to signify that “Cancer never sleeps.” Many businesses, churches, families and community service groups have taken part in the past and this year, officials are also reaching out to area schools in hopes of getting more students involved in the cancer fighting effort.

Prior to the Relay itself, there will be a special Survivor Brunch and committee members working on putting the Relay together are also planning to have a presence in the Oakdale Rodeo Parade to promote the event, along with a ‘Paint the Town Purple’ activity.

Anyone interested in learning more about Relay For Life or getting involved with a team is encouraged to attend the kickoff on Wednesday, Jan. 8. This year’s ACS partner is Benazir Ali; she can be reached at 209-524-7241.