Tracy Talks: Relay for Life short on teams
by Anne Marie Fuller
Mar 13, 2014 | 4355 views | 0 0 comments | 137 137 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The community is talking about Relay For Life of Tracy, but not in the manner you might think. This year, the buzz is more about the change in venue to West Valley Mall.

The 2014 relay, scheduled for the weekend of May 17,

was more than 30 teams short of its goal this week, and I have to wonder if the location is contributing to a decrease in participation.

Many have inquired why a change is needed and why the mall was chosen.

“We are excited to be at West Valley Mall this year,” said Debbie Schaefer, 2014 event chair for Relay For Life of Tracy. “Last year at Kimball High, the survivors found it difficult to walk around the track due to the rough surface area. We did look at the other high schools, but they won’t work for several reasons, such as the artificial turf or conflicts with other sporting events. We even looked at local parks, but they also didn’t work out.”

The local committee chose the mall because it can accommodate the expected number of participants. Though the goal is to have 100 registered teams, only 65 were signed up as of Thursday.

Relay For Life of Tracy is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. May 17 and conclude at 10 a.m. May 18. Given that Relay For Life is a 24-hour event, how will the mall location work with campsites and tents?

“We are still planning an overnight event with campsites laid out,” Schaefer said. “Instead of using stakes to secure the tents, you might need sand or something else heavy to weigh the tents down. We will also have a walking area that will be fenced off.”

The Relay For Life committee has a captains meeting planned at 6:30 p.m. March 20 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1635 Chester Drive, for those interested in registering a team or learning more about the event. People can also sign up a team or register a survivor online at

In addition, the committee is planning its annual Survivor Reception at 6 p.m. April 11 at St. Paul’s. There is no fee for survivors to attend, but the committee is asking for people to RSVP by emailing or calling 925-381-9665.

Relay For Life benefits the American Cancer Society, an organization that offers support and services for those diagnosed with cancer. Relay For Life started in 1985, when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a surgeon in Tacoma, Wash., ran and walked for 24 hours straight to raise money for the cause. For more information on the American Cancer Society, visit

• Anne Marie Fuller, National Mrs. Beauties of the Nation and Mrs. California BOTN, is the host of “Helpful Hints with Anne Marie” on Channel 26. Contact her at

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