West Stettler Park was bursting with activity on Friday, Sept. 19 as the students of Stettler Middle School celebrated the life of Terry Fox with an afternoon of fast-paced hijinks.
Vice-principal Jeff Lee said the school uses the day to teach students about Fox and his legacy — the annual Terry Fox Run that has raised more than $650 million for cancer research since his death in 1981 — as the story is only vaguely familiar to many of them.
“If you’re my age, you lived it, you saw it,” he said. “These kids, they just know from what their parents tell them or what they see on TV.”
Each fall, the school holds fundraisers, including a Hat Day, where students pay $2 each for the privilege of wearing headgear to class. Lee said these efforts typically raise a minimum of $1,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation.
On Friday, the students assembled in the gym to watch a video about Fox and his story, after which they embarked on a run from the school to the park, a distance of about two kilometres.
After arriving at the park, the students enjoyed a hot dog lunch served by the parent council, with 700 hot dogs and water bottles donated by Sobeys.
The student body — about 290 kids in total — broke up into 16 groups to compete in eight activities, planned by Brett Nixon’s Grade 8A class.
The activities included a hula hoop relay, a three-legged soccer game and a musical chairs variant dubbed “Scuttlebutt.”
In “Architect,” students had to use Lego bricks to recreate images described to them by their teammates. Competitors also donned hats with cups attached for a hilltop relay in which they had to pour water from student to student.
Lee said Friday’s events also served to welcome students back to school after the summer. The day concluded with a school dance.