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Relay team hopes to flush out cancer

BY LAUREL BLACK lblack@paducahsun.com

Some Paducah homeowners may have seen odd additions to their property lately.

A Relay for Life team has been sneaking brightly painted toilets on people's lawns to raise money for the American Cancer Society's yearly event.  

The team at Southland Baptist Temple was inspired by a Metropolis fundraiser of a similar nature, in which people set up Kit-mos in front of houses. But those are heavy to lift, team co-chair Whitney Shoulta said, and some recent remodeling meant that team members had a couple of spare commodes on hand.

"We didn't want to make anybody mad by setting a toilet in their yard, but we figured it would be good, clean fun that we could have raising money for Relay for Life," Shoulta said.

The team began with just two toilets - one hot pink, the other purple. Since then, they've added a University of Kentucky-themed toilet, a zebra-patterned toilet, and a lime green toilet to their collection, team member and breast cancer survivor Lori Smith said.

The team places toilets on the lawns of unsuspecting "victims," who may then pay $10 to have it removed or $20 to send it to someone else's house. People were also given the option to pay $30 for "insurance" so that a toilet would never be placed in their yards.

"We try not to get caught. We try to sneak up at them while they're at work," Smith said. "We've had a great time."

The toilet bandits have been out of commission the past week due to the weather, but plan on returning to their antics once it warms up. With the help of other fundraising events, they hope to reach at least $1,000 by the time the McCracken County Relay for Life event is held on May 30.

Anyone interested in joining the team can contact Smith at 270-559-0539 or by email at klm8@att.net

Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.

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