Grass Roots Support Girds Stouffville Terry Fox Run

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Grass Roots Support Girds Stouffville Terry Fox Run

Sophomore Chair looks to maintain Town’s provincial top 10 fundraising status

Mairead  FitzPatrick, daughter of Stouffvile Terry Fox Run Chair Stacey FitzPatrick, ‘meets’ Terry for the first time at last year’s run.

Stacey FitzPatrick is serving as Chair of the Stouffville Terry Fox Run for the second straight year.

Big or small we take them all.

That sums up Stacey FitzPatrick’s fundraising approach as she sets out to add to the $1.8 million the Town has raised for cancer research since its first Stouffville Terry Fox Run in 1982. The second year Chair of the local run committee points with pride to how the run consistently ranks in the top 10 municipalities in Ontario in terms of money raised thanks to the support of countless individual donors.

“We’re very proud of that,” said Ms FitzPatrick, pointing to the $103,189 raised by 1,100 participants in last year’s Stouffville run, good for ninth spot in the province.  “There is no minimum amount required, no entrance fee. For such a small community to raise so much money is impressive.”

She said the Town’s approach mirrors Terry Fox’s own model when he set out to run cross Canada in 1982 in his herculean effort to raise money for cancer research. “Terry changed what people thought about giving and about cancer research.  His vision was for every single Canadian to give a dollar, which would add up to millions of dollars. Back then fundraising was a different beast. Philanthropy is now no longer about huge donations from corporations, it’s what everyone can give.”

While companies and corporations are encouraged to take part in the run, with the Stouffville business community always doing more than their share, Ms FitzPatrick said it is important to remember that Terry insisted the focus be on the cause. “It’s all about curing cancer, it’s not to be commercialized. This was Terry’s way.”

This year’s run date is Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. While the event has traditionally been based on the property of the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library and Leisure Centre, ongoing construction at that complex has necessitated that it be based out of nearby Memorial Park for the second straight year. Ms FitzPatrick said the temporary site could become permanent. “Memorial Park is great, it’s a fine location. We might just continue to have it there.”

David Mills, who played a key role in last spring’s Longest Concert by Multiple Performers Guinness record concert in Stouffville, has joined the Stouffville Terry Fox Run committee and will coordinate the entertainment. Local musician Mike Burns will be among the performers. The committee has welcomed long time supporter Cindy McNeil, who will head up the initiative to attract more teams to take part in the run.

Ms FitzPatrick said the Stouffville Terry Fox Run’s claim that all funds raised go directly to cancer research is a big reason for the support received. She was delighted when Whitchurch-Stouffville Council accepted her committee’s  grant request this year which will cover the costs for the park, pylons, the York Region Police presence, the banner over  the street and sound. “We don’t spend a dime of what we bring in.”

Seeing the difference made by the money raised for cancer research makes the efforts of everyone involved with the run worthwhile, said Ms FitzPatrick. “You can see the results when you meet these researchers. It’s phenomenal. Things that cancer patients would have died from five years ago can now be treated. We fundraise, that’s what we can do. They do the research.”

With from 80-100 volunteers needed  on the day of the run, Ms Fitzpatrick said her committee can always use more helpers. She can be contacted at:

staceyfitzpatrick@yahoo.ca

Registration for the run is at noon at Latcham Hall with pre-event activities in the neighbouring fields. Announcements and the 1 p.m. opening ceremonies will take place from the park band shell.

You can also register at: terryfox.org/Run/

For updates, go to Terry Fox Run Stouffville on Facebook.

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