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Walking for a cure
Manteca group gears up for 2010 event
Mary Jones, right, helps point out a winner for the raffle. - photo by HIME ROMERO

After losing her mother to cancer, Holly Halleck knew that there was something she had to do to get involved with the push towards a cure for the disease.

For the second straight year, Halleck is serving as the Event Chair for the Manteca Relay for Life – the local portion of the national fundraising event where teams spend 24 hours walking around a track in a show of solidarity that they won’t give up fighting until there is a cure.

Thursday night dozens of people gathered in the cafeteria at Manteca High School to both sign-up for the annual event – which will take place May 1- 2, 2010 at Sierra High School – and to share their stories about how they got involved and what drives them to keep fighting against the disease that affects just about every household in America in one form or another.

“I think that outreach and letting people know about what it is that we’re doing is a big part of this, and to see so many people here is a great sign as we get ready for this Relay season,” Halleck said. “We’ve got a goal of reaching $167,000 this year, and while that’s better than what we did last year it’ll also put us over the $1,000,000 mark – and that’s a really big step for us.”

For the last three years cancer survivor Beverly Williams – who was wearing her purple “Survivor” shirt to the kick-off ceremony – has been active with Relay for Life and plans on doing so for as long as she possibly can.

Seeing the combination of survivors, volunteers, and those who are honoring the memory of loved ones who were victims of the disease currently without cure gave Williams hope that the movement Relay for Life has helped spawn will continue to grow.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people here today because that only helps let others know what it is that we’re doing and why we’re here fighting,” Williams said. “When you come here you meet other people who are fighting the same fight that you are and it lets you know that you aren’t alone and you have a group that is out there to support you.”

Both survivors and volunteers are still being sought for the two-day event being held on Sierra High’s new all-weather track. For more information visit Manteca’s Relay for Life website at, or call Holly Halleck at 640-8392 or co-chair Ayla Fleming at 679-8593.

To contact Jason Campbell, e-mail, or call (209) 249-3544.