Brilliant sunny day with more than 1000 doing the Terry Fox walk. Great community stuff – loads of pictures.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  September 12, 2012  The first run was in 1980 when the city raised $4000 for the Terry Fox Research Foundation and a cure for cancer.

More than 1000 people were out on the pathways at Beachway Park and running through Spencer Smith Park.More than 100 volunteers helped people with massages, warm up exercises, giving directions and handing out glasses of water.

These are the ladies that collected the funds raised. One family came in with more than $1600 raised in their community. We will have the final count later in the week.

We will know later in the week how much was raised in 2012.  The total raised since 1980 in Burlington is now over $1.4 million.

Who would have thought that 32 years after Terry Fox had to abandon his run across the country using an artificial leg, that we would have hundreds of people coming out every year to run for a cause.

Don Carmichael, chair of the Terry Fox run in 2012, meets with part of his team to go over the final check ins before the event gets serious and the crowds begin to show up.

Many, perhaps even most of the people who ran today were not alive when Terry Fox did his run.  I heard about a one legged man declaring that he was going to run across the country when he dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic ocean and headed west.  It seemed like a bit of a stunt to me – I knew nothing about the man.

It was a little nippy in the morning, the kind of weather that helps the leaves turn colour and keeps people shivering just a bit. That changes when they begin their run.

I was sitting in an office window watching Terry Fox run with that half limp,  half trot of his as he headed south and into Nathan Phillips Square where more than 100,000 people were on hand to greet him.  This was no stunt.

The fund raising drive, which hadn’t done all that well when it worked its way through the Maritimes and Quebec, picked up momentum as the national media picked up the story in Ontario and from that point it just took off.  There were close to nightly news reports with a summary at the end of each week.  The country was mesmerized by what this man was doing.

Eight years earlier Canada came together as a country when a Canadian Team beat the Russians in a closely fought hockey series.  We had a sense of who we were after that and when Terry Fox caught our imaginations we had no trouble getting behind to help.

The country almost automatically  made the project theirs and we’ve been doing that ever since we lost Terry Fox in 1981

He was born Terrance Stanley “Terry” Fox, on July 28, 1958 and was made a Member of the Order of Canada.  There is much more to the Terry Fox story than this.  Follow the Burlington event and the young man`s story.

Part 2 of the Terry Fox story and the Terry Fox run; a photo feature.

Deb Tymstra MC’d the event – her second year doing that job. Here she goes over her notes to prepare for an event that almost got out of hand when the Casey Cosgrove supporters were gathered to have pictures taken. That crowd was so large that it held up the Bikers and the Walkers who Tymstra wanted to get started. She managed the chaos.

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