While it didn’t top last year’s event in terms of participants or money raised, organizers of this year’s Terry Fox Run were pleased with the outcome.
The local “Marathon of Hope,” held Sunday at the Sorting Gap Marina, drew about 57 participants and raised more than $4,000 for cancer research—down from the 80 participants and $6,300 raised last September.
“We had a few little glitches,” admitted Gail Beyak of the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau, who co-organized this year’s event with the help of Fort Frances Times’ sports reporter Joey Payeur.
She noted there was some confusion with the start time, which was listed as 2 p.m. on the Terry Fox website instead of noon.
“So a few people came later, when most people were finishing up, but they did the walk anyway,” Beyak said.
“But it was such a beautiful day,” she enthused. “And I think everybody had a good time.
“I’m pretty happy with how we made out.”
The pair took over the reins from the Church of the Holy Spirit, which had spearheaded the local Terry Fox Run for the past six years.
While the Volunteer Bureau had run the event prior to the church taking it on, it was Beyak’s first time organizing an event such as this.
Payeur, meanwhile, had some experience having organized Terry Fox Runs at Sakatcheway Anishinabe School in Grassy Narrows First Nation in 2011 and 2012.
The annual event kicked off with a pancake breakfast fundraiser, sponsored by Safeway, where people could purchase a single serving for $3 or a double portion for $5.
The run itself then got underway at noon, with participants heading out on a 5K walk or run to Seven Oaks and back.
When they returned to the marina, fruit, cookies, and beverages were on hand.
“Lots of people have stories of family members or friends who have been touched by cancer and so many were walking for someone close to them,” Beyak noted.
Given the amazing feat Terry Fox took on back in 1980 in trying to run across Canada for the sake of cancer research, Beyak was thrilled to see it still going today.
“It’s nice that the money goes to research,” she remarked. “There are just so many things they are finding now, so it helps bring more positive outcomes for people now, I think.”
And Beyak added the Volunteer Bureau board likely will carry on organizing the annual event.
“We’re happy to have it back and to carry it on again,” she said, noting some changes may be afoot if she’s in charge of the event again next year.
“I was new to it this year,” Beyak conceded. “So I might be more organized next year and so we might do a few things differently.”
Still, she said the local business community was very supportive of this year’s run, with many donating prizes that were handed out to the participants afterwards.
“Everybody went home with something,” she remarked. “It really made it wonderful.”
Beyak also was pleased with the help she and Payeur received from the Boundary Waters Dragon Boat Festival, which was held the previous day.
Not only did they leave their tents up for them to use, but members of the local dragon boat club also helped with the pancake breakfast, as well as the handing out prizes and cleaning up.
“I think overall it was quite successful,” Beyak reiterated, though admitting she’d like to see some more people out next year.
“I’m just happy we could raise the money,” she added. “It’s amazing how it adds up.”
Beyak noted it’s not too late to make a donation online.
Visit www.terryfox.org to donate.
As well, look for district students participating in the annual Terry Fox School Run next Thursday (Sept. 29).