Join the Terry Fox Run

Till­son­burg ’s an­nual Terry Fox run be­gins Sept. 16 at 10 a.m.

Tillsonburg News - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS AB­BOTT

Terry Fox once said, “I want to set an ex­am­ple that will never be for­got­ten.”

Thirty-eight years later, Cana­di­ans haven’t for­got­ten and the Terry Fox Run is an in­ter­na­tional fundraiser for cancer re­search through the Terry Fox Foun­da­tion.

In Till­son­burg, the 2018 Terry Fox Run starts and fin­ishes at the Till­son­burg Soc­cer Park on Quar­ter Town Line on Sun­day, Sept. 16. Regis­tra­tion be­gins at 9 a.m. and the Run (Walk or Wheel) be­gins at 10 a.m.

“Last year was our first time there, so we are re­ally ex­cited to have it there again,” said Anne Ploss, co­or­di­na­tor of the Till­son­burg Terry Fox Run. “We were so grate­ful last year be­cause it was a very, very hot day, pos­si­bly the hottest day I re­mem­ber or­ga­niz­ing this... this is my 10th year and I know that one was the hottest, so we were so grate­ful to have the pav­il­ion for shade, and the wash­rooms. The Soc­cer Club is just won­der­ful - I can’t say enough nice things about Wayne (Beard) for help­ing us.”

The change in venues is per­ma­nent, she said, but one thing will change this year to make it safer for par­tic­i­pants. The main drive­way from Quar­ter Town Line will be closed to traf­fic. Ac­cess to the Soc­cer Park on the 16th will be through a sec­ondary en­trance from the neigh­bour­ing sub­di­vi­sion.

“That will make it a lit­tle bit safer,” said Ploss, not­ing signs will be posted to des­ig­nate the al­ter­nate en­trance.

“It was def­i­nitely a pos­i­tive re­cep­tion to the change last year. I think it’s just nice some­times to have some­thing dif­fer­ent. We heard a lot of great things about run­ning or walk­ing in a dif­fer­ent part of Till­son­burg.”

The na­tional Terry Fox Run, now in its 38th year, is fast ap­proach­ing its 40th an­niver­sary - a mile­stone year. Till­son­burg’s Run, which has been or­ga­nized in town since 1989 on the sec­ond Sun­day after Labour Day, is also near­ing a ma­jor mile­stone.

“We’re at $281,902, so we’re hop­ing that within the next cou­ple of years it’s go­ing to hit $300,000.”

Three routes are avail­able on the 16th - 3km, 5km and 10km.

There is no en­try fee, noted Ploss, and no min­i­mum do­na­tion.

“No­min­i­mumpledge,noreg­is­tra­tion fee, so it’s a nice fam­ily event.” Last year about 130 par­tic­i­pants and vol­un­teers raised nearly $15,000, which has been their an­nual av­er­age for some years. The best fundrais­ing years tend to be the ‘5’ an­niver­sary years, said Ploss, in­clud­ing the 35th and 25th an­niver­saries.

“We’re al­ways pleased with what­ever we get.”

She’s also pleased to re­port that an av­er­age 84 cents from ev­ery dol­lar goes to cancer re­search. Un­like many na­tional char­i­ties, the Terry Fox Foun­da­tion has very low ad­min­is­tra­tion costs.

“You can re­ally see where the money goes.”

Vol­un­teers are cru­cial, and more are needed in Till­son­burg to as­sist at one of three dif­fer­ent wa­ter sta­tions on the routes, as road mar­shals to help di­rect peo­ple (the routes are also clearly signed), and at the pav­il­ion ‘head­quar­ters’ where they al­ways have small tasks.

“We’re al­ways wel­com­ing high school stu­dents, fam­i­lies, or any­body who maybe doesn’t want to do any walk­ing or run­ning. They are wel­come to con­tact us for a vol­un­teer spot. We have a won­der­ful group of high school stu­dents - we’ve al­ways had a re­ally good re­sponse from Glen­dale and they al­ways come up with great ideas to make it in­ter­est­ing along the route. They make posters, they cheer, do a re­ally, re­ally good job.”

It’s not a com­pet­i­tive event, but the run­ning com­mu­nity has em­braced the Terry Fox Run. And more and more walk­ers and cy­clists join ev­ery year.

“I think ev­ery year we seem to have more and more folks that come out and walk,” said Ploss. “They walk with their dogs, they walk with their strollers, with wagons. So it’s a re­ally nice way for fam­i­lies to par­tic­i­pate if you do have younger kids and want to walk 3k or 5k. But we do have walk­ers who do the 10k as well - we keep the site open un­til ev­ery­body comes back.”

With the change in venue last year, the Terry Fox Run routes also changed routes, no­tably elim­i­nat­ing ‘the hill’ on Con­ces­sion Street West near Par­tic­i­park.

“A lot of peo­ple have been happy about us re­mov­ing that hill,” Ploss smiled. “The new route stays more on the west side of town and in­cor­po­rates the Me­mo­rial Path­way as well, so it’s re­ally nice.

“A lot of the run­ners, we like that hill... we like to hate it I guess,” she added with a laugh.

All three routes will head south on Quar­ter Town Line Road from the Soc­cer Park, rain or shine. The 3-km par­tic­i­pants veers off at Beech, and the 5-km route con­tin­ues to Con­ces­sion - but not as far as the hill. The 10-km route con­tin­ues south to San­ders Crescent, even­tu­ally reach­ing the Me­mo­rial Path­way with a turn­around near the Sta­tion Arts Cen­tre.

“We try to avoid any high traf­fic ar­eas and we look for side­walks. We don’t close any roads for the routes so it’s re­ally im­por­tant to find places for peo­ple to run, or walk, with­out putting them into any kind of dan­ger.”

Vol­un­teers and par­tic­i­pants wear­ing red Terry Fox Run shirts on the 16th are cancer sur­vivors or cur­rently bat­tling cancer, who re­ceive the shirts free of charge from the Terry Fox Foun­da­tion with online regis­tra­tion.

“If any­body in the com­mu­nity does not want to reg­is­ter online (www.ter­ry­fox.org), but would still like a red shirt they can con­tact me and I can ask the Foun­da­tion,” said Ploss, not­ing her email is daploss@ hot­mail.com.

“It’s a cause that’s re­ally close to my heart. I lost my fa­ther and my baby brother three years ago to cancer, four months apart. For them, what’s go­ing on right now in terms of re­search and treat­ments it’s too late, but for other fam­i­lies, it’s just such an im­por­tant cause.”

Chris Ab­bott/Till­son­burg news/File PhoTo

Two years ago, the Terry Fox Run in Till­son­burg started and fin­ished on Broad­way at the north end of town. Last year or­ga­niz­ers changed venues, mov­ing it to the Till­son­burg Soc­cer Park on Quar­ter Town Line Road, where it will be held again this year with 3 km, 5 km and 10 km routes on Sept. 16 be­gin­ning at 10 a.m. The routes do not in­clude the big hill on Con­ces­sion Street West.

Chris Ab­bott/File Photo

The Terry Fox Run in­cludes walk­ers, run­ners, cy­clists and in­line skaters.

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