Terry Fox Run rescued

Terry Roberts
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Response to call for volunteers 'overwhelming,' says director

There's been a complete reversal of fortunes for the St. John's Terry Fox Run, thanks to a desperate plea for help from the foundation that administers the Marathon of Hope in this province.

A flood of volunteers have signed up to help organize and administer the 30th-anniversary run on Sept. 19.

"The response was overwhelming," said Heather Strong, the Newfoundland and Labrador director of the Terry Fox Foundation.

Heather Strong, the Newfoundland and Labrador director of the Terry Fox Foundation, said a wealth of volunteers have come forward and will lend a hand in co-ordinating and operating the 2010 event. Telegram file photo

There's been a complete reversal of fortunes for the St. John's Terry Fox Run, thanks to a desperate plea for help from the foundation that administers the Marathon of Hope in this province.

A flood of volunteers have signed up to help organize and administer the 30th-anniversary run on Sept. 19.

"The response was overwhelming," said Heather Strong, the Newfoundland and Labrador director of the Terry Fox Foundation.

Strong took a gamble last week and issued a news release, saying the St. John's run was in peril because no one had stepped forward to co-ordinate the event.

The Telegram ran a large photo (See right) of Strong above the fold on its front page June 11, with an image of Terry Fox in the background, as well as an article about the run.

The story also appeared on The Telegram's website.

Strong said the response was immediate and beyond her expectations.

"People were stopping me, after hours, to discuss it as I walked my dog," she said.

"It kind of reaffirmed for me the problem was a case of a lack of awareness about how the event relies on volunteers, and not a lack of interest."

Strong said volunteers from all walks of life, with varying backgrounds, have come forward to help.

But it's the response of the St. John's Soccer Club and its event co-ordinator, Brian Murphy, that has Strong most excited.

The club, which boasts about 1,600 members, has signed on to help out for the next five years, with Murphy as the run co-ordinator.

After reading The Telegram article, Murphy's reaction was swift.

"I said, 'There's no way we can let this fall by the wayside,"' Murphy said.

The soccer club and the Terry Fox Run are a perfect fit, he noted. The King George V soccer complex is located across the street from Quidi Vidi Lake, the traditional site for the run. And the soccer club has plenty of experience running national and international events.

"We hope to make this one of the biggest and best runs they've ever had," Murphy said.

"We've signed on for five years, but hopefully we can continue forever and a day."

Murphy said his group is excited about working with the other volunteers who have stepped forward.

By using the soccer facility, the run experience should be more enjoyable for participants, since there are public washrooms, shelter, a public-address system and other amenities and services.

Strong said a business management company has agreed to provide bookkeeping services for the run for the next five years.

"It's in good hands again," said Strong, who also expects a "banner year" for the run.

troberts@thetelegram.com

Organizations: The Telegram, Terry Fox Foundation, Soccer Club

Geographic location: St. John's, Fox Run, Newfoundland and Labrador Quidi Vidi Lake

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Comments

Recent comments

  • Greg
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Heather Strong needs to bring her best game to her job from now on.
    This was not well done at all.

  • FoxSupporter
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Excellent News!!!!!!! Best news I've heard in a long time. Way to stop up and in such a big way. A big thank you to Brian Murphy and the soccer club members. I hope to raise the most I ever have for this event. Can't wait to run it and I encourage everyone to come out and raise some money and do this amazing walk/run.

  • Lori
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    This is great to hear, and reaffirms my belief that people do want to help when they know help is needed. Good luck!

  • Angelica
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Phew!

  • Leah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Wonderful news. Thank you, once again, NL residents, for coming through, as usual, to help out a good cause.

  • Greg
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Heather Strong needs to bring her best game to her job from now on.
    This was not well done at all.

  • FoxSupporter
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Excellent News!!!!!!! Best news I've heard in a long time. Way to stop up and in such a big way. A big thank you to Brian Murphy and the soccer club members. I hope to raise the most I ever have for this event. Can't wait to run it and I encourage everyone to come out and raise some money and do this amazing walk/run.

  • Lori
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    This is great to hear, and reaffirms my belief that people do want to help when they know help is needed. Good luck!

  • Angelica
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Phew!

  • Leah
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Wonderful news. Thank you, once again, NL residents, for coming through, as usual, to help out a good cause.