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Purple toilets raising funds for local Relay for Life

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Shelly Birkelo
June 7, 2013

— If you come home from work to find a decorated purple toilet in your front yard, you'll have three options to have it removed:

-- You can donate $10 to flush it away.

-- You can donate $15 to have it flushed to someone else's yard.

-- Or you can donate $20 to buy toilet insurance—flushing the toilet to someone else while guaranteeing you'll never see it in your yard again.

“These are recommended donations,” said Amber Downing, captain of Team Target—a team of 10 local store employees who donate time and resources to raise money for Relay for Life of Janesville.

“All of the money our team raises is donated to Relay for Life,” she said.

“We've made it pretty fun,” Downing said of the Flush Out Cancer campaign.

Proof of that happened when the team conducted its first Flush Out Cancer campaign here last year.

“At least 40 people were flushed, and we raised close to $1,000,” Downing said.

The two-month campaign kicked off June 1 and ends July 31—just in time for the Janesville Relay for Life event Friday, Aug. 2. The event starts at 5 p.m. and continues through 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds, 1301 Craig Ave.

“We need to find a cure for cancer,” Downing said, echoing the theme of the American Cancer Society's 100th anniversary this year. “It affects everybody in someway, shape or form whether you have cancer, are a survivor or caregiver.”

Each person who has a toilet placed in his or her yard will receive a letter in their front doors explaining what is happening, why it's being done, who it's being done for, how it benefits Relay for Life and when the local event is, Downing said.

“It's a fun way to raise money about a very serious disease,” she said.

Three toilets were placed Saturday on Janesville lawns. As they get flushed out, they'll rotate to other lawns.

Typically, arrangements are made within 24 to 48 hours to pick up a toilet, depending on what the person who was flushed decides to do, Downing said.

“We're trying so hard to raise money for cancer research, and this was one of the ways we thought could be the most fun, enjoyable and different,” she said.

“Last year was such a success. We decided to bring them back.''



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