Andrea Currie photos Burns Lake

Andrea Currie photos Burns Lake

Donations to Burns Lake’s Terry Fox run exceed expectations

“I feel very humbled by people’s generosity,” says organizer.

This year, the Terry Fox Foundation challenged towns across Canada to raise $1 for each member of their communities during the 35th edition of the Terry Fox run.

Burns Lake, with a population of over 3600 (including residents of the First Nations reserves within the town limits), surpassed this year’s goal by more than three times, raising almost $13,000.

“I feel very humbled by people’s generosity,” said Spokesperson Carla Carlson.

About 250 participants took part in Burns Lake’s Terry Fox run on Sept. 20, 2015. The 10-km run started at the Francois Lake Community Hall, where the fall harvest auction was being held.

The auction alone raised $6753, selling homegrown produce and homemade items such as baked pies and quilts made by local residents.

“This year our auction was really high quality and we had gorgeous things,” said Carlson. “It was a very successful year.”

Whether the intention was to run, buy unique products at the silent auction, try out face painting or simply make new friends, people of varied ages showed at the event.

“That’s why our run is so successful, we seem to touch all corners of our community,” said Carlson. “We have residents from The Pines and young families with babies and strollers.”

Carlson said she was mesmerized after seeing that community members were committed to helping in any way they could. If people could not donate money, they would bring a homemade item to the silent auction; if people were not able to attend the event, they would donate money afterwards.

“I feel very proud to be a part of this community,” said Carlson. “I felt an extreme amount of positive energy.”

The annual Terry Fox run takes place in over 9000 communities across Canada. Participants can run, walk, blade or bike while raising funds for cancer research.

“All of us have been touched by cancer in some way, so it strikes a common chord among people,” said Carlson.

Before being diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 18, Terry Fox was an active teenager involved in many sports. After his diagnosis, Fox had his right leg amputated 15 cm (six inches) above the knee.

According to the Terry Fox Foundation, while in hospital, Fox was inspired by the resilience of other cancer patients and decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.

His run started in St. John’s, N.L., on April 12, 1980. He ran close to 42 km a day through Canada’s Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario. However, after 143 days and 5373 km, Fox was forced to stop in Ontario because cancer had appeared in his lungs.

Fox passed away on June 28, 1981, at the age 22. The heroic Canadian was gone, but his legacy was just beginning. According to the Terry Fox Foundation, to date, over $650 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in his name.

Donations in Burns Lake are still ongoing, so if you missed the run but would still like to donate, Carla Carlson can be reached at 250-692-7438.