A partnership between the Town of St. Anthony and White Hills Academy may have saved the local Terry Fox run.
Participation in the annual event, which honours the legacy of Terry Fox’s 1980 attempt to run across Canada and raise money for cancer research, had fallen considerably over the years. Scott Coish, the town’s director of parks and recreation who has been organizing the event for the past five years, said it had dwindled down to almost nothing.
“In the past few years we get seven participants and we raise somewhere between 150 and 200 dollars, so (it’s) a nice increase this year,” he said.
This year, on Thursday, Sept. 27, some 370 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 took part in the event, walking the track around the Polar Centre. Final fundraising totals were not available at press time, but Nikki Rose, White Hills’ instructional resource teacher, said it would be around $4,000. She said the children were enthusiastic about the project.
“They’re very excited,” she said. “In their classes they had some teaching around the meaning of the Terry Fox run and they’ve been looking forward to coming to do the walk.”
Coish wants the annual fundraiser to flourish again.
“Growing up, the Terry Fox Run was such a big thing, and I’m from the era I actually remember Terry Fox, the run itself, and I always participated. So for me it’s an important thing for the kids to be involved with and keep alive in the community.”
“It’s a great cause and to have that little bit of history instilled in the kids, it means a lot,” she said, noting it was a community effort. "We couldn't have done it without the support from all of the teachers, staff, and parents at White Hills Academy. I would also like to add a thank you to the school breakfast program and the (town) recreation department for supplying the snacks for the kids.”
The current plan is to continue the partnership in the future.
“Thanks to Scott for involving White Hills Academy in the Terry Fox run this year,” Rose said. “We are hopeful for years to come"