Dozens of residents came out Sunday morning for the annual Terry Fox Run in Bradford West Gwillimbury.
This was the first time in three years the community was able to run together again after switching to a solo-virtual run/walk model throughout the pandemic.
Residents gathered outside the Bradford Library and Cultural Centre where they checked in and made their donations, before embarking on either a 2km or 5km route around the Summerlyn subvision.
Mayor Rob Keffer spoke to the crowd with words of encouragement, thanking them for their donations and participation. He recalled driving up north with his wife and getting to see Fox on his journey running between Barrie and Orillia.
"I think determination is what I remember that he had and that stuck in my mind...and the fundraising that has happened ever since is because of that determination," said Keffer.
Cathy McLean of Cathy's Zumba in Da House led the group in a pre-run warmup.
Event organizer Elsie Silva Kniff was pleased with the turnout given the damp weather conditions. She thanked all participants and volunteers for their support of the event.
"Today we are back, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, it's so nice to see everyone's faces after two and a half years," said Silva Kniff.
This year, approximately four million Canadians and nearly 600 communities are expected to participate in the 42nd annual Terry Fox Run in person either with their local community or at school.
Team Easy E was in attendance on Sunday. The group has been taking part in the event every year for the past decade in support of Evan Tkatch, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of five. Today, Tkatch is 15 and was wearing his red cancer survivor Terry Fox shirt on Sunday. Tkatch still has the tumour but is able to live a relatively normal, healthy life.
"So we have this team and we try to raise as much money as we can," said Tkatch's mother Jennifer. This year the team was able to raise around $1,300.
“The Terry Fox Foundation is built on the support of its community, which includes more than 20,000 steadfast volunteers across Canada,” says Michael Mazza, executive director of the Terry Fox Foundation. “Our volunteers have been instrumental in the success of the Terry Fox Foundation, especially in the last two years of uncertainty we all faced.”
To date, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $850 million dollars.
For the past 22 years, Bradford West Gwillimbury has raised a total of $160,000 for the cause, with 80 per cent of the dollar raised going to cancer research. This year, the town has raised a total of $3,820 so far.
Donations can still be made to the Bradford Terry Fox Run online here.