If you wake up one morning and think you've spotted a purple tire on your front lawn, don't worry - there's no need to reach for a second cup of a coffee.
A group of students are rolling out purple tires across town spraypainted with the slogan "Tired of Cancer" as a fundraiser for Commack's upcoming Relay for Life Event on May 11 and May 12. The purple tires have surprised some, and caught other homeowners off guard.
"We’ve taken tires to people's houses and they’ve come out asking us what we’re doing," said Dan Montera, a junior at Commack High School. "They don't know us. They just see a stranger leaving a tire on their lawn."
Montera is captain of then Commack Relay for Life team Adhuc Vivus, whose 10 members include his sister, Kelly, and Commack freshman Nicolette Burke.They have spent the last month leaving purple tires on local front lawns, driveways, porches, leaning against fences and other locations to raise awareness about Relay for Life and donations for their team's cause.
Burke said she is walking in Relay for Life for her mother, who she has watched battle cancer since she was in second grade. The Monteras are family friends, who plan to stand by Burke, raising money to help fund research against the disease.
"Everyone is somehow affected by it. They know someone who’s had cancer or died of cancer," Dan said.
The team's Latin name, Adhuc Vivus, represents their cause and motto translating loosely to "still alive" or "still fighting."
Starting in March, team Adhuc Vivus spraypainted discarded tires purple - the symbolic color of Relay for Life - and began dropping them off on neighbors' doorsteps.
Once the tire was delivered, Commack residents have a choice of what to do:
- Donate $10 to have the tire quickly picked up from their house.
- Let the tire stay in front of their home for three days, raising awareness of the team's "Tired of Cancer" campaign if they do not wish to make a donation.
- Donate $15 or more to have the tire sent to someone else's house, where it will sit on their front lawn for three days.
The game is underway on Tulipwood Drive, where team members gathered to move the tire from the Seligsons' home to a neighbor's home on April 6. A sheet of paper protected in a ziplock bag explains the fundraiser and tells homeowners who sent the tire to sit in front of their home.
In fact, the purple tires have become so popular with local community members team Adhoc Vivus said they are getting more requests than they have tires for. The students have already increased from three to six tires, and are thinking of adding more if they can find extra.
"It's become really popular part because people want to mess with their friends and part because they like the cause," Dan said.
The team have raised more than $1,900 so far and plan to continue the fundraiser until the event, in addition to holding yard sales and garage sales.