The annual Terry Fox Run is coming back to Niagara-on-the-Lake on Sept. 19.
The event will be virtual again this year, with fundraising teams encouraged to plan their own run due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. The decision for a virtual run comes from the head office of the Terry Fox Foundation.
Joan King, who has tirelessly dedicated her time to co-ordinating NOTL's Terry Fox run for years, will still set up a display honouring Terry and past NOTL runners, at the Simcoe Park bandshell in Old Town.
King said this year is an important milestone for the NOTL Terry Fox Run. Since the run was first organized in 1991, the town has raised more than $1 million for the cause.
She will have Terry Fox T-shirts available for sale, as well as a map of what the run would look like in a normal year.
“(The shirt) is actually quite meaningful and there's a little card in there to tell a little bit of history behind the meaning of the shirt” because Fox was of Metis heritage on his mother's side.
There also will be a barbecue by the NOTL Rotary Club on Sept. 19 at Simcoe Park.
King said this year's theme is “Try like Terry” and is encouraging people to try to put a team together to help raise money for cancer research.
She said there are several initiatives she knows of so far.
On Sept. 10, there will be an online music trivia night fundraiser hosted by Lee Bouvier of Niagara's Name That Tune.
Another special addition this year is help from Craig McCallum, who manages Ma, Wind and East restaurants in St. Catharines. King said he wanted to help the NOTL run this year and is planning bingo nights to raise money for the cause.
McCallum told The Lake Report he wanted to find a way to do something to support Niagara-on-the-Lake, as they already do a lot of work in St. Catharines and Mississauga.
“Joan's a friend of mine, and she's amazing, and so I thought why don't I get involved in the Terry Fox Run with her?” he said.
He said the restaurants will be forming a team and making a donation, as well as putting together a bingo card for the next year, which will raise funds for the 2022 Terry Fox Run.
He said the bingo card, located inside a company calendar, will be given to all guests. Numbers will be given out with both dine-in and takeout orders and $1 from each order will be donated to next year's run.
Patrons can win lunch or dinner via the bing. “It's going to be fully interactive, which means that for the entire year up until September, we'll be raising money for the charity in the calendar,” he said.
Local businessman and comedian Joe Pillitteri, who has historically been a major fundraiser for the Terry Fox Run, will be hosting a comedy night at Ravine Winery on Sept. 14.
Penny Milligan, of the NOTL Rotary Club, also will be holding a small breakfast from her home to raise money.
As well, several NOTL teams will participate in the run and raise money, such as June's Dream Team, led by NOTL resident Donna Seymour. Last year the team raised $13,000 and over the years they have brought in about $250,000.