There was a big jump in the number of people participating in this year’s Terry Fox Run in Hay River.

Organizer Bridgitte Stephen said 63 people showed up to run or walk in the event, which raises money for cancer research.

“Last year, we were approximately 15 people,” she said. “So we were a lot more people this year.”

Participants warm up prior to the annual Terry Fox Run held in Hay River on Sept. 15.
Photo courtesy of Bridgitte Stephen

As for why there was such a big increase in numbers, Stephen speculated it may have been because she had three weeks to organize the event, which she was doing for the first time.

And she believes it shows the continuing impact of Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope.

“He’s such a big icon for us, for Canadians,” she said. “And it’s amazing what he did 38 years ago. I mean he was battling cancer himself and he was running. I think we really take it to heart.”

Stephen added that everyone knows someone who is battling against cancer or who has survived cancer.

“And seeing that, everybody wants to step in to help make Terry’s dream alive,” she said. “So let’s try to conquer cancer and let’s try and get rid of it.”

Along with the increase in participation, the event also exceeded its fundraising goal, which had been set at $2,500.

It raised $3,824.50, including from the sale of T-shirts.

“We surpassed our expectations,” said Stephen. “People really stepped up and donated this year.”

She added she was very pleased with the community support, noting people donated prizes and refreshments.

“We had a lot of support,” she said. “So with the community support we were able to make the event a real success. It worked out really well.”

Plus, she noted about five volunteers helped her run the event.

Stephen said the runners and walkers enjoyed themselves either on the track at Diamond Jenness Secondary School or on a route through the community with everyone wearing their Terry Fox Run T-shirts.

“We went down Riverview,” she noted. “We had all the changes of the leaves’ colours, which was beautiful…. People driving by waving. It was really nice.”

Stephen, who was participating in her second Terry Fox Run in Hay River, said the fundraising event has been held in the community for 38 years, since it was launched in Canada in 1981.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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