Organizers of Madison County’s Relay For Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, want to “Paint the Town Purple” on May 1.

“We do this about a month to six weeks before Relay weekend to raise awareness and let people know there’s still time to get involved,” said Jess Gross, chairwoman of the 2008 Relay For Life, which will take place June 13-14 at West Jefferson High School.

Purple will show up in many forms on May 1:

• Relay volunteers will paint purple ribbons on the street at various inter-sections in West Jefferson and London.

“Last year was our first year for doing this,” Gross said. “It was quite a success because we had people stop and say, ‘Hey, what are you going?’ which gave us an opportunity to talk about Relay.”

• For a donation, Relay volunteers will paint purple ribbons on people’s driveways.

• Organizers are asking the general public to wear purple to work on May 1.

• Supporters of the cause also can cut out the purple ribbon printed in this week’s Madison Messenger (page 9) and display it in the front windows of their homes or businesses.

“ ‘Paint the Town Purple’ is a time when our community comes together to promote the hard work that takes place year round in our Relay’s attempt to help the American Cancer Society’s goal to end suffering and death caused by cancer,” Gross said.

Last year, the Madison County Relay For Life raised $160,000 for the American Cancer Society. Madison County’s event is one of the top 25 in Ohio.

“We’re a small community, so that is a great accomplishment. We want people to know that their dollars and cents make an impact,” Gross said.

In addition to showing support by wearing or displaying purple, the public can get involved with the Relay by making donations to groups who have formed teams to walk around West Jefferson High School’s track from 6 p.m. on Friday, June 13, to noon on Saturday, June 14.

The public also can get involved by participating in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study (CPS-3), which will take place on-site at the Relay. The ACS Department of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research invites men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have no personal history of cancer to join the historic research study.

According to the ACS Web site, “The ultimate goal is to enroll 500,000 adults from various racial/ethnic backgrounds from across the U.S. The purpose of CPS-3 is to better understand the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer and to ultimately eliminate cancer as a major health problem for this and future generations.” For more information, go online to, send e-mail to, or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888.

Additionally, volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks on Relay weekend, from helping out in the concession stands to providing family-friendly entertainment for the folks who are camping overnight.

To make arrangements to have purple ribbons painted on your driveway or to get involved in Relay For Life in any way, contact Jess Gross at 740-604-0005.

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