Communities across the country and around the world hosted the Terry Fox Run last weekend but Summerland’s was special.
Not only did the rain give way for the sun but it was the strongest showing for the event in the community with 288 participants and 52 volunteers.
The event raised more than $7,500 and brought the cumulative total that Summerland has raised for the Terry Fox Foundation to almost $105,000.
And while the dollars for research are important, an event like this brings the community together to celebrate the lives that have been touched by cancer.
One of those is Lee Dunley-Owen, a cancer survivor, who offered hope and inspiration as she shared her own story with the gathered crowd prior to the run.
Dunley-Owen was followed by a surprise guest who heard about the run and introduced himself to one of the organizers just moments before the event was to begin. He recognized the community atmosphere present and was moved to speak. The individual was Doug Alward, Terry Fox’s best friend and driver of the Marathon of Hope van.
Alward contrasted the crowd of two in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on April 12, 1980, when Terry Fox dipped his prosthetic leg into the Atlantic Ocean, with the crowd of nearly 300 before him in Summerland.
He spoke of Fox’s legacy and how important it was that his run continues in communities such as ours and others around the world.
The Summerland Fire Department led the crowd with their truck and sirens to start the run and participants, including members of the Summerland Steam, were greeted by members of Terry’s Team, survivors of cancer, wearing their red shirts as they crossed the finish line.
The run organizers thank the members of the Summerland Credit Union who collected registrations and donations; the 19 leadership students from Summerland Secondary School who helped set up, clean up and direct traffic and, the numerous volunteers and local businesses who donated their time and support in making the event happen.
The provincial government has officially proclaimed the second Sunday after each Labour Day to be Terry Fox Day. Next year’s Terry Fox Run will be held Sunday, Sept. 15.