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Relay for Life 2016 kicks off

Fifteen teams formed so far as event gets rolling this month

Relay for Life season is officially underway, following the Feb. 11 kickoff event at Oregon Massage Clinic in Newberg.

The 2016 Relay — which has a Hawaiian theme of Hula for Hope — will take place June 25-26, but the fundraising effort has already begun.GARY ALLEN - Relay for Life is still four months off, but the team-building and fundraising work began this month with the official event kickoff.

As of Monday there were 15 teams with 58 participants signed up. Relay community manager Rachel Williams said it’s still early in the process and that most team captains are still filling out their team members.

One change this year is in the committee for the event. Longtime organizers Kathy Brown and Marty Brown are focusing on working with the high school students participating in the effort, so this year volunteers Gail Gassner, Margie Abbott and Michelle Martinez are serving as co-chairwomen for the event.

Participants can register until the day of the event, but in order to secure a Relay t-shirt people should sign up and fundraise at least $100 by May 14, Williams said.

During the First Friday event in June, Relay will hold a “Paint the Town Purple” event much like prior years, in which youths will decorate downtown Newberg with purple regalia, in anticipation of the relay itself just a few weeks later.

“It was a great year last year and we’re hoping to continue with that momentum,” Williams said, adding that one particular goal this year is to let people know it’s open to the whole community.

“Even if you’re not on a team or haven’t been fundraising, we still want you to come out, join in and be a part of the event,” Williams said.

For more information or to register, visit www.relayfor life.org/newbergor.