More than 60 teams circled the track at Santa Paula High School for 24 hours and the (above) Survivors Walk alone drew 175 of those who have successfully battled the disease.

Santa Paula Relay for Life setting another record for generous giving

May 07, 2010
Santa Paula News

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life again proved Santa Paulans are at the forefront of helping others. This year’s goal of $115,000 to fight cancer was not only met, but also exceeded by at least a whopping $10,000.

“We were just absolutely thrilled,” said Relay Co-Chairman John Procter of the weekend event held at Santa Paula High School’s Jones Field. “We had coming into the relay before the event about $90,000, about $10,000 ahead of last year,” in the minutes before Saturday’s Survivors Walk stepped out.

The 24-hour event - because cancer never sleeps - was “amazing, and another great subplot was the Isbell Middle School Condor Cancer Crushers this year, after seven years of participation, have passed the $100,000 mark... this year alone they exceeded $20,000! They put the rest of us to shame.”

There’s no doubt Santa Paula’s Relay for Life has shaped up to again be the county’s top per capita money-raiser for the American Cancer Society, an honor it has achieved numerous times in the past. “I couldn’t believe it, I almost broke down” when called to the stage for the announcement of funds raised so far, said Chairman Bob Orlando.

The number has hit $127,000 and, he noted, “It’s still coming in. Here we are, little Santa Paula again bringing in money like this in a down economy. Amazing....”

More than 60 teams circled the track for 24 hours, and Orlando said the Survivors Walk alone drew 175 of those who have successfully battled the disease. “Our number of Survivors which is way up means that’s just that many more people who had another birthday,” a benchmark in the fight against cancer.

Each year Relay organizers find a theme particular to Santa Paula. This year thousands of people gathered for “Lights, Camera, Action - CURE!” recognizing Santa Paula’s history in the early days of filmmaking.

Also recognized were those 135 Santa Paulans who signed up for the American Cancer Society’s Prevention 3 study, a 20-year commitment to the fight against cancer. “The study is a fairly big thing for us,” as the American Cancer Society only targets areas based on demographics as well as the “success of their Relays... we were the only one in the region” selected this year, Orlando said.

Relay drew more than 600 participants, and Orlando said the poignant Luminaria Ceremony had more than 800 bags with the names of lost loved ones glowing Saturday night. “We had wonderful bands, good entertainment, pizza at midnight donated by Domino’s, breakfast burritos donated by Garden Market; the staff donates their time, comes in real early to prepare hundreds of them and then (owner) Victor Almazon delivers them and says goodbye,” and El Pescador Restaurant also offered generous support.

Orlando said Santa Paula Police Explorers under the direction of Reserve Dave Curran, “Martha Brown and CERT, our fire department which did all the food and served more than 600 people chicken and all the fixings, well, so many people helped in so many ways.” It was, said Orlando, “just wonderful, really wonderful.”


Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.