Vol­un­teers key to suc­cess of Kelowna’s Terry Fox Run

An­nual fundraiser for can­cer re­search re­turns Sun­day

The Daily Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By RON SEY­MOUR

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.

Daily Courier file photo

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.

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