Oak Harbor turns purple

The purple ribbons and bows drew attention Saturday, May 11, 2013, along Pioneer Way in downtown Oak Harbor. They were part of
The purple ribbons and bows drew attention Saturday, May 11, 2013, along Pioneer Way in downtown Oak Harbor. They were part of 'Paint Whidbey Purple,' which is a visual reminder that the Whidbey Island Relay for Life is fast approaching. The event, which benefits the American Cancer Society, is May 31-June 1 at North Whidbey Middle School.
— image credit: Ron Newberry / Whidbey News-Times

This purple thing can be a little confusing.

Saturday’s “Paint Whidbey Purple” event was not a tribute to the Oak Harbor High School Wildcats, who bear the same colors.

It’s a reminder that Whidbey Island’s Relay for Life is fast approaching. The overnight event that benefits the American Cancer Society is May 31 through June 1 at North Whidbey Middle School in Oak Harbor.

On Saturday, teams were holding fundraising rummage sales and dressing up Oak Harbor with 650 purple ribbons and bows. The largest and most visible bazaar was held in the Oak Harbor School District parking lot along Highway 20.

“We are amazed how many people are unaware what it is,” said Christine Cribb, Oak Harbor School District board member who also is part of the Relay for Life planning committee.

“The problem is the high school colors are purple,” said Leandra Reuble, co-chair for Whidbey Island Relay for Life.

Cribb and her three children, Dylan, Lexy and Lauren are in their sixth year of Relay for Life involvement. Dylan and Lexy joined fellow Oak Harbor High School student Sonia DeMarsh in decorating the town purple Saturday, tying ribbons on to light poles and other objects.

The OHHS Wildcats Relay for Life team has joined forces with Midway High School,  the alternate high school, for one combined massive team.

So far, 73 teams have signed up for Whidbey’s Relay for Life event with more than $87,000 raised. Karla Sharkey, event co-chair, said the goal was for 95 teams and $210,000 raised.

Reach Whidbey News-Times staff reporter Ron Newberry at 360-675-6611 (ext. 5070), or




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