Motorists driving by Del Norte High School likely don’t need a sign to tell them Relay for Life is this weekend.
This is because volunteers have festooned the trees alongside Mike Whalen Field with purple ribbon. Purple ribbon also adorns the steps of Java Hut near the fairgrounds and the fence bordering Chimney Kraft’s parking lot at U.S. Highway 101 and Northcrest Drive.
“Purple is the survivor color,” said Jeri Ann Evans Scherer, the 2014 event chair.
Volunteers have also sprinkled signs throughout the community.
Relay for Life is entering its 15th year in Del Norte County, and so far volunteers have raised about $16,000 for the American Cancer Society, Scherer said.
From 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday 114 people will be selling food, raffle tickets and walking the track to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Last year’s Relay for Life raised more than $85,000.
The event will start Saturday with the opening ceremony. The survivors’ lap will be at 5 p.m. Probably the most emotional event will be the Luminaria at about 9:30 p.m.
“We turn off all the lights and walk a lap in support,” Scherer said.
Volunteers will spend most of the day encouraging folks to to decorate a luminaria. When it starts to get dark they’ll line the bags up along the track and light them.
Even after the event is over, Relay For Life volunteers will continue to raise funds at the Del Norte County Fair this year. According to Laura Read, the American Cancer Society representative for Del Norte and Humboldt counties, volunteers have until Aug. 31 to raise money and have it counted for 2014.
New this year is an awareness activity leading up to Saturday’s event called Paint the Town Purple. Renee Neeley went to several businesses around town and encouraged them to put up purple ribbons starting July 7 and ending on Saturday.
She said there will be first-, second- and third-place awards for businesses that put up the most purple.
Relay for Life will also hold a large yard sale on Saturday in the hopes of attracting folks who spend their weekends looking for good bargains, Scherer said. If anyone has anything they’d like to sell they should bring them to the Del Norte High School track, she said, although she requests no clothing be sold.
“All proceeds go to Relay,” she said. “I thought if we have a garage sale we’ll generate interest from people who want to come yard-saling.”
Scherer said one aspect of Relay’s opening ceremony will be for the participants to state why they are relaying and “what we fight back for.” The “fight back” aspect of Relay encourages people to get screenings, such as mammograms and pap smears, to detect cancer.
“We ‘relay’ all year long,” Scherer explained. “How do we fight back in other ways?”
To sign up for Relay for Life, visit relay.acsevents.org and type Crescent City in the search bar.