Coffee with: Gaining momentum
How do you re-ignite local interest in one of Canada's longest-running, fundraising events in support of cancer research?
For Gail McEwan, the answer was pretty simple.
"We had to literally stop traffic," explains the co-chair of the Terry Fox Run which is set for Sept. 16 and begins from Rotary Square in Tsawwassen.
McEwan says that while community support for the event has been pretty healthy since a local run was established in 1985, the run needed to be freshened up to draw more people.
"Because today, it seems just about everyone has a story related to cancer," says McEwan, a Tsawwassen Rotary Club member who is being assisted by husband Mike for the second year in a row.
McEwan says previous runs followed routes that kept the event away from areas where the public could see it pass through.
"Not enough people knew that a runway happening," she says.
So, last year the route was re-aligned to take the 10 km run from the Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall and down through Boundary Bay Park, while the 5 km version winds its way along Beach Grove.
Both runs end back at Rotary Square where a number of events have been organized, including a post-run barbecue, face painting, live jazz music and a juggler to entertain the expected crowd.
"Before there wasn't anything afterwards and it was sort of like, 'thanks for coming,'" McEwan says. "Now, we want to make it more of an event, right from the registration time before the run, to afterwards when people return."
The strategy seems to be paying off.
Three years ago, the local run attracted just 90 people.
In 2011, the numbers of people running and walking rose to 352 participants. They raised $10,426. Plus, 65 volunteers took part to manage the event.
That has helped South Delta's contribution to the Terry Fox Run reach a total of approximately $107,000 that has been raised since 1997.
Add in the total raised through the 28 participating schools across Delta in 2011—$19,170—and that makes for a pretty impressive number.
"That's a great total for a small community like ours," McEwan says, "but we have always said that the first goal is raising awareness, and then the money will look after itself."
Pre-registration for the run can be done at the new location of Muscle Memory at 5670 12th Ave.
Terry Fox Run merchandise can also be purchased there with all proceeds going back to the Terry Fox Foundation.
Early sign up is also available online by visiting terryfox.org and clicking on the prompts that will take you to the South Delta run information.
Registration can also be done on the day of the run, starting at 8:30 a.m.
The two runs start at 10 a.m.