Local support for cancer research was visibly strong Sunday afternoon as some 150 participants took to the streets here and raised at least $8,500 during the annual Terry Fox Run.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the total was $8,540 but organizer Joan Pearson, executive director of the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau, noted the final figure likely will be even higher.
“We just got another pledge this morning, and I know some runners have yet to get theirs in,” she said.
Local senior Marj Hull collected $1,800 in pledges--more than any other individual.
“My goal was $1,000 but I figured I’m not going to be able to get that every year,” she said. “So I hope that with this year’s pledge, I can really encourage people to carry on the tradition.”
Hull, who has taken part in the run for a “number of years,” added she thought the annual event was worthwhile.
“I know a lot of people affected by cancer, and that research is very important,” she stressed. “I’ll [participate] for as many years as I can carry on.”
Another local resident, Ed Katona, collected some $400 in pledges. He went the “extra mile” on Sunday by biking to Rainy River and back--about a 180-km round trip.
“It was good. A beautiful day. No wind to speak of and a good temperature,” noted Katona, who left Fort Frances at 6:30 a.m. and returned around 6:30 p.m.
“I got to Rainy River in four-and-a-half hours and stayed there a little while. And on my way back, I took my time,” he remarked.
And the first question people have been asking Katona since then has been the same--“Would he do it again?”
“Sure, I’d do it--provided the physical ability is still there,” he chuckled.
Katona biked to Mine Centre and back in a previous Terry Fox Run (about a 150-km round trip).
And not only did this year’s event bring in more money than last year but it looks to already have found an organizer to try and continue the trend next year.
“We’re already talking about it,” enthused Pearson, who admitted she was still on a “high” from the successful event.
Equally important was the event’s sense of community, stressed Pearson, as not only 151 people participated but some 40 volunteers showed up to help with registration and hand out refreshments.
“It was a privilege to organize this event,” she said. “And it was easy in a way. I know so many volunteers already, and they were more than willing to give their time.
“And it was a little stressful, too,” she admitted. “But the committee really rose to the occasion. I know that with them, next year will be even easier.”
Pearson and the volunteer bureau took over organizing the run just in August, keeping alive a tradition which began here back in 1984.
This year’s run marked the 20th anniversary of Terry Fox’s “Marathon of Hope.”