Terry Fox Run desperately needs organizer
Annual run in town faces first cancellation in 27 years if no organizer found
Officials with the provincial wing of the Terry Fox Foundation are scrambling to find an organizer in Didsbury for this year’s annual Terry Fox Run.
If one is not found for the event, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 16, it will either have to be moved to Olds or cancelled altogether, said Rhonda Risebrough, provincial director of the Terry Fox Foundation for Alberta, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.
Didsbury has had an annual Terry Fox Run for the past 27 consecutive years. The community has raised almost $105,000 for cancer research and awareness.
“If we don’t get an organizer by late August there won’t be a run,” said Risebrough. “Alternatively, our closest event is Olds, which is not far away. Ideally, we like to have runs in communities that have supported us for years and not lose that tradition.
“We are looking for an individual or group to take it on,” she added. “It is not a huge event. It wouldn’t take a lot to organize and we are obviously here to help.”
She said the current organizational situation became known shortly after last Christmas when longtime locals, Grant and Brenda Hemming, “reluctantly” announced they had to retire as organizers for the Didsbury run after serving in that position since 1990.
“They were concerned and reluctant to give it up. They travel a lot to see family in Ontario,” said Risebrough. “They are not leaving us in a lurch. They gave us lots of notice. They said they would help and give advice to whoever steps up.”
She said her provincial wing of the foundation now has 110 communities in Alberta, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories that have an annual Terry Fox Run. There are more than 700 across Canada.
Risebrough said there are about a half dozen communities within her provincial wing that require new organizers each year.
“We usually don’t have problems, but Didsbury has been tough,” she said, adding new organizers are also being sought for Stettler, Rimbey and the Crowsnest Pass. “This year we have a few more but we have replaced them. We also have gained a few more communities, including Peace River and Athabasca.”
Risebrough also noted that some communities have opted to have runs organized at schools during the week but added it is additionally “nice” to also have the annual September Sunday run as many people cannot book off work to participate during the weekday event.
In the meantime, she is asking the public to continue its support for the annual event in any way they can.
“Every dollar counts. It all adds up,” said Risebrough. “It is all part of Terry Fox’s philosophy of being grassroots and inclusive.
“Cancer touches every community, large and small,” she added. “We just hope it (run) continues in Didsbury.”
If anyone wants to organize this year’s local Terry Fox Run contact the foundation at 1-888-836-9786 or visit its website at www.terryfox.org.