DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
NORTH DURHAM/KAWARTHA LAKES: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Terry Fox Run will look a bit different this Sunday, September 20th. The 2020 Terry Fox Run is going virtual this year, with residents encouraged to donate online, and then participate in some sort of physical activity anyway they can. “This is the 40th anniversary of Terry’s Marathon of Hope. It’s a really big year,” longtime Port Perry run organizer Elizabeth McArthur said. “From an organizer’s perspective, and for participants and everyone whose connected in anyway at all with the Terry Fox Run, it was an adjustment initially.” She explained to The Standard how this event will run differently this year. “We’re not all meeting at the Port Perry fairgrounds this year. There is no barbecue. There isn’t going to be a cheering group at the end. You’re not all going on the same route,” Ms. McArthur said. “Everybody can make their choice, as to what they are going to do.” Ms. McArthur elaborated, stating people are encouraged to do what is best for them. “Participate wherever you are! Around your neighbourhood, backyard, down the street, or around the block. We will unite in spirit, not in person,” read a post on the Terry Fox Run website. People can go online to terryfox.org and then search their local community run to register or donate. “[Participants] can walk around the block, or skip around the block, or rollerblade. They can get out with people who use mobility devices, whether it’s a wheelchair, a walker [or] a cane,” Ms. McArthur explained. “We might miss the wonderful barbecues, but we will be back next year to the former format.” Last year, the Port Perry community run raised $33,126. The local Scugog schools raised a total of $16,134. In total, the local community raised over $49,260 in 2019. Uxbridge Terry Fox Run organizer Maggie Ferraro believes it is still very important for people to donate towards cancer research. “Even though the world is dealing with the pandemic, we are still dealing with cancer. That hasn’t changed. It’s important we still continue to work towards our goals with cancer research and continue to promote Terry Fox’s inspiration to be the best you can,” she said. Last year, the Uxbridge community run raised around $22,000. For several years, Uxbridge resident Jeff Fahrer has been one of the top local fundraisers for the Terry Fox Foundation. This year he has a goal to raise $3,000. To donate to his campaign, go online to terryfox.org, click on the donate today button, search for the Uxbridge run site and find his name on the list. Lindsay Terry Fox Run organizer Mario Mazziotti talked about the benefits of holding a virtual run this year. “The benefits are, safety for the walkers, raising awareness for the Terry Fox foundation, and knowing you are making a difference,” he stated, in an email. A virtual event, the Lindsay Terry Fox Run team is holding a golf tournament fundraiser at the Lindsay Golf and Country Club on Saturday, September 19th. Barbecues have also been held, to raise funds for the Terry Fox Foundation. “My Nephew Neil Dekoker and I are holding [barbecues] and a golf tournament this year to keep Terry’s dream alive of finding a cure to cancer. Terry once said, “Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me,” Mr. Mazziotti explained. “Neil and I are both motivated by the people who come up to us and share their personal Terry Fox stories. Many of them say they get chills when they tell their story.” He talked about what people can expect when taking part in the golf tournament. “They can expect to be with peers of all golf levels, with a common goal of supporting our community, raising awareness for [the] Terry Fox foundation, and having a lot of fun.” Last year, the Lindsay Terry Fox run raised just under $21,000.