By Larry Austin
Grand Island Relay For Life supporters are hoping a little color will go a long way to support the fight against cancer.
Relay For Lifers will fan out around the Island Saturday, April 25, to decorate the town purple to support cancer survivors and raise awareness of Relay, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
"Paint the Town Purple is essentially an effort of the Relay For Life to kind of get out in the community and make people aware of some of the things that we do and some of the activities that we are involved with," said Alex Garey, who will paint the town with other GI Relay supporters April 25.
The event offers moral support for people battling cancer and their families, he said.
"All throughout the town, people will be putting up different purple ribbons and purple decorations," Garey said. "It's part of the national Paint the Town Purple initiative."
Supporters hope people will take a second to stop and consider Relay. The Grand Island Relay For Life has raised more than $1 million for ACS during its existence.
"It allows people to see what we do and get to know what is going on with Relay a little bit better so that they hopefully become interested and help us in the fight," Garey said.
Grand Island Relay For Life will sell purple ribbons from 9 a.m. to noon April 25 at First Niagara Bank. Large purple bows are $5, and small bows are $1, with money going to the GI Relay. Those who can't stop at First Niagara Bank can call Becky Sommer-Stufkosky at 716-909-7820 or visit DeSignet Jewelry at 1869 Whitehaven Road.
Garey estimates between 30 and 40 people will be out and about on the Island painting it purple April 25. Supporters hope decorations of purple will encourage others to likewise "paint" their home or business purple to support the cause.
"It gains support as more people see others decorating their houses," Garey said. "You'll definitely notice around the Island it has been 'painted purple.' "