YORKTOWN, N.Y. It's a day that would make Barney dance for joy. Organizers of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Yorktown are hoping to turn the community to one color Friday with Paint the Town Purple Day.
The townwide initiative is aimed at raising awareness for the 24-hour Relay for Life fundraiser that will be held June 8 and 9 at Jack DeVito Field behind the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center.
"The goal is to have a townwide celebration of what can be done when we work together," committee member Anne Ring told the Town Board and audience members at John C. Hart Memorial Library in Shrub Oak. "Anything you can do to show that Yorktown is united in the fight against cancer."
Residents are encouraged to wear purple Friday and to decorate their homes and vehicles with the color. Businesses and schools are also participating, with some merchants offering special discounts.
A formal kickoff will take place Friday morning at the center with Yorktown Athletic Club cheerleaders performing at 8:30 and Supervisor Michael Grace speaking at 9. The Yorktown Highway Department will paint a purple stripe down Commerce Street, and the Yorktown Garden Club will plant purple flowers near Town Hall.
"I call it purple power. You're not asking for donations. You're asking for heart," said Jane McCarthy, co-chairman of the Yorktown Relay for Life with Donna D'Andrea. "I really do believe in the cause. I know the American Cancer Society does make a difference."
There will also be an emphasis on getting schools, businesses and clubs to form teams for the Relay for Life and on reminding individuals to get cancer screenings, Ring said.
A total of 88 teams have signed up for this year's relay, including 27 new ones, said McCarthy, who said she has had five close friends in their 40s diagnosed with cancer.
"We expect to get to 100 [teams]. Each year we get a new group of people infused with the purple power," she said. "The relay knows no boundaries. It's everyone working together. That's why this year it's called Circle of Relay. It's like the circle of life."
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