The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

April 21, 2014

Purple Week underway for cancer awareness, Relay for Life fundraising

ATHENS — Mayor Ronnie Marks did not hesitate when asked to sit on a portable purple potty right on the Athens Utilities lawn.

Ina Holland, Relay for Life – Limestone County event chairwoman, said Marks may have been looking forward to it.

“I saw him a few weeks before at Swamp John’s (city team fundraiser), and he asked me, ‘When do you want me back on the toilet?’” Holland said.

Last year Marks sat on a porcelain purple potty in his front yard. Both times, Marks signed proclamations for Paint the Town Purple Week in honor of Relay for Life. This year’s Purple Week is April 21-26.

The proclamation asks that Athenians participate in Relay activities, educate themselves about cancer prevention and treatments and support finding a cure.

Citizens are asked to wear purple and decorate their homes and businesses in purple and mail photos to so the city can share them on its social sites.

“If I have to sit on a purple potty to get people’s attention when it comes to fighting cancer, then I’m not hesitating to sit on a purple potty,” said Marks, who lost a brother to cancer.

By the numbers

According to the American Cancer Society, there will be an estimated 26,770 new cases of selected cancers in Alabama for 2014 and an estimated 10,510 deaths for selected cancers in the state this year.

“The American Cancer Society has helped advance treatments for cancer, early detection and prevention education,” Marks said. “Our city has supported Relay for Life for 16 years, and those city Relay teams have raised more than $65,000 during those 16 years.”

Money generated during the Relay for Life campaign in 2013 funded not only state and national research, but also funded scarves and wigs for local patients, support groups, lodging assistance for 14 patients and transportation for 28 patients.

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