Running for Terry 0
The spirit of Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope lived on across the Pembroke/Petawawa area Thursday as schools banded together to take the fight to cancer.
At Champlain District Public School, students ran or walked along the edge of their sports field, located beside the school. They came out in two groups, starting out at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., and had help keeping track of their laps, as each time participants passed a checkpoint, someone would stamp a piece of paper they were carrying.
Carrie Shields, run co-ordinator, said the day was a great success.
“It has ben a gorgeous day, although the children were prepared to walk rain or shine,” she said.
Parent volunteers were on hand to help out with running the event and in gathering envelopes for the Terry Fox Foundation. Ms. Shields said this year, the school raised $4,700, an increase from the close to $4,000 it collected last year. Over the past 10 years, the school has raised more than $20,000 for cancer research.
There were a couple of changes form previous years. She said for the first time, the younger primary grades and kindergarten were able to take part, in similar, if separate, outdoor events. Plus, the school took part in the POGO Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario Cancer Campaign. In this, students were encouraged to write messages of encouragement and hope in chalk, which was donated by Crayola.This was part of an awareness campaign of childhood cancers in which more than 72 schools, hospital partners and community groups across the province have been taking part in, as part of the POGO chalk campaign for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
At Our Lady of Lourdes School, staff and students made a big splash with their fundraising efforts, bringing in $4,423.28 with their Terry Fox event, the most ever for the school. In exchange, that afternoon students were allowed to soak selected teachers with buckets of water.
Cammie Summerby, who coordinated the run at Our Lady of Lourdes, said it had been phenomenal.
“We raised the most money we ever raised before,” she said. “Kids were even bringing in their birthday money to contribute.”
This was the first year the school tried something like The Big Soak, and judging from the reaction of staff and students alike, it has been a resounding success.
“Ten of our staff members volunteered to get soaked,” Ms. Summerby said, dressing in costumes to get into the spirit of the event.
She said Terry Fox is just a phenomenal role model for kids, and wondered if he ever dreamed he would have had this impact when he did his original Marathon of Hope back in 1980.
“This has been a great day for us,” she said.
In Petawawa, General Panet High School held its 20th annual Terry Fox Run. Firing the starter’s pistol was Della LeBannister, a cancer survivor and former school secretary, who launches their run each year. Although none of these students were born when Terry Fox ran his over 30 years ago, his story still resonates with them, said vice-principal Gina Gagnon.
“Everyone knows someone who has suffered or passed away from cancer,” said Ms. Gagnon. “It’s a very dear cause that is close to their heart so they are very dedicated in trying to find a cure.”
On Wednesday, Bishop Smith Catholic High School held their run in support of the Terry Fox Foundation bringing in over $6,700. Organizers anticipated that total could reach $7,000 by week’s end.
-with files from Sean Chase
Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist