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Thinking purple in Lake City

Angie Haviland, at right, led a project to paint about 20 downtown Lake City store fronts with purple reminders of the Wabasha County Relay for Life tonight at Patton Park near downtown Lake City. Lisa Wimmer, who also helped paint, will be the main speaker.

LAKE CITY — On Monday and Tuesday, Angie Haviland and about 10 fellow cancer-fighters painted the windows of about 20 downtown Lake City businesses with purple invitations for tonight's Wabasha County Relay for Life .

It's the first year the Oak Center artist decided to use the big windows as invitations. She already has big plans for next year that involve more windows.

Some of the signs are on vacant storefronts, but others are on active businesses that often use purple in their displays.

Like all those involved with the American Cancer Society relay fundraiser, she said she's been touched by cancer. An uncle died of cancer and a good friend is battling it. "It's very real," she said.

But many people who hear about the relay think it's only for those now suffering from cancer and their families, she said.


"It's amazing how long this has been going on, and people think it's a private party," Haviland said.

The signs emphasize that the relay is for everyone.

The other misperception is that the relay is only about breast cancer.

"It's all cancers, and I think we do get caught up that it's all breast cancer," she said. Hence, the big purple invitations instead of pink, which signifies breast cancer.

This is the 26th year for the Wabasha County relay, and the 15 to 16 teams along with other donors are expected to raise about $45,000, she said.

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