More than 300 people took part in last year’s Terry Fox run in Parksville, raising $8,300, which organizers hope to increase for the 2012 event this Sunday with expanded Internet technology.
Along with a strong web presence for online registration and information, there are now active Facebook, Youtube and Twitter accounts along with a unique chance to text donations.
Acclaimed for 84 cents from every dollar going directly to cancer research, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $600 million in its 31 years, 600 times Fox’s original goal.
While most Canadians know the story of Fox’s 5,373 km Marathon of Hope in 1980 and the annual run he inspired, many may not realize more than two million people take part in Terry Fox runs in more than 50 countries every year.
Fox frequently tops polls as the greatest Canadian hero. The annual run is now the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research.
Here in B.C. there may be a particularly strong connection to the Port Coquitlam hero who endured extreme pain as he ran the equivalent of a marathon a day for 143 days before dying from cancer at the age of 22.
Colleen Jordan, recreation programmer for the Regional District of Nanaimo which is organizing the run, said Fox’s dedication is still inspiring volunteers and fundraisers today.
She spoke of volunteers who have been involved every year and one dedicated Parksville runner with a bad knee this year who said if Terry could do it so could he.
People may phone donations in to 1-888-836-9786, or text ‘terryfox’ to 45678 to donate $5.
While the Parksville run is the main Oceanside event, all schools and many other groups, including retirement facilities like the Qualicum Beach Manor, hold their own runs.
People can register online or show up at picnic shelter two in Rathtrevor Provincial Park this Sunday, Sept. 16 before the 10 a.m. start. There are routes ranging from 3.3 to 10 km and all are bike and wheelchair accessible. Leashed dogs are also welcome.
Check www.terryfox.org for more.