With the annual Terry Fox Run less than two weeks away, organizers are calling on all residents to show their support for cancer research by running, jogging, walking, or cycling.
“People can even roller-blade or [travel the route] in their wheelchairs,” said organizer Joan Pearson, executive director of the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau.
“It really is important to get everyone out there.
“Our focus is on the participation, and frankly honouring Terry Fox himself,” she added. “But it’s also very exciting for us to try to top last year’s donations.”
The run is set for Sunday, Sept. 16 at 2 p.m., with registration beginning an hour earlier outside the Fort Frances Museum.
The 10-km route follows a loop to Pither’s Point Park and back, with a first turning point at the Sorting Gap Marina on Front Street for those who can’t do the full distance.
Refreshments will follow.
Meanwhile, Pearson noted she’s impressed with the efforts of Pharmasave and The Clinic Dispensary, who are waging a friendly fundraising war against one another.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with what Pharmasave is doing. That is just terribly exciting,” she enthused. “That may really put us over the edge for this year.”
Last year’s run here came close to being cancelled before the Volunteer Bureau stepped in at the 11th hour to save the tradition.
“People rallied for it, and we raised more than ever in 2000,” Pearson recalled. “We also had the highest number of participants, about 190 altogether.”
The final tally for 2000 was $9,516.30—the most the town has raised since the event began here in 1993. But Pearson has her sights set on even bigger numbers this year.
“It would be exciting to get over the $10,000 mark and get over 200 people, too,” she said.
Fox’s original “Marathon of Hope” took place in 1980 with the simple objective of raising the awareness of the critical need to find a cure for cancer.
He ran an average of 43 km a day for 143 days but eventually was forced to end his cross-Canada journey near Thunder Bay due to the return of his cancer.
He finally succumbed to the disease in June, 1981.
Since then, participation in the run has exploded in Canada and around the world. Last year, a record $6.7 million was raised at 488 Terry Fox Run locations in 55 countries.