Local run raises $3,000 for cancer research
© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON – THE NEWS
A number of participants begin their walk, run or ride on the Jitney Trail in Pictou on Sunday afternoon for the 33rd annual Terry Fox Run. This year’s event in Pictou raised $3,000 for cancer research and had nearly 200 people participate.
PICTOU – Nearly 200 people came together on Sunday afternoon in Pictou for the 33rd annual Terry Fox Run to remember those who lost their fight with cancer, are currently fighting or will potentially be in the future.
“Terry Fox certainly did so much to raise awareness and funds for cancer research,” said Ann Gunning. “It’s because of him that we continue to gather each year to raise awareness and funds to help with cancer research.”
This year the Pictou event raised $3,000. Of every dollar raised, 84 cents goes to cancer research with the remaining 16 cents going to the Terry Fox Foundation.
A cancer survivor herself, Gunning has been involved with the Pictou event since it started 33 years ago. This year she was the honoured survivor before the participants began their walk, ride or run.
Honouring survivors at the Pictou event began last year when Gabriel Parker-Haines and Reese Hawkins were honoured.
Gunning said being involved every year since the event started that she has witnessed ups and downs with the event, but that it continues to be an important annual event for the community to gather and support each other.
“This event obviously started out well because of the initial impact that Terry had on this country,” she said. “Over the years we’ve had our numbers go up and down. In the last few years there have been school runs, so there isn’t as many youth that may have been here in the past, but that’s fine because they’re still involved and still walking or running.”
Hampton has only been involved for the past four years, but Gunning, Linda Johnson and Jean Harroun were part of the first year of the run when Dr. Gordon Young helped start the Pictou event.
“When Shane got involved it breathed new life into this event and he’s a young survivor himself,” said Gunning. “He’s very involved in the community and does a great job of getting the word out about it. He’s very active in sports as well, which has helped bring people out.”
When asked if the number of participants involved this year was expected, Hampton said their goal each year is to have at least 100 involved. He said 200 was a fantastic turnout.
“It was definitely a big deal for us to have that many people come out,” said Hampton. “Obviously the weather helped, but I’ve been involved for the past four years and over that time I’ve seen an increase in participation. The local community is really getting on board with this event. It’s tough to predict the numbers each year, but we set a goal of 100 people to come and support event.”
When asked about the fundraising amount of $3,000 he said he believes they surpassed their goal on Sunday.
Hampton added that by creating some new traditions last year such as having local businesses on board for post race meals and having music beforehand that it has improved the event.
“I think all those aspects have helped make it that much more of a social, family atmosphere,” he said.
Last year the New Glasgow run joined with Pictou’s event and was supposed to start again this year. Hampton said that it is unfortunate that the Terry Fox Run is dying off in communities and towns throughout the province.
“We’re really thankful for the community coming out,” he said. “Overall we’re really excited with what happened here with this event this year and the weather cooperated to help bring a few extra families out. The unfortunate thing is that the Terry Fox Run is dying off in communities around us, like in Antigonish where they didn’t have a run this year. I know the women that do registration here have seen ups and downs, but have seen this one turn around lately.”
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