The Bee County Relay For Life committee is asking downtown businesses on Washington Street this Friday to paint the town…purple.
The Relay For Life is an annual fundraiser in the fight against cancer.
“We want them to decorate their downtown windows with something purple,” says Lisa Del Bosque, one of the Relay For Life volunteers. She is planning to tie purple ribbons to all the downtown light poles.
“I don’t think people really understand what the Relay For Life is,” she says.
This is the third year the purple campaign has been associated with the annual Friday evening relay.
Although the purple campaign is a nationwide project, Del Bosque says, “We really didn’t get a big response last year.”
In an effort to counter that, this year the committee is offering first, second and third place certificates for the best decorations.
“This is the first year we have offered certificates,” she says.
The certificates will be presented Friday evening during the Relay at the Bee County Courthouse (moved this year from the usual Veterans Memorial Stadium location).
This move to the courthouse lawn is only temporary as renovations at the stadium made it unusable for the event.
Relay For Life begins at 7 p.m. with a variety of games and events, including Bras for a Cure and a silent auction, being held throughout the evening. The annual survivors’ walk will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Normagrace Flores, who is helping coordinate the event, said that this year, the Relay will end at 1 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. Saturday as it has in year’s past.
“Usually by 2 a.m. a majority of the people are gone,” she said. “It is usually only one or two teams that stay the whole night.”
There is also the added benefit that the courthouse lawn is smaller than the track.
“It is going to be more intimate because we are not going to be so spread out,” Flores said.
So far, six teams and 338 participants have raised $26,238.46—an amount that is making Flores smile.
Keith Farrell, logistics coordinator for Beeville’s Relay, said that luminarias will light the courthouse square as they have traditionally lighted the Jones High track.
“This will allow Bee County to shed light on our efforts of fighting this disease,” he said during a presentation recently.
Having the event on the courthouse lawn this year will have an added benefit.
“Bee County residents have been part of raising funds for this effort for many years,” he said. “With the approval to utilize the courthouse square, Relay For Life will be more visible to county residents as well as visitors passing through the city.”
County leaders were more than willing to offer the courthouse grounds for this fundraiser.
County Judge David Silva, during an April 14 meeting, said, “I know at least for myself and maybe one or two others of you on this court who have gone through cancer, the strides that have been made in cancer research is incredible.
“If one of you right now, God forbid, gets cancer like what I had, which was leukemia, your chances of survival are 85 percent; where before it was a death sentence.”