Spirit of Terry Fox alive here

Joining other communities across Canada on Sunday, local residents showed they also wanted to honour Terry Fox on the 25th anniversary of his “Marathon of Hope” and ended up turning this year’s run into one of the best in years.
While organizer Denise Audette still was waiting for pledges to come in from area schools and local cyclist Ed Katona, it looks as if the fundraiser generated at least $13,000.
“It went amazingly. My goal was $15,000 and I wouldn’t be surprised if we reached it,” the executive director of the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau noted Monday afternoon.
This easily topped last year’s total of just over $9,000.
Marj Katerick once again was the top pledge-getter, raising her goal of $2,005, while Joyce Gosselin raised the second-most money ($1,101).
Katerick said she stays dedicated to the cause year-after-year, and is determined to live to see a cure for cancer.
“Researchers are on the brink of a new era of scientific discovery, including using viruses to kill cancer, developing targeted molecular cancer treatments, identifying new strategies for drug-resistant cancers, and developing anti-cancer drugs that work by starving tumours of the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow,” she remarked.
“To me, that says very much,” added Katerick, who says she’s raised $14,680 over the years.
Participation was up this year, too, said Audette, as about 170 pledged participants and 40 volunteers took to the streets of Fort Frances—many wearing the eye-catching 25th anniversary Terry Fox T-shirts.
There were 131 participants last year, and only 94 the year before that.
Audette noted most of the money raised this year actually was brought in by first-time Terry Fox Run participants. She even ran out of the certificates she had to hand out to first-timers afterwards.
“I wasn’t sure if was it was because of the 25th anniversary or because of all the media attention, but people really came out for this event,” she said, adding it’s always encouraging to see young children step forward to carry on the spirit of the annual fundraiser.
A number of groups also registered for the run, including Energy Fitness, Curves, Herbal Magic, the United Native Friendship Centre, UNFC Li’l Eagles, and Rainycrest Home for the Aged.
“I really am happy. The day went off so smoothly,” enthused Audette, noting the weather forecast had called for rain which, fortunately, didn’t materialize.
Audette said 40 volunteers helped out with the event, doing everything from taking in pledges to cooking food and handing out water to participants along the course.
Everything could not have gone off without them, she stressed.
She especially thanked the staff at Pharmasave, which raised money for the Terry Fox Run through a corn roast held Saturday during the BIA’s “Downtown Harvest Days.”
They also ran the barbecue following Sunday’s run.
Katona, meanwhile, aimed to be back today after cycling to Thunder Bay on Friday with Arnie Johnsrud of Lorette, Man. to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation.
Katona has collected pledges from friends, family, and co-workers at the Civic Centre, which he’ll turn over to the local Volunteer Bureau upon his return.
Last year, he raised about $1,500.