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Relay for Life donation can stolen at styling salon
Linda Purtle, right, and Andrea Medeiros stand behind the counter where their donation can for American Cancer Society Relay for Life was stolen. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO
The employees at Precision 6 Hair Styling in Manteca are trying hard to understand why someone would swipe from their front counter a donation jar for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

“I’m shocked. I’m kind of disappointed with people (who steal). How can someone do that to a great cause?” said hair stylist Linda Purtle in disbelief.

Even more amazing to the women is the fact the donation jar has been in the same spot for the last five years when they started their Precision Relay for Life Team. They estimated the contents to be around $25 to $30. However, none of them is sure of the exact amount that has been dropped inside the can by generous customers and visitors.  There were five-dollar and one-dollar bills as well as loose change in the jar, Purtle said. They have never emptied the can because “we wanted to save it up for the Relay for Life this weekend. We wanted to take the can to the Relay and open it there,” said Purtle who became active in the Relay for Life after her father died of brain cancer.

The donation can, which is labeled American Cancer Society Relay for Life on the outside, has been a fixture at the salon’s front counter for five years, next to the cash register.

“We’ve had it, like, forever,” Purtle said.

“It’s just been a part of the salon,” said hair stylist Andrea Medeiros.

Purtle discovered the can missing Thursday afternoon when a male customer who was waiting for his hair cut saw a dime on the floor. He went to pick it up and gave it to Purtle who was at the front counter. But when Purtle made the move to drop the coin into the donation can, the metal bank was nowhere to be found.

“Where’s our can?” she asked her co-workers, who did not have any answer and were just as mystified as she was.

Purtle said the donation can had been distributed to volunteers at a Relay for Life meeting five years ago. She described it as a small can the size of a fruit cocktail container, only taller, with a lid that can be removed and a slot on top where donations can be dropped.

There was just one thing that Purtle was thankful for after they discovered the donation can missing.

“At least, they didn’t get my lunch box! I love my lunch box,” she said.

But she was not just talking about the collectible metal container. It was The American Cancer Society Relay for Life metal lunch box where she kept the proceeds from their various fund-raisers at the salon including bake sales and candy sales.

Precision 6 Hair Styling’s Relay for Life Team will be among those taking part in the 24-hour Relay for Life this weekend at Sierra High School starting Saturday morning. Purtle and her co-workers Susan Crane, Shannon Goulart, and Medeiros as well as some of their family and friends, will be selling hot dogs and refreshments as part of their fund-raising activities that day for the race to find a cure for cancer.

Precision 6 Hair Styling is located in the Marketplace shopping center on the corner of West Yosemite Avenue and Union Road.