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Alcalans ready to ride for ADA event
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Diana and Santana Alacalan, the Yellow Butterflies of Effingham County, will take part in the American Diabetes Association’s Sunsplash Outdoor Fitness Festival, set for Oct. 17. - photo by Photo provided

Diana Alcalan and her daughter Santana have been out riding their bikes to get in shape for the American Diabetes Association’s new fall event, the Sunsplash Outdoor Fitness Festival.

The festival will take place Oct. 17 on the grounds of the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service Aquarium on Skidaway Island.

The mother-daughter team has been busy as well in putting together fundraising events at the school in order to raise as much as they can for diabetes research.

“We kinda teamed up with (Effingham County High School),” Diana Alcalan said. “They allowed us to have a ‘flip-flop’ day. By the time we had it this week, it got kind of cool, so we didn’t have the response we needed.”

Members of the ECHS competition cheerleading squad also went through the stands at last week’s home football game in search of donations. They also had a booth set up at the front gate.

Diana Alcalan said she and her daughter plan to take part in the cycling event.

“There’s a 10, 20, and 40 mile (event) and we’re going to go ahead and do the 40 and then add on 11 for our benefit,” she said. “That’s because I’m 51 years old and I just want to be able to do it now when I’m in the best condition of my life that I’ve been. I found out back in March that one of my sisters has diabetes so I’ve been cycling and walking. It made me realize that I want to give back.”

She and her daughters came up with the name, “the Yellow Butterflies of Effingham County.” The Guyton duo hopes to raise at least $1,300 for the American Diabetes Association in time for the events on Oct. 17th.

The Sunsplash Outdoor Fitness Festival will consist of three events held on the same day.  It will combine a 5K walk, a 10-mile, 20-mile or 40-mile bike ride and a 3-mile kayak paddle. The festival will feature live reggae music, food by Tubby’s Tank House, health vendors and children’s activities.

During the events on October 17, those who have been personally affected by diabetes will be given red T-shirts to wear that say either, Red Strider (walkers), Red Rider (cyclists) or Red Rower (kayakers). The red shirts will serve as a visual reminder of the widespread and diverse universe of people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The celebration and its focus on outdoor fitness underscores the importance of physical activity to improved health and the prevention of type 2 diabetes. All funds raised during the Sunsplash Outdoor Fitness Festival support the mission of the American Diabetes Association, to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by the disease.

For more information about diabetes or the Sunsplash Outdoor Fitness Festival, visit or contact Suzanne Willis at 353-8110, ext. 3093 or