Terry Fox and his story have touched the lives of countless Canadians – and NOTL residents are no exception.
As one of the top fundraisers in the country per capita, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s annual Terry Fox Run brings together hundreds of people from across town and beyond.
Organizer Joan King said volunteers are still tallying up the total amount raised this year by in-person donations, but as of Wednesday online contributions in Niagara-on-the-Lake were $61,804.
Joe Pillitteri’s Team Pillsy topped the donor board and raised more than $32,700.
Meanwhile, at Simcoe Park on Sunday, Niagara-on-the-Lake resident Richard Guay completed his 39th Terry Fox Run.
Guay explained that when he first heard about the Canadian icon he was a runner and was inspired by Fox’s dedication.
“It really hit me when I saw this guy with one leg,” he said.
“That’s it I’m in, I’m hooked for life,” Guay recalled thinking.
This was the 43rd year of the Terry Fox Run and despite missing a few, Guay has amassed a large sum of money for the Terry Fox Foundation.
This was his most successful fundraising year yet. He brought in $4,700 and was named among the top 200 fundraisers in the country.
For the run this year, all of Guay’s family came out to participate in their own way, running, cycling and walking.
Family members from the U.K. and Guelph came out to support him.
“They said if you run until you’re 100 we’ll run with you,” he said.
Juliet Dunn helped out the Terry Fox walk in a bigger way this year, leading the pre-run warmup and singing “O Canada” before the send-off.
Dunn’s life has been directly impacted by cancer, so helping out at the walk meant a lot, she said.
“I lost my sister and my husband (Peter Shea) to cancer not too long ago. He was 50, she was 57. So you know, there’s all the more reason to do it and more importance behind it,” Dunn told The Lake Report.
Dunn recalled living in B.C. as a young woman and watching Fox on his Marathon of Hope.
“I did not realize that it was a marathon a day. I’ve done a marathon once and I’ll probably never do it again,” she said.
“It was nice to see everybody in the community and a highlight was seeing all the marshals and all the different volunteers,” she said after this year’s run in NOTL.
One NOTLer for whom Terry Fox’s story really resonates is run organizer Joan King.
King’s journey with Fox began with her career as a teacher, where before retiring she would lead school-wide Terry Fox walks each year.
“Then one year I came down to do the community run and there was nobody there. I think that was in 2006 or 2007. They said they needed a run organizer,” King said.
“I’ve been doing it ever since.”
King said that each year she is continually surprised by how dedicated NOTLers are to supporting Terry’s goal.
“It’s a beautiful feeling that the spirit is here, the generosity and the message that Terry has for everyone,” she said.