Prince George once again proves that Terry Fox’s legacy is thriving in B.C.’s northern capital.
A large crowd once again came out to participate in the 39th annual Terry Fox Run this morning (Sept. 15), despite the chilly fall weather.
“Terry said ‘I want to set an example that won’t be forgotten’ well the fact that all of you are here today, joining literally cities and people around the world means that Terry Fox hasn’t been forgotten and never will be,” said Prince George – Mount Robson MLA Shirley Bond, during the opening speeches.
Bond also pointed out an inspiring individual in the crowd, Jim Terrion, who with the help of his mother has raised $787,601 for the Terry Fox Foundation since 1991.
Terrion has raised $40,206 this year alone, and $25,004.75 of that total coming from just 16 days of fundraising in Prince Rupert.
“I think today we need to be incredibly grateful that we have inspiring people like Jim following on in the footstep of Terry Fox,” said Bond.
UNBC student and Terry Fox Humanitarian Award Recipient Maggie Manning then gave a speech about what Terry Fox's legacy means to her before the run began.
“Having undergone my own medical hardships and mobility issues after 11 major hip and leg reconstruction surgeries I understand firsthand the importance of research and funding for finding cures,” said Manning.
“As long as I can remember Terry Fox has always been one of my idols. Through his legacy, I’ve learned not to give up on my dreams despite having undergone health problems that have often limited me in what I can do.”
This is also the first time in five years that the Terry Fox Run also has a new lead organizer after former-organizer Scott McWalter stepped down from the role.
“The biggest thank you goes to everyone here today. The reason we put the event on is for everyone in the community and I'm happy to see lots of smiling faces this morning,” said new lead organizer Ryley Newman. “This first year has been a ton of fun and I’m looking forward to years in the future.”
Terry Fox has a special connection to the city as he came up to Prince George in 1979 (a year before the Marathon of Hope) to participated in a marathon, now known as the Labour Day Classic, with his brother. That race gave him the confidence to take on the Marathon of Hope the following year.
“The crowd is amazing and this is, as you know, Terry’s legacy,” said Mayor Lyn Hall. “It’s the footprint that he has not only put into the city of Prince George, the province but the entire world.”
After Dick Voneugen sounded off on the bugle the 39th annual Terry Fox Run officially began and runners, joggers and walkers were off to complete the 5k loop around Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.