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Purple ribbons aim to inspire

If everything you see lately seems to have a purplish hue, you don’t need to have your eyes examined. That’s because local residents have been busy Painting the Town Purple to help raise awareness for the annual Relay For Life.

On Saturday, teams were sent throughout downtown and the business district armed with purple ribbons that they were tasked to place in prominent locations to bring attention to this month’s fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

While crews have tied purple ribbons around lamp posts, trees and sculptures in the past, this year’s event had an extra twist. It was also a scavenger hunt.

When they signed in, each team was given a list of local businesses and an item they were asked to obtain while visiting that business. The best part was that most of the items the teams were asked to get doubled as a present for participants.

For example, a visit to 7-Eleven yielded a coupon for a free Slurpee, while Boulder City Florist provided purple calla lilies to participants. Other unique gifts included a lip balm at FlightLinez, a car freshener at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts and a “koozie” cup from the World Famous Coffee Cup.

Not only did participants get to visit many locations in town, by having them tie the ribbons event organizers got some much-needed assistance. Teams were asked to tie a minimum of two ribbons around town, with any additional ribbons giving them extra tickets for the grand prize drawing.

From the smiles and laughter I heard from the scavenger hunt participants, it seems that the change was well-received.

The small fee charged for teams in the scavenger hunt also will help boost the total raised at this year’s Relay For Life. So far, more than $11,000 has been raised.

The 12-hour event raises money to provide support services for those fighting cancer, their caregivers and survivors. It will be held April 29-30 on the track at Boulder City High School.

The relay has several special features, including a survivors’ lap, luminaria celebration, themed laps and more. It, like the scavenger hunt, is a fun event with an important message.

While no one cancer patient/fighter is any less important than another, each year relay organizers try to use one person’s tale as inspiration to bring more attention to the event and encourage support from the community. And I can’t think of anyone more inspirational for the community than this year’s honoree, Christy Springgate-Hill.

Christy has worked tirelessly for years to make community events successful. She has been at events such as the Spring Jamboree and Best Dam Barbecue Challenge from before sunrise until long after sunset to make sure things go smoothly.

Now, she is facing a different kind of challenge as she fights liver cancer.

Her friendship with so many people has infused relay organizers and participants with a powerful desire to make sure this year’s event reflects the can-do, never-fail, always smiling and laughing attitude that Christy embodies.

Purple has been known to symbolize power. Hopefully, its colorful presence has the power to inspire others to join the fight and support this year’s relay.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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