It was 25 years ago this year that the Stettler Elementary students first took part in the inaugural Terry Fox run at their school, and in the two-and-a-half decades since, the school has raised more than $315,000 for the cancer research charity.
This year will see the school adding more than $10,000 to that total, as pledges continue to come in.
Started after the death of Terry Fox in 1980, the annual run honours the B.C. man’s Marathon of Hope, in which he hoped to raise funds for cancer research by running from east coast to west coast. The run was cut short near Thunder Bay, where it was revealed Fox’s cancer had returned. He died the next summer from the disease.
This past Friday, Sept. 30, students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 – about 600 students – walked, jogged, or ran around the school’s track in his memory, and also to help see his dream of better cancer treatments come to fruition.
“We also had a large number of grandparents, parents and siblings who came out for the run,” said Sharon Fischer, SES principal. “I’m not sure the actual number (of participants) though.”
The school is home to four cancer survivors, who wore special red t-shirts to show they had outrun cancer. Teachers Theresa Jackson, Bonnie Lynn and Kim Thorne joined student Kira Richardson as they walked the track in their survivors’ shirts.
Though Fischer said she wasn’t sure how much the students raised this year as some pledges are still coming in, the total as of last week was just over $10,000.
“I am very proud of the support our students have provided for cancer research over the years,” Fischer said. “This is a cause that continues to live on and to touch lives.
I don’t think that Terry Fox could have begun to fathom the impact that he would have on Canadians, and in fact on people throughout the world.”
After the run, students were treated to donuts and juice boxes.