By Stephen Vance, Staff
Hundreds of thousands of people across Canada are expected to participate in The Annual Terry Fox Run on Sunday, September 16, a fundraising event grounded in tradition, and volunteer driven for the past 32 years.
The foundation has raised more than $550 million in its 32 years, the bulk of which comes from the more than 9,000 Terry Fox runs that are held each year across Canada and around the world.
For the last 26 years, Alec Wallace has been involved in organizing the Meaford event, and he says that in those 26 years, the community of Meaford has raised more than $300,000 for the cause. Last year $13,000 was raised by Meaford residents who participated.
Wallace says that the annual Terry Fox run in Meaford typically draws between 50 and 100 participants, and involves more than a dozen volunteers.
He is hoping that participation will remain strong again this year, and he would welcome new participants. To help promote the annual event, Wallace and his volunteers will be selling buttons and distributing information from 4 to 8 pm on September 14 at the LCBO location on Nelson Street, and from 10 to 4 on Saturday September 15 at both Valu-mart and Foodland.
For those wishing to participate in the Terry Fox Run, pledge forms can be obtained from now through to the date of the event by visiting any of the four banks in Meaford, as well as the grocery stores, and some downtown merchants.
Asked why he dedicates his time and energy to organizing the Meaford run each year, Wallace says that there is still work to be done in the fight against cancer.
“I’m still dedicated to Terry Fox, I respect him. When I started with this I thought ignorantly that we’d have this beat in five years. I never thought that I’d still be doing it 26 years later. But as long as I’m healthy I will still be doing it, as long as it is needed,” explained Wallace.
Wallace also says that he also has a lot of respect for the Terry Fox Foundation itself.
“85 percent of the money raised goes to cancer research, so only 15 percent is used for administration,” says Wallace adding that few charities can boast such a large percentage of funds raised actually being used for the cause.
The Terry Fox Foundation is independent from any other cancer fundraising group. The organization does not accept any corporate sponsorship making it truly independent.
As they did last year, Meaford’s Simply Unique flower and gift shop will be providing yellow balloons to be used as route markers for the run which will again start off from the Rotary Harbour Pavilion.
Participants can register at the pavilion beginning at 9 am on Sunday September 16, and the event will run until 2 pm.
There is no entry fee, and no minimum pledge, so the event is open to anyone no matter if they have raised a few dollars or several hundred of dollars.
“Every little bit helps,” says Wallace.
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