Monday, July 15, 2024

Terry Fox Marathon of Hope lives on

Glen Hartle
Shawville Sept. 28, 2023
Enthusiasm was high with some three quarters of the student body participating as Pontiac High School (PHS) hosted its 37th Terry Fox Run on Thursday.
Long-standing organizer of the PHS run, Tara Fitzpatrick was proud to announce that the run generated $4,557 in donations, including a special $1,500 cheque presentation from Terry Campbell on behalf of the Shawville Lions Club.
With the retirement of John Petty and Rick Valin from organizing the annual Shawville Terry Fox Run, there was a gap where the 43rd edition would have been, and some donors opted to redirect their contributions to the PHS fundraising efforts, as a result.
Fitzpatrick believes in the importance of understanding the genesis of the event, and each year takes time to speak before participants to ensure they are aware of the history, motivation and impact of the first run and every one since. Her classroom has a large and permanent “We are Canadian” board, and Terry Fox figures prominently, helping set the tone that we are all a part of something great, and likely inspiring her students to get involved.
Fox dipped his prosthetic toe into the Atlantic Ocean on April 12, 1980 and then ran for 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, ending his marathon just west of Thunder Bay, Ontario. While he did not achieve his goal of traversing the entire country, his monumental effort has become legendary and his legacy has inspired millions each year since. As of last year, it is estimated that over $850 million has been raised for cancer research in his name.
At the time of Fox’s run, the survival rate for his form of cancer, osteogenic sarcoma, was around 5 per cent. Today, thanks to incredible progress in research and treatment, that number is closer to 80 per cent, proving we can make a difference.
If you would like to get involved in planning next year’s run, contact Rick Valin at 819-647-5609 or by email at


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