Table of Contents 3 What is Paint It Purple? 4 Components of a good Paint It Purple Event 5 How To Get Started 6 Suggested Materials List 7 Ideas That Will Get Relay Noticed 8 Getting Businesses Involved 8 Paint It Purple Ideas 9

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Paint The Town Purple is a great way to spread the word about Relay For Life, recruit new survivors and caregivers to your event, engage new and returning teams and team members, and encourage your sponsors to get more involved in Relay For Life! 

Paint It Purple


American Cancer Society

Table of Contents

Table of Contents 3

What is Paint It Purple? 4

Components of A Good Paint It Purple Event 5

How To Get Started 6

Suggested Materials List 7

Ideas That Will Get Relay Noticed 8

Getting Businesses Involved 8

Paint It Purple Ideas 9

Paint Your Home Purple 9

Paint the Town/Campus 9

Paint the Office 10

Paint the Restaurant 10

Paint the Hospital 10

Paint the School 11

Ideas for Students:  11

Ideas for School Administration: 11

Paint Your Online Social Networks Purple 11

Appendix 12

Idea & Follow Up Tracking Form 12

Sample Press Release – Paint The Town Purple 13

Paint The Campus Purple Sample Flyer 15

Sample Bow Flyer 15

Other Promotional Materials 16

What is Paint It Purple?

Paint It Purple is a chance to raise awareness of the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life in your community!

Did you know…

…according to color theory, a child’s imagination develops more strongly in a purple-painted room?

…Leonardo da Vinci believed the power of meditation increases ten times when done in purple light?
…opera composer, Richard Wagner, considered violet to be the color of his inspiration?

… purple is a color often well liked by very creative or eccentric types.

…the color purple affects us mentally and physically and is often called uplifting, encourages creativity, calms the mind and nerves, and offers a sense of spirituality?

…the color purple represents every type of cancer which is why it is the color of Relay For Life?

Paint It Purple is a promotional and awareness event to further engage your community in the local Relay For Life. This can be a targeted event, specific to a town, or even an entire county. The event should be designed to draw interest in the Relay and should be planned in advance of the Relay event to get attention and draw attention early in the planning season.
Paint It Purple can be a specific day with a specific event planned (perhaps a pep rally in a central location) or can be a week of awareness, with lots of posters being hung, purple ribbons, and a large e-mail campaign and community fundraising.
Paint It Purple should be used to engage both the committee and current teams in getting the entire community involved in supporting the Relay For Life.
We want you to paint your town, workplace, campus, school, restaurant purple in celebration of Relay For Life and inspire others to follow! 
It’s easy and fun! This guidebook will help you come up with ideas and get you started seeing purple in your community!

Ideas for Places to Paint Purple

  • Paint Your Town

  • Paint Your Main Street

  • Paint Your Office

  • Paint Your Campus

  • Paint Your School

  • Paint Your Hospital

  • Paint Your Restaurants

  • Paint Your Churches

Components of A Good Paint It Purple Event

Set Goals

How do you know you are successful unless you set goals for the Paint It Purple initiative? Ask yourself and your committee:

  • What do you want to accomplish?

  • How many teams do we want to recruit?

  • How many new people do want to engage?

  • How much do we want to raise?

  • What can we do differently to get the community excited?

  • Who do we need to help us be successful?

Try Something Different

Something different doesn’t mean it has to be big. The idea is to tell your community, office, campus, etc. that Relay is back this year and has lots of NEW and EXCITING things that you cannot miss!

Don’t Forget To Fundraise

Fundraising during Paint It Purple is a great way to kickoff fundraising efforts and enhance the promotion for your event! Efforts as simple as getting people to sell Suns & Moons or Relay Feet or having businesses or restaurants donate a portion of proceeds for a day during Paint It Purple is a great start. No effort is too small to show people how lots of little things can add up into one big amount!


Use Paint It Purple as a way to empower people to Fight Back against cancer. Hold a Fight Back Rally in your town square or hand out cards with your Relay For Life information that include one nutrition fact that can make a difference!

Recruit & Follow Up

Paint It Purple will get people to pay attention – and hopefully want to get involved! Be sure to capture the names and contact information of as many people as you can and follow up with them to keep them excited. Survivors, caregivers, potential team captains or team members, sponsors and other community movers and shakers – all are people that can help grow your Relay! Have a plan to reach these people and also to follow up and put their excitement into commitment!

Have Fun

Remember, your committee and volunteers are giving of their time – it doesn’t always have to be business does it? Paint It Purple is a great way to build your committee’s ability to work together! If you work well on Paint It Purple, imagine what you can do together to have an even more successful Relay For Life event!

How To Get Started

Step 1: Brainstorm How You Will Paint It Purple!

  • See the back of this guidebook for sample ideas for different communities!

  • Is there a way to add a FUNdraising component? Work with local businesses to have purple “date night” with a portion of all interested businesses donating to Relay. Sell ribbons to tie in trees on Main St. for $10. Have special purple luminaria available at businesses to be lit during a pep rally. Sun and moon/footprint cards!

  • No idea is out of line…the idea is that you want to do everything you can to spread the word about The American Cancer Society Relay For Life

  • Assign your committee members to follow up

Step 2: Set the Date(s) & Set Goals

  • Ask yourself why you want to Paint It Purple…to spread the word? Recruit more teams? Recruit more participants? Raise more money? All of the above? Set goals for what you want to accomplish that week!

  • Focusing your efforts on one specific day or one week for the biggest impact. When people wake up to see their world has turned purple, they will take notice!

Step 3: Talk, Talk, Talk

  • Get everybody involved! Work with your committee members to divide and conquer the responsibilities for this mini-event. Each committee member can take charge of a certain aspect (ideas include - team recruitment/mentorship: be sure teams have info so they can also spread the word, sponsorship: offer a Paint It Purple sponsor level or involvement to current sponsors, entertainment: plan a 2 hour rally with exciting Relay games in the town square or downtown, survivorship: invite all survivors to wear their purple survivor shirts that day)

  • Spread the word about what you want people to do and what day you want them to do it

  • Flyers, press releases, and various materials are available to help you promote your efforts

  • Don’t forget to promote Paint It Purple at your committee meetings, team captain meetings, and on your Relay Online website!

Step 4: Follow up!

  • Be sure to follow up with any interested parties within 1 week of the event.

  • Consider having a team captains’ meeting or second community kickoff in the weeks following to have an immediate action plan from interested parties.

  • Thank volunteers and those that took part in making your Paint It Purple event amazing!

Step 5: Show Us Your Hope!

  • Take pictures or video and share them on your event’s Relay Online website

  • Don’t Forget to Do it again! Consider it a part of your annual Relay planning to host an event like this. People will come to expect it, and it will become an event that people look forward to each year!

Suggested Materials List

No matter what kind of activity you host, make it PURPLE! You can stock up on purple table cloths and balloons, candles, or items with stars and moons at many discount or party supply stores. If you want to use items with the Relay For Life logo, check your event’s stash or ask your American Cancer Society Relay For Life Staff Partner about these fun items:

Products that are available that make noise or show Relay spirit

Thundersticks - light up Icebox

Purple Cowbells Peter Kline

Blinkie Buttons Halo/Relay Gear

Balloons with RFL logo ACS warehouse

Products that are available that are purple or branded as Relay For Life

Relay Stage Wrap ACS warehouse

Purple Table Cloths Target/Party Stores

Purple Glow Sticks SureGlow

Relay For Life banners ACS warehouse

Ask Me About Relay Buttons ACS warehouse

I Dress In Support Of Stickers ACS warehouse

Purple Bows

Suns & Moons Donation Cards ACS warehouse

Relay Feet Donation Cards ACS warehouse

Relay Cupcake Donations Cards ACS warehouse

ACS Yard Signs ACS warehouse

Luminaria Supplies

Luminaria Bags ACS warehouse

Votive Candles ACS warehouse
Promotional Materials

Sample News Releases

Posters & Flyers

Purple Bow Flyers

Ideas That Will Get Relay Noticed

  • A leading online grocer donated their billboard space to promote May Day on May 1. The 165-foot-tall billboard was prominently located just north of the highway and visible for two miles.

  • A local morning show featured a segment about Paint It Purple and Relay For Life. The show anchors wore purple and displayed the Relay purple drinking mugs.

  • One Relay For Life committee held a luminaria display at a gazebo park on the main street. Music, purple balloons, banners were part of the celebration.

  • A local ABC affiliate featured a segment during its 11:00 PM newscast last evening on May Day For Relay which featured a landmark illuminated purple in celebration of the official kick-off to the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life season.

  • One community created a snapshot demonstration of Relay For Life from 6 - 8 pm at the local mall. The event included the Ceremony of Hope, music, entertainment, and plenty of purple decorations.

  • Communities decorated their Main Streets in purple ribbons with the names of survivors.

  • Work with your local newspaper to use purple ink for a day/week or turn their website purple!

  • Invite a local artist to create a mural on a business downtown that represents Relay For Life!

Getting Businesses Involved

  • Send an email out to businesses in town announcing your initiative or event. Ask them to get involved by hanging a flyer or poster in their window

  • Encourage businesses with storefronts to decorate their storefront purple during a specific day or week and hold a contest where people can vote for the best one!

  • Purple and White bows “sold” to main street businesses. For different levels of sponsorship they were given a specific color bow (purple bows given to all sponsors who gave $1000+, white bows to sponsors who have less than $1000) to hang in their store windows during the designated Paint it Purple event

  • Invite businesses to sell Suns & Moons and/or Relay Feet and display in their store

  • Work with the store to create incentives for those who come in wearing purple – for example 10% off their next visit coupon or free candy bar with information on your event’s Relay For Life attached

  • Ask employees to wear purple on a specific day

Paint It Purple Ideas

Paint Your Home Purple

  • Display a purple yard sign in your front yard.

  • Decorate your front entrance, your fence, or your door with purple balloons.

  • Paint your porch light purple or insert a purple bulb.

  • Tie purple ribbons around trees in your neighborhood.

  • Wear purple clothing or encourage all past Relay For Life volunteers to wear their Relay shirts on one day around town.

Paint the Town/Campus

  • Decorate your home or store windows with a purple display.

  • Encourage town leaders' involvement by:

    • asking them to allow you to paint giant stars and moons on main street or

    • suggesting the department of public works fill town planters with shades of purple flowers

    • displaying Relay For Life flags on telephone and light poles on main street

  • Hold a Main Street contest for the Best Purple Window display.

  • Encourage businesses and stores to sell Relay For Life “Sun and Moon” or “Feet” cards.

  • Display a purple yard sign in your front yard.

  • Use the ACS Stage Wrap to cover your garbage cans with Relay Logos

  • Turn your town landmarks purple.

  • Create a mock Relay For Life campsite in your town square and use as a basis to solicit media coverage.

  • Decorate the exterior of your City Hall purple and encourage City Hall employees to all wear Purple

  • Invite police, firefighters, and key club students, all wearing purple, to take turns standing at main intersections of town collecting donations.

  • Hang "Power of Purple" banners over main roads into town.

  • Ask the Mayor to paint a purple stripe down their main street

  • Request an official proclamation announcing your Paint It Purple day (often May 1) as the official kick off to the Relay For Life season.

  • Team captains and committee members wore purple and "Ask Me About Relay" buttons to promote their event.

  • Offer Purple luminaria bags--only for sale DURING paint the town purple week. Encourage people to get their luminaria early for display at the event. Invite those who secure luminaria that week to the event with a formal invitation after your Paint It Purple week.

Paint the Office

  • Wear purple clothing, wrist band, or lapel ribbon.

  • Decorate your office or cubicle with purple balloons, purple streamers, and other purple items.

  • Hold a contest for the Best Decorated Cubicle.

  • Order a purple flower arrangement for your office reception area.

  • Place purple static clings in your office windows.

  • Leave a Relay For Life message on your office voicemail.

  • Create a Relay For Life email signature.

  • One insurance company decorated their cafeteria purple and served purple food. 

  • Designate one department to be responsible for making purple decorations available to employees.

  • Create a purple company newsletter.

  • Buy purple wrist bands to give out to your employees.

Paint the Restaurant

  • Get purple uniforms for your crew

  • Wear purple wrist bands or purple lapel ribbons.

  • Create a purple drink or a purple dish for the night.

  • Display purple votive candles and put your patrons in a purple mood.

  • Order a purple flower arrangement for your reception area or your tables.

  • Display purple decorations in your windows.

  • Buy purple wrist bands to give out to your patrons.

  • Change your tablecloths to purple.

  • Turn your menus purple.

  • Create a purple percentage night where a portion of the proceeds go towards Relay For Life in your community

  • Create a purple raffle bowl; the prize is an exclusive meal for two at the restaurant; or have your head chef make a meal at the winner's home.

Paint the Hospital

  • Wear purple scrubs.

  • Wear a purple wrist band or purple lapel ribbon.

  • Decorate your office with purple balloons, streamers, or other items.

  • Order a purple flower arrangement for your reception area.

  • Place purple decorations in windows.

  • Display a Relay For Life poster.

  • Buy purple wrist bands to give out to your patients.

  • Give purple lollipops or candy to little ones under your care. 

Paint the School

Ideas for Students: 

  • Distribute and post Paint the Town Purple promotional resources throughout the school.

  • Wear purple clothing/pajamas.

  • Place a purple product in your lunch box (ex. grapes)

  • Create purple window decorations and display them in your school windows.

  • Write your school notes in purple ink

  • Wear our purple wrist bands and share them with friends.

  • Place our Relay For Life purple badge on your blog or site.

  • Display Relay For Life posters in your school.

  • Decorate your school hallways with purple balloons.

  • Decorate your school yard with purple chalk artwork.

  • Hold a contest for the Funkiest Purple Dresser.

  • Create a mock Relay For Life campsite on school grounds.

  • Get your high school principal to turn purple for the day!

  • One Middle School made purple paintbrushes out of pencils and cotton balls. The school also had banners up that asked the students to wear purple on May 1, the school's official May Day.

Ideas for School Administration:

  • Distribute and post Paint the Town Purple promotional resources throughout your school.

  • Purchase purple wrist bands and give them out to students

  • Relay For Life and Paint the School Purple activities part of your school’s community service program.

  • Place information about Paint the School Purple on your school’s website.

  • Place the Relay For Life badge on the school’s website.

  • Include information about Paint the School Purple in your school bulletin.

Paint Your Online Social Networks Purple

  • Get your social network (ex: Facebook, My Space, Twitter) involved with spreading the word by posting status updates throughout the day or week to share Paint It Purple events/activities happening in your area

  • Use these online communities to recognize those who are participating in the Paint It Purple event with personal messages, pictures (don’t forget to “tag” those who are pictured), and even video messages

  • Many people are connected to their online social network on their cell phone, so utilize this resource to share successes during the Paint It Purple day or week through these networks (ex: Awesome work on the Relay For Life of [event name]’s Paint It Purple event! Welcome to our five new teams that joined our event during this past week)

  • Profile pictures give you a valuable piece of online real estate. Use this space to spread the spirit of Relay by changing your Profile Picture to advertise Relay For Life. Download the Relay For Life logo on


Idea & Follow Up Tracking Form

Businesses To Follow Up

Potential Contact




Churches To Follow Up

Potential Contact




Schools To Follow Up

Potential Contact




Movers & Shakers To Follow Up

Potential Contact




How/Who Will We Follow Up With Interested Teams? Sponsors?

How/Who Will Follow Up To Invite Interested Individuals?
Paint It Purple Goals

Recruit ____________ Teams

Raise $__________________

Recruit ____________ Survivors

Engage ______________ Businesses

Sample Press Release – Paint The Town Purple

Sample Press Release – Paint The Campus Purple

Paint The Campus Purple Sample Flyer

Sample Bow Flyer

Other Promotional Materials

(available from your staff partner)
A. B. C.

  1. Stage Wrap – ACS Warehouse - $55 per roll of 300 feet

  2. Relay Feet – ACS Warehouse $1.95 for a pack of 50

  3. Ask Me About Relay Button – ACS Warehouse - $8.75 for pack of 25

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