The annual Terry Fox run may not be until next weekend, but preparations, and fundraising efforts, are already well underway in Prince Rupert.
“On the Terry Fox website there’s an ability to contribute online, or if individuals don’t want to do that and they want to drop off pledges in advance, they can drop them off to us here,” Stefan Delloch, branch manager at Northern Savings Credit Union, said. Northern Savings is the primary sponsor of the event.
Of course in Prince Rupert, the majority of pre-race donations are thanks to one man in particular.
“By far the biggest driver of donations is the work that Jim Terrion does,” Delloch said, referring to the former Rupert resident who returns each year during race time to raise money and awareness for the run. “He’s the real hero of the Terry Fox run,” Delloch added.
Terrion has been fundraising in town since 1991, and during that time has raised more than $750,000 for the cause. His tireless ground game of going door to door has endeared him to the community, and has resulted in an average of more than $26,000 raised per year since Terrion started.
Terrion’s goal is to one day top the $1,000,000 mark, an achievement that he is on pace to achieve sometime within the next decade.
For their part, Northern Savings is looking to make this year’s run even bigger through a social media push, along with a number of activities on the day itself. Last year more than $27,000 was raised in Prince Rupert for the Terry Fox Foundation.
|122 people participated in the 2018 Terry Fox Run. The event raised $27,388. (Matthew Allen photo)|
The event this year will have several added draws, including a free food item from the Cook-A-Roux food truck, a free snack and beverage, complimentary photo booth, door prizes and even a Plinko game.
Delloch adds that on race day itself, there is something for everybody.
“While it’s called the Terry Fox Run, it’s really more of the Terry Fox celebration,” he said. “There’s two different routes, a three km route and a seven km route, and individuals can walk it, run it, bike it, roller blade it, whatever they want.”
“If somebody wants to come down and walk around the block that’s completely fine. It’s about the celebration and raising awareness and raising donations for a very worthwhile cause,” Delloch said.
That cause of course is the Terry Fox Foundation, which partners with the B.C. Cancer Society and other cancer agencies to fund research and development with aims to ultimately find a cure for the disease. The foundation has raised more than 750 million dollars worldwide toward its goal.
“The vast majority of individuals who work for the Terry Fox Foundation do so on a volunteer basis, and as a result of that the Terry Fox Foundation has one of the highest philanthropy to donation ratios because they have a very small overhead,” Delloch explained.
“People can feel really good that when they’re giving to the Terry Fox Foundation, it’s pretty much all going to cancer research and development. The Terry Fox Foundation prides itself on the amount of money that actually goes to the purpose of what the funds are for.”
Prince Rupert’s Terry Fox Run will take place Sunday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. Registration takes place the day of the event, starting at noon outside the Northern Savings Credit Union, where the race will also start from. If people don’t receive a visit from Terrion leading up to the event, they can make a donation in person on the day of the run.
Alex Kurial | Journalist
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