Par­tic­i­pa­tion up in Marathon of Hope

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY BILL BOW­MAN

Thirty-three par­tic­i­pants from the Con­cep­tion Bay North area walked or ran around the half-kilo­me­tre track at St. Fran­cis Field in Har­bour Grace on Sun­day, Sept. 18, tak­ing part in the 31st an­nual Marathon of Hope.

They helped raise ap­prox­i­mately $1,600 for can­cer re­search in mem­ory of the late Terry Fox, who started it all 31 years ago with his in­au­gu­ral Marathon of Hope.

Mau­reen Robin­son, who helped or­ga­nize the event, was pleased to see the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants was ac­tu­ally up from the 27 who took part last year.

Robin­son said two of the reg­u­lar par­tic­i­pants were out of the prov­ince on the day of the event, “ but they still sent in their pledge sheets, and did their walks re­motely.” Reg O’Neill of Har­bour Grace, who has been in­volved in the event since its in­cep­tion, did his walk in On­tario, while 11year-old Mitchell Mur­phy did his walk while on a Florida va­ca­tion with his par­ents, Blair and Tina Mur­phy of Har­bour Grace.

“ Half of this year’s par­tic­i­pants were new­com­ers to the event,” Robin­son ob­served.

Har­bour Grace deputy mayor Terry Barnes was on hand to wel­come par­tic­i­pants, on be­half of the town.

Call­ing the Terry Fox Run a “ fall tra­di­tion in Canada,” Barnes told the group, “ it is peo­ple like your­selves that keep this Marathon of Hope alive.”

Robin­son ac­knowl­edged the town for its sup­port in pur­chas­ing t-shirts for run par­tic­i­pants.

She noted that 85 per cent of all funds raised from the events go to­wards can­cer re­search, some of which is tak­ing place close to home at Me­mo­rial Univer­sity in St. John’s.

“Can­cer sur­vivors are liv­ing proof that can­cer re­search is work­ing to de­velop new drugs and treat­ment meth­ods,” Robin­son said.

Har­bour Grace was one of 35 sites around the prov­ince, and the only one in the Trinity Con­cep­tion re­gion where a Marathon of Hope event took place Sept. 18.

Heather Strong, provin­cial di­rec­tor for the Terry Fox Run said, “ things went re­mark­ably well right across the prov­ince. With over 70 per cent of New­found­land and Labrador sites reporting, early re­ports in­di­cated the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants and money raised are both av­er­ag­ing higher than last year.”

“ It looks like the mo­men­tum from ( last year’s) 30th an­niver­sary has car­ried over to this year, and it also looks like peo­ple chose to run as their ex­pres­sion of trib­ute to Terry’s mom, the late Betty Fox, who died on June 17 of this year.”

Even be­fore this year’s event, the Terry Fox Foun­da­tion had al­ready raised more than half a bil­lion dol­lars world­wide for can­cer re­search.

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