By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Relay for Life kicks off 2011 fundraising
Manteca Relay for Life Mentor Chair Holly Halleck, left, and Event Chair Ayla Fleming get together prior to the start of activities at Wednesday’s Manteca Relay for Life kick-off event conducted at the Sierra High cafeteria. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Mary Jones is a cancer survivor.

Because of that, the Manteca High Associated Student Body account clerk / athletic secretary cherishes each and every day.

Jones and others affected one way or another by the disease will also do their part to fight back by getting involved in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

The kickoff event was held Wednesday at Sierra High. Many from last year’s 71 teams were expected to be in attendance, according to Jones, who was treated for cervical cancer about eight years ago.

“We always hope to get new people involved (in Relay for Life),” she said.

For many, Relay for Life is a life-changing event that celebrates the lives of people who have battled cancer while remembering those who have lost their fight.

“Celebrate, remember and fight back,” said Jones, echoing the Relay for Life philosophy.

This year, the Manteca team more than likely will reach a goal set a year ago – earning $1 million.

This is the collective amount, Jones noted, consisting of 11 years of Manteca being involved in the American Cancer Society overnight event that started in 1985 by Dr. Gordy Klatt.

He was the Tacoma, WA, colorectal surgeon who ran and walked around a track for 24 hours in order to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Klatt’s passion from that day grew to become Rely for Life. Included are more than 3.5 million folks from 5,000 communities nationwide along with an additional 20 other countries.

The money collected from the Relay for Life events are earmarked for cancer research, education, advocacy, and patient services.

This year, the Manteca team is looking to raise $130,000 through the Relay for Life event April 30 and May 1 at the Sierra High track.

 Jones indicated that several fundraising events are in the works, including a portion of each ticket sold for Thunder hockey games, drive-thru dinner featuring Famous Dave’s in Tracy, cookie dough sales, and Bunco Night, to name a few.

In addition, the Manteca Relay for Life team will again have a float featured in the upcoming holiday parade.

For more information, call Jones at 209-858-7340, ext. 56810.