Organizers announced Sunday evening that Orillia's Terry Fox Run raised $43,943.25, increasing the community’s cumulative total since 1988 to more than $950,000.
It also marks the 15th consecutive year the Orillia run has surpassed its $1/per resident goal.
The fundraiser was again bolstered by dozens of online donors and an online auction and does not include monies raised by upcoming school runs. The total raised will be confirmed at a later date.
It’s been 43 years since Canadian athlete and cancer research activist Terry Fox started his journey in St. John’s, Newfoundland by dipping his foot in the Atlantic Ocean to begin what would become a life-changing journey.
Today, hundreds of people from Orillia walked, ran and cycled through Tudhope Park to continue to follow in his footsteps to raise much-needed funds for cancer research during the annual Orillia Terry Fox Run.
“On behalf of the City of Orillia, I thank you for coming out and supporting a good cause,” said Orillia Mayor Don McIsaac.
Looming rain clouds didn’t stop the an estimated 600 people who came out to Tudhope Park in Orillia to run and raise money in honour of Terry Fox.
In 1980, after Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer, his right leg had to be amputated; not long after, he was fitted with a prosthetic leg. After going through this transition with a prosthetic leg, Fox embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research.
Sadly, his cross-country run came to an end in Thunder Bay after cancer returned in his lungs and subsequently, he was forced to stop. Terry Fox passed away just under a year later.
Since then, Terry’s name has been kept alive through The Terry Fox Foundation.
The foundation’s goal is to support people going through cancer and to help cancer research for the years and decades to come.
“I have had sisters and family members who have passed away from cancer, so today means a lot to me,” said Brian Pounder, one of many at Sunday's event impacted by cancer.
“What’s also great is with the ever-changing advancements in research technology, we put that together with the money raised from all the events, and one day we may just find a cure for cancer,” Pounder added.
His optimistic outlook was echoed by Simcoe North MP Adam Chambers.
“It’s events like these that will go a long way in the fight against cancer,” said Chambers.
One part of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope that people often overlook or forget about was all the behind-the-scenes events that went on, including security.
“We took great pride in maintaining security and following Terry Fox right behind him throughout his journey as he passed through Ontario,” said Brent Elbers, operations manager for the OPP Orillia detachment.
“Fox’s core values are a part of the OPP’s core values today,” he added.
This year’s Orillia Terry Fox Run has already raised $30,000, but numbers are still being tabulated, officials say, noting final results should be known later today.
This was the first time the annual event has been held at Tudhope Park. Organizers were forced to move the event from its home at Terry Fox Circle due to ongoing construction on Centennial Drive and around the waterfront.
If you would like to donate to the Terry Fox Foundation, or start fundraising for next year’s run, click here for more information.