Glorious Sunday morning weather, a small army of volunteers, sponsors, and new route signage gave the Langley City Terry Fox Run the potential to be the most successful yet.
But, befuddling the eventâ€™s two co-chairs, the Sept. 14 fundraiser for cancer research saw the number of participants down by half from last year.
Organizers are thanking volunteers and calling the run a success, despite numbers being down by almost 50 per cent, with 152 people turning up at Douglas Park for an event that got underway at 10 a.m.
Co-chairs Rick Barnett and Lilianne Fuller are puzzled as to why.
â€œPublicity wise and the method we used for getting the word out was handled the same as every other year. We utilized social media and the weather certainly co-operated. So weâ€™re at a loss to explain the lower turnout,â€ said Barnett, the incoming 2015 chair.
However, there were plenty of positives to take from this yearâ€™s run.
Barnett said a common complaint last year was the marking of the route or (lack thereof).
With a $500 grant from the City, discounted printing costs from Signboom printers, and a $250 cash donation from Valley First Aid, organizers purchased 70 route signs that Barnett said would prove valuable to the runners and walkers.
When all was said and done, $6,000 was raised from the Langley City event, and that included proceeds from a silent auction, a new addition this year.
The silent auction included multiple donations from various Langley businesses.
â€œThe generosity of Langleyâ€™s merchants is unbelievable and they made our first auction a successful one. We raised almost $800 from that alone,â€ Barnett said.
Added Fuller, â€œWe wanted to raise money, and we wanted to salute Terryâ€™s epic Marathon of Hope. We wanted to celebrate a true Canadian hero, and we did. Iâ€™m a little disappointed [at the turnout of participants] but I donâ€™t think Terry would be. We did our best and thatâ€™s all he asked of all Canadians.â€
This yearâ€™s Terry Fox Run was held the day after the BC Seniors Games ended and despite fears of volunteer fatigue, helpers were in abundance.
â€œA total of 50 volunteers came together to make the event a great success,â€ Barnett said. "Langley truly is a volunteer hub,â€
Plans are already underway for next yearâ€™s event in Langley City.
Grove Run raises $5,000
In Walnut Grove, the run got underway around 9:15 a.m. Sunday, and thanks in part to the late summer sunshine, was a success.
The Walnut Grove Terry Fox Run raised more than $5,000 for the cause, and included 140 participants.
Fifteen volunteers, mostly from the Rotary Club of Langley Sunrise, organized the event, along with help from Township of Langley staff.
â€œWe had exceptional weather, the turnout was great, and we raised money for a good cause,â€ organizer Midori Turner said.
Aldergrove welcomed the fundraiser back to its community, with two different five-kilometre routes that were suitable for bikes, wheelchairs, strollers, and dogs on leashes.
Fifty people participated, raising just under $1,000.
The event started from the Aldergrove Kinsman Community Centre.
About the Run
This year marks the 34th annual Terry Fox Run and people in 112 communities in B.C. and the Yukon are running, walking, or rolling to keep Terry Foxâ€™s dream of eradicating cancer alive.
Since Fox first dipped his leg in the harbour in St. Johnâ€™s, Nfld., more than $650 million has been raised for cancer research, worldwide, in his name.
Terry Fox Runs are non-competitive, all-inclusive, and family orientated. Registration is by donation, and there is no minimum pledge amount.