Volunteers key to success of Kelowna’s Terry Fox Run
Annual fundraiser for cancer research returns Sunday
No corporate sponsor, no big administration, no professional marketers. Never has been, never will be. The annual Terry Fox Run, which takes place again this Sunday, relies on a small army of volunteers and businesses that support the event without the expectation of much public recognition.
“There’s no corporate tie-in or anything like that,” said Norm Sabourin, who is organizing the local run for the second year. “It’s just a volunteer-based event, with people working hard to raise money for a good cause.”
Partly because of that reality, the total raised by the local run has varied considerably recently. A few years ago, participants in the Kelowna run raised more than $100,000, the third highest tally in B.C.
The total has dipped in recent years, with the 2016 run generating about $38,000, shy of the $50,000 goal.
Sabourin, a teacher at Big White Community School, has set the same goal for this Sunday’s run, which takes place at the Mission sports fields on Gordon Drive. Registration starts at 10 a.m., with the run beginning at 11 a.m.
About 40 items are up for bid in a silent auction, including gift certificates for hockey games, restaurants, movies and hotels.
Before the run begins, a young man currently undergoing cancer treatments will share his story.
The outlook for Sunday is cloudy with a high of 15 C, but Sabourin hopes people will come out regardless of the weather, remembering the efforts of Fox, who ran 5,500 kilometres partway across Canada on one leg to raise money for cancer research in 1980 before succumbing to the disease.
“Terry Fox ran every day no matter what the weather, 42 kilometres a day, for 143 days,” Sabourin said. “He started in a snowstorm, ran through heavy spring rains and saw summer’s heat.”
Fox died in June 1981. Since then, runs held worldwide in his name have raised more than $700 million for cancer research.
Students from Immaculata High School take part in the school’s Terry Fox Run last year. This year’s Terry Fox Run for all of Kelowna is set for Sunday morning at the Mission sports fields on Gordon Drive.