Santa Paula’s Relay for Life being held April 29-30

April 21, 2017
Santa Paula News

“Cancer Never Sleeps” and to show that the fight against the disease is also non-stop Santa Paula’s Relay for Life will be held April 29-30.

The 16th Annual Santa Paula Relay for Life will be held at Isbell Middle School from 10 a.m. Saturday, April 29 to 10 a.m. Sunday, April 30.

Teams will circle the track for 24 hours to show that they will not stop until a cure for cancer is found. Proceeds from the event benefit various American Cancer Society programs and activities.

Relay teams and supporters enjoy music, food and camaraderie in their determination that cancer can — and must — be fought with love, support and of course donations to carry on the fight.

And a good dose of fun!

The event kicks off April 29 at 10 a.m. with the Survivors Walk and features the moving Luminaria Ceremony at nightfall. 

Netti Farrar is this year’s Relay for Life chairperson, an event she’s been taking part in Santa Paula since 2015. Before that, Farrar was active in the Fillmore Relay for Life to support members of her husband’s family.

“I’m working on it right now as we speak,” Farrar said last week.

“We’re low on teams — we probably have only twelve to fifteen so far — and I’ve contacted past teams, it’s always a struggle because people are busy. But we always have a successful Relay for Life!”

This year the event got a boost from Limoneira Co. which sponsored the banner hanging over East Main Street reminding people of the event.

“Sponsorships,” such as from Rubberneck Signs, she noted, “are helping us quite a bit…”

This year’s theme is Dr. Seuss: “I don’t like cancer here, I don’t like cancer there, I don’t like cancer anywhere” is one of the takeoffs of the famous rhythms by the master of children’s books, still consumed by kids and adults alike.

Relay for Life Teams are taking on Dr. Seuss book themes for their own groups and his works will be read at a Story House being held April 29 from 4 to 6 p.m. 

“We’re just trying to tie in the whole Dr. Seuss experience,” said Farrar.

There is plenty to do at the annual Relay for Life, which draws many observers who might not take to the track but always turn out for the Luminaria walk and the ceremony lighting the candles for those lost to cancer or those suffering from the disease; Luminarias, only $10 each, carry the names of those they are dedicated to.  

On a lighter note, Farrar said, “Supposedly, teacher Gwen Harrod will be shaving her head as the result of a challenge to the Santa Paula High School Cancer Crushers…a partial shave if they miss their goal but if they make it, there goes all the hair!

“Thank God for the Cancer Crushers, both at the high school and Isbell Middle School,” for their devotion to Relay for which they raise money year-round.

Other regular participants include Santa Paula Fire and Santa Paula Police who take part in the poignant “Hero to Hero” ceremony, which involves awarding survivors with medals for their bravery in the face of cancer.

The “Hero to Hero” ceremony takes place at the end of the Survivors March and then everyone is asked to get to work circling the track while around them are various attractions including inflatable jumps for the kids and a Wedding Booth where kids and adults alike can get hitched.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Farrar said of Relay for Life.

There is a raffle that includes a half-pig ready for the barbecue, live entertainment, booths and games.

“Our monetary goal is $60,000 this year,” which will add to the Santa Paula Relay for Life’s record of giving per capita in Ventura County.

“Hopefully,” said Farrar, “we can hold on to that banner.

“It’s going to be a great day, the weather is cooperating and we’re hoping the banner on Main Street will raise awareness and help bring people in.”

The Survivor & Caregivers Breakfast will start at 9 a.m., an hour before Relay for Life officially starts. 

“El Pescador always donates the breakfast, they’re wonderful…we have a lot of good support from so many!”

And that can include you: visit relayforlife.org/santapaulaca for more information or to register to take part, or email Farrar at tch4th@hotmail.com





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