By Darren Lum
Published Sept. 6 2016
After 36 years Terry Fox's legacy in this country is as strong as ever.
His heroism continues to motivate and inspire Canadians such as the Haliburton run co-ordinator Jennifer Button a local paramedic with a passion for running.
She invites the public to join her in the Haliburton's Terry Fox Run on Sunday Sept. 18 which combines her two passions.
“In one sense we're remembering Terry Fox. We're raising money for the Terry Fox Foundation which supports … cancer research for all sorts of cancers and it gets people out running. It's a non-competitive friendly event. It's not timed. It doesn't matter how fast or how slow you are” she said.
At 33 she wasn't even born when Fox captured the imagination of a nation with his Marathon of Hope the effort to run across Canada and raise $1 for every Canadian for cancer research. She learned about his incredible achievement when she was in school.
The second-year co-ordinator said she doesn't have a particular monetary goal this year because the important thing is to keep the event alive and draw more participants than the 98 who came last year.
“The goal is to just keep this going and keep this money flowing in. It doesn't have to necessarily be bigger and more money every year but keep this going and get as many people out. We want to see more people out. That's what we want to see” she said.
Although there isn't a specific fundraising goal Button said she would like to raise a $1 for every person in the town which is similar to the challenge Fox asked to raise $1 for every Canadian back in 1980. Last year the local event raised $5200.
“I work as a paramedic in town and seeing day to day the people affected by cancer really [makes] the Terry Fox Foundation a priority as far as charitable organizations in my mind” she said.
Like last year the event will include the Haliburton Highlanders Pipes and Drums who will be serenading runners as they tackle the hill at the halfway feed station on Museum Road.
Button said she asked the band to join the event after the rush she had when she heard live music in the Nike Women's 15K running event on Centre Island in Toronto which helped to spur her on to the finish line.
Another returning feature will be the “high-five station” at the halfway point for the children's run. However instead of the Haliburton Wolves players it will include OPP auxiliary officers. Button said seeing photos of the children with beaming smiles while receiving high-fives was “awesome.”
“Every single one of them. Even the kids that were shy at the beginning of the run who weren't too sure about it every kid coming through had a big grin on their face high-fiving them” she said.
All the children get a ribbon. There is not a minimum age to participate in the run. Button points out this event is great for families and a wide variety of people who want to walk or run.
Registration is at 11 a.m. at the town docks. The one kilometre children's run will follow at 11:30 a.m. and be held in Head Lake Park which is headed up by volunteer Jennifer Chapman who is an elementary school teacher.
The five km/10 km route will start at noon and starts at the town docks then through Head Lake Park over the bridge past the tennis courts on to Hwy. 118 to Museum Road into and through Glebe Park to Halbiem Crescent and back to town. It's a course that is approachable she said. Last year she remembers a couple of participants using walkers who were able to complete the course.
There is not an entry fee nor a minimum pledge required to participate. This event has garnered the support of local businesses and organizations who have sponsored one kilometre sections of the 10 kilometre course.
She points out that 84 cents of every dollar raised will be donated to the Terry Fox Foundation for cancer research. There has been more than $700 million raised internationally in Terry Fox's name. In Canada alone there are more than 8000 runs held while globally the run will be held in places such as Hong Kong India England France Bulgaria and Japan.
A few more volunteers are needed: two for the halfway feed station and volunteers 18 and older to assist the OPP with road marshalling.
Anyone interested in volunteering or to help the event can call Button at 705-457-0822.