Terry's dream in jeopardy?

Terry Roberts
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Organizers of the Terry Fox Run in this province say the annual event is in danger of being cancelled in St. John's.

It's not because of a lack of participants or fundraising, because about 500 participants raised about $10,000 last year.

The Terry Fox Run in St. John's is in danger of being cancelled this year unless someone steps forward as a volunteer co-ordinator. The provincial director of the Terry Fox Foundation, Heather Strong, is putting out the call for help. Photo by Terry Robe

Organizers of the Terry Fox Run in this province say the annual event is in danger of being cancelled in St. John's.

It's not because of a lack of participants or fundraising, because about 500 participants raised about $10,000 last year.

But there's a shortage of volunteers. Specifically, no one has stepped foward to co-ordinate this year's event, which is scheduled for Sept. 19 at Quidi Vidi Lake.

"We usually have someone at the helm by now," said Heather Strong, provincial director of the Terry Fox Foundation.

She said the annual event has a strong connection to St. John's, since it's where Terry Fox started his Marathon of Hope in 1980.

She said a lead organizer is needed in order to oversee a dedicated group of volunteers and co-ordinate the event.

Without one, the run will be cancelled.

"It is imperative that this run, and its ability to spread hope and optimism, continues to be organized.

"Terry did not forget about us as he dipped his foot in St. John's harbour on April, 1980. We cannot forget about him on Sept. 19."

The foundation is looking for someone with exceptional leadership qualities and an ability to motivate and mobilize volunteers and participants.

Strong doesn't believe the situation is a result of fading interest in the event. She suggests it's not widely known that all 29 Terry Fox runs in the province are organized and run by volunteers.

She noted the previous co-ordinator has stepped down after several years in the position, and said several other locations are in need of volunteer support.

"We rely solely on the generosity of the general public to participate and co-ordinate events, not unlike Terry himself when he ran across the island. He relied on people to wash his clothes and feed him a warm meal," she said.

The foundation provides all the promotional and administrative materials needed to host the event, she added.

The run has raised over $500 million to date, and has helped contribute to important advancements in cancer research.

The run is a family-oriented activity with no entry fee or minimum pledge.

Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Heather at 576-8428 or nl@terryfoxrun.org.

troberts@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Terry Fox Foundation

Geographic location: St. John's, Quidi Vidi Lake

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • Doesn't make
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    This article is a little disturbing.. Ms Strong was on the news last night and paper today looking for a volunteer to coordinate the St Johns run in an attempt to save it. Ms Strong is in a paid position with that organization and should be accountable for coordinating such events. If this run fails it will reflect very poorly on Ms Strong and her value to such an organization.

    Has anyone thought about paying someone to do the work? I am sure if the pay is commission based the foundation will see improved financial benefits.

    But for now, Ms Strong stay out of the media before this becomes egg on your face and an embarrassment for the organization.

  • Donny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    After 30 long years it's pretty apparent that nobody cares! I, for one, am sick of hearing about it. Give it a rest!

  • Lisa
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    I don't know a lot about the different cancer charities but from everything I've heard and read, the Terry Fox Foundation seems to be one of the best. With very little overhead costs, a narrow focus of CANCER RESEARCH ONLY, as well as a long standing commitment from his family I feel very confident that my money is well used when I contribute to this charity. And the only other thing I question is....you are all saying it is Ms. Strong's responsibility to keep this race alive, but then you are criticising her for doing just that (getting out in the media, etc). Geeze you guys are a tough crowd to please!

  • And I Say ....
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    I agree with Jim B. from Mount Pearl. Half a billion dollars is nothing to be ashamed of & I'm sure Terry is pretty amazed, pleased & grateful at that.

    We are unendated with fund raisers from the cancer society. Remember Daffodil Place .... supposed to be for cancer patients receiving treatment from out out town .... not the employees who seem to be more concerned in getting their time off in order to enjoy the holidays properly during Christmas.

    Personally, I give to only one cancer fundraiser per year now. There are many more charitable fundraisers looking for our dollar and I choose to spread what I have allotted for charity around.

    I think we should have a Community Chest Program in place in our society anyway.

    I'm just saying ......

  • Jim B
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    That's a lot of responsibility for an unpaid volunteer.

    The Terry fox Foundation has raised half a billion dollars so far.

    Maybe they should look at their business model and make some adjustments.

  • Donna
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    The people of St. John's seem to be missing the point. Ms. Strong is the
    only paid employee of the Terry Fox Foundation in Newfoundland. The foundation relies on volunteers everywhere to assist with the programs.
    The Fox family has continued Terry's wishes to have the bulk of the money that people donate go to Cancer research and not to salaries, overhead etc. as with other organizations. I am a strong supporter of the foundation for this reason.

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Heather...isn't your mother a retired phys ed teacher? Sounds like she could be right volunteer that you need.

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    'Donna from NS' I think you are missing the point. The overhead of this organization is not an issue and money may be well spent, but Ms Strong should be ultimately responsible. If too much for her then the Foundation must adjust business plan to make this happen. This dont have to be a full time paid position It can be commission based exercise.

  • TS
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Just for the record.
    Heather is the co-ordinator for the Terry Fox Foundation province wide, but just St. John's. There is no way that she would be able to co-ordinate this event in 29 different areas of the province without volunteers!

  • Judy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I have volunteered for many things. Just a question. Why is Heather Strong not co-ordinating the volunteers? Surely this is worth having an employee co-ordinate the effort?

  • Doesn't make
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    This article is a little disturbing.. Ms Strong was on the news last night and paper today looking for a volunteer to coordinate the St Johns run in an attempt to save it. Ms Strong is in a paid position with that organization and should be accountable for coordinating such events. If this run fails it will reflect very poorly on Ms Strong and her value to such an organization.

    Has anyone thought about paying someone to do the work? I am sure if the pay is commission based the foundation will see improved financial benefits.

    But for now, Ms Strong stay out of the media before this becomes egg on your face and an embarrassment for the organization.

  • Donny
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    After 30 long years it's pretty apparent that nobody cares! I, for one, am sick of hearing about it. Give it a rest!

  • Lisa
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    I don't know a lot about the different cancer charities but from everything I've heard and read, the Terry Fox Foundation seems to be one of the best. With very little overhead costs, a narrow focus of CANCER RESEARCH ONLY, as well as a long standing commitment from his family I feel very confident that my money is well used when I contribute to this charity. And the only other thing I question is....you are all saying it is Ms. Strong's responsibility to keep this race alive, but then you are criticising her for doing just that (getting out in the media, etc). Geeze you guys are a tough crowd to please!

  • And I Say ....
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    I agree with Jim B. from Mount Pearl. Half a billion dollars is nothing to be ashamed of & I'm sure Terry is pretty amazed, pleased & grateful at that.

    We are unendated with fund raisers from the cancer society. Remember Daffodil Place .... supposed to be for cancer patients receiving treatment from out out town .... not the employees who seem to be more concerned in getting their time off in order to enjoy the holidays properly during Christmas.

    Personally, I give to only one cancer fundraiser per year now. There are many more charitable fundraisers looking for our dollar and I choose to spread what I have allotted for charity around.

    I think we should have a Community Chest Program in place in our society anyway.

    I'm just saying ......

  • Jim B
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    That's a lot of responsibility for an unpaid volunteer.

    The Terry fox Foundation has raised half a billion dollars so far.

    Maybe they should look at their business model and make some adjustments.

  • Donna
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    The people of St. John's seem to be missing the point. Ms. Strong is the
    only paid employee of the Terry Fox Foundation in Newfoundland. The foundation relies on volunteers everywhere to assist with the programs.
    The Fox family has continued Terry's wishes to have the bulk of the money that people donate go to Cancer research and not to salaries, overhead etc. as with other organizations. I am a strong supporter of the foundation for this reason.

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Heather...isn't your mother a retired phys ed teacher? Sounds like she could be right volunteer that you need.

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    'Donna from NS' I think you are missing the point. The overhead of this organization is not an issue and money may be well spent, but Ms Strong should be ultimately responsible. If too much for her then the Foundation must adjust business plan to make this happen. This dont have to be a full time paid position It can be commission based exercise.

  • TS
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Just for the record.
    Heather is the co-ordinator for the Terry Fox Foundation province wide, but just St. John's. There is no way that she would be able to co-ordinate this event in 29 different areas of the province without volunteers!

  • Judy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    I have volunteered for many things. Just a question. Why is Heather Strong not co-ordinating the volunteers? Surely this is worth having an employee co-ordinate the effort?