Paint the Town Purple

Relay For Life kicks off fundraising campaign
Mar. 11, 2013 @ 10:38 AM

Purple ribbons will soon be popping up all over, as the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life kicks off its second Paint the Town Purple campaign.

The fundraiser lets businesses and individuals in the county show their support for Relay while having the opportunity to honor and/or memorialize loved ones touched by cancer. Ribbons are sold by Relay For Life team members for $25 each, and photos of those purchasing the ribbon will be published in The Mountain Press.

Paint the Town Purple will help the local Relay committee toward its lofty goal of raising $425,000 for the American Cancer Society. Its theme for the 2013 event at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge is “Soaring to New Heights.”

In conjunction with that theme, WonderWorks showed its support by taking Relay For Life co-chairs Bryan Atchley and his daughter Ann Marie Atchley on a ride on the helium balloon, complete with an oversize purple ribbon.

“Three of us got in the balloon behind WonderWorks, 400 feet up in the air,” said Sevierville’s mayor at a recent meeting of team captains. “And let me tell you, I’m not afraid of heights. It didn’t bother me at all, but this girl over here is tough. She did great.” He was referring to his daughter, Ann Marie, who is afraid of heights but persevered through a photo shoot for The Mountain Press.

The choice of the balloon was made for two reasons: it fit the theme of Soaring to New Heights, and because of its colorful stripes.

“Every cancer has a color; we’re out to cure them all,” Bryan Atchley said. “Not just breast cancer, not just prostate cancer. There’s way too many of them. But we want to cure them all.”

Those who wish to purchase a ribbon can do so through any Relay For Life team member or by emailing to Ribbons will be sold through May 10. All proceeds go to Relay For Life of Sevier County.

You can see lists of current teams and their team members by logging on to

Relay For Life will be held May 31 and June 1 at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge, and will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American Cancer Society.