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Martinsburg painting the town purple for Relay

April 04, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com
  • Beth Feagans and her son, Allen Feagans, show their support during Monday's kickoff celebration for Paint the Town Purple Week. The event raises money and awareness for cancer research. Allen is the mascot for Berkeley County Relay for Life.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Maryann Ferro stopped by the small crowd milling about downtown Queen Street Monday wearing a purple sweater festooned with a small, blue button.

Ferro, 65, of Martinsburg, was there in support of Main Street Martinsburg and its partner, Relay for Life, and their combined effort to bring public awareness of cancer and the Berkeley County Relay for Life fundraiser June 4 and 5.

“I’m wearing purple for cancer and blue for autism, and my daughter, who lives in Las Vegas, is wearing blue for autism and purple for cancer out there today.”

Purple is the theme color for a weeklong cancer awareness program that kicked off Monday with a proclamation from Martinsburg Mayor George Karos.

Berkeley County's Relay for Life effort at Martinsburg High School's Cobourn Field is projected to net $310,000, said Barbara Henry, relay coordinator and community manager for the American Cancer Society in Berkeley and Jefferson counties.

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Jefferson County coordinators hope its relay program brings in $100,000 June 24 at Jefferson High School, Henry said.

Shepherd University holds its relay April 15 and should bring in about $80,000.

The weeklong Paint the Town Purple effort began Monday. Tuesday is Purple Feet Day; on Wednesday there will be a Purple Mixer at Flowers Unlimited at 144 N. Queen St. from 5 to 6:30 p.m.; Thursday is simply wear anything purple day; and Friday is Passport for Hope, a shop-and-dine event.

On Saturday at 2 p.m., the High-Heel race fundraiser will be held on Burke Street from Queen to College streets.

Students at Martinsburg High School are sponsoring their own "Strike Out Against Cancer Week." They hope to duplicate or surpass last year¿s total which brought in $15,000 for Relay for Life. Students will wear purple and decorate their school in that color.

Among the week's events are a male volleyball tournament through Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. in the gym; a health fair Tuesday; health classes with cancer survivor George Blough in the auditorium Wednesday; a Rotary luncheon in the library Thursday; and a championship volleyball game Friday at 1 p.m. in the big gym.

On Friday night, the week concludes with a high school varsity baseball game between rivals Martinsburg and Jefferson High. The game starts at 7 p.m. at P.O. Faulkner Park in Martinsburg. All proceeds benefit the Berkeley County Relay for Life, according to a news release.

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