Love in the air for Patterson this week
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
May 01, 2013 | 2216 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
05-02-2013--Cancer survivors open the 24 hour Patterson Relay for Life with a lap around the track at Patterson Community Stadium, Saturday, April 27. Photo by Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
05-02-2013--Cancer survivors open the 24 hour Patterson Relay for Life with a lap around the track at Patterson Community Stadium, Saturday, April 27. Photo by Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
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05-02-2013--Elias Gutierrez, 5, (right) and Jayden Gutierrez, 6, make thank you cards for law enforcement and fire fighters at the Love Patterson event Saturday, April 27.--Photo by Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
05-02-2013--Elias Gutierrez, 5, (right) and Jayden Gutierrez, 6, make thank you cards for law enforcement and fire fighters at the Love Patterson event Saturday, April 27.--Photo by Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
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Love for the community was the overarching theme in Patterson on Saturday, April 27, as more than 570 people participated in either the Love Patterson community project event or the American Cancer Society Relay For Life walkathon.

About 130 volunteers showed up for Love Patterson, spearheaded by the Rev. Ken Moren of Family Christian Center and his wife, Brenda Moren. Projects tackled Saturday included making thank-you cards for firefighters and police officers, writing letters to military personnel abroad, feeding the homeless in North Park and cleaning and fixing up the Patterson HOST house, the shelter being put together by homeless advocacy group Helping Others Sleep Tonight.

Other projects included a canned food drive and E-waste drive and cleaning of the Westside Animals for Adoption shelter.

Brenda Moren said the event attracted more participants than organizers expected.

Some 28 letters and cards were sent to military, police, fire and emergency medical personnel. Eight names were submitted for deployed personnel care packages and those orders were filled as well. Family Christian Center, Moren’s Church, also donated some $1,100 to the event.

“It was a great day,” she said Monday, April 29. “People really showed love in motion.”

More than 30 volunteers worked to turn a former nursing home at South Fourth and C streets into the future HOST house.

Volunteers cleaned the inside of the building, which continues to take shape with partial walls and flooring in place. Outside, volunteers worked on the property’s fence, planted vegetation and brought in furniture donations, while taking old bedding from the former rest home to the dump.

“This place was full of construction debris,” said Pamella Secrest, a HOST board member. “It is beyond belief what God has done to get all of this done.”

Some Love Patterson attendees also walked in Patterson’s Relay For Life, in its eighth year at Patterson Community Stadium. The event is a 24-hour walkathon that celebrates West Side cancer survivors and raises money for the American Cancer Society to use for cancer research and support programs for patients.

More than 400 people helped Relay for Life raise more than $59,400. The organization’s goal is to tally $65,000 by the end of August.

Event chairwoman Selena Lloyd was shocked as organizers counted more than $40,000 in donations before the event even started.

“I’ve never seen that amount going in,” she said. “Getting that much to start was huge.”

Patterson breast cancer survivor Alejandra Crawford, who was diagnosed in 2004, said the event means a lot to her.

“This event reminds me that I’m alive,” she said. “Every day that goes by, I thank the Lord. It touches my heart to see the survivors.”

Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31, or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

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