Terry Fox Foundation transforms annual run into virtual event

By Michael Boriero – Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Quebec’s continued pandemic protocols forced the Terry Fox Foundation to rethink its annual fundraising run in September, but rather than cancel the event outright, organizers decided to go virtual.
Bishop’s College School (BCS) is once again hosting the Terry Fox Run in Lennoxville, however, participants will not be asked to gather in one location. Jeff Bray, the school’s athletic director, said BCS wants people to send footage of their own take on the run.
“People could take a photo or even a short 10 second video clip and get those to me and we can create a virtual run video to share on our website and the Terry Fox website,” Bray explained.
The long-time athletic director wants to make sure people in the area are aware the event is happening this year on September 20, despite restrictions. He added that the foundation is hopeful participation will stay relatively the same nationwide as in years past.
While he understands the gravity of the coronavirus situation in Quebec, he expects to see strong participation numbers in Lennoxville. The event is steeped in tradition in the area. The first iteration took place while Terry was still alive, Bray said.
“I think that it’s going to allow a little glimmer of hope,” he said. “It’s a reminder that things are going to get better and we had people like him leading the way.”
With everything happening in the world today, Bray believes the event can offer a momentary relief from the pandemic. Everybody feels connected to the foundation and to Terry Fox, cancer has affected almost all of us, he explained.
With yesterday marking the 40th anniversary of the day Fox needed to stop his cross-country run, Bray said it’s even more important for people to remember his legacy. And people in the area have really bought into his cause, he continued.
“I think it’s very important to show that we still remember what he was doing and 40 years later it’s grown internationally,” said Bray.
The school’s Terry Fox Run typically generates around $6,000, according to Bray, but $2,000 comes from on-site donations. The director is hoping people will go out of their way to make those contributions online this year on the foundations website.
Peter Sheremeta, Quebec’s provincial director at the Terry Fox Foundation, has been surprised by the number of people participating and donating on the organization’s official website. People are highly dedicated to the foundation, he said.
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