HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO Students at Fort Rupert Elementary School get ready for the Terry Fox Run.

Port Hardy students honour Terry Fox’s legacy

“It’s important to raise awareness for Canadian idols like Terry Fox.”

Kids from kindergarten to grade seven put on their running shoes to participate in the annual Terry Fox School Run throughout Port Hardy.

“This is an awareness run, we will start fundraising as the year goes on,” said Fort Rupert Elementary School Principal Jon Carr.

While the Terry Fox Run took place nationally on Sept. 17, schools from across the country participated in the annual Terry Fox School Run on Sept. 28.

The runners at Fort Rupert Elementary did a loop around Beach drive, with the option for younger kids to run a shorter distance.

“Cancer is something that almost all families deal with in some way or another,” said Carr, adding “it’s important to raise awareness for Canadian idols like Terry Fox and introduce students to the idea of altruism.”

A few of the older students even helped organize the run. “We helped with the cones, and we did a speech at the assembly about the run,” said grade 7 student Talia Child.

“We led the little kids so they didn’t get lost,” added Edie Mcculley, also in grade 7.

Carr noted the Terry Fox Run helps students “get engaged in real-world challenges and connects the classroom to something greater in the world and also promotes a healthy lifestyle.”

Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw School and Eagle View Elementary also participated in the Terry Fox School Run.

“We had 254 children participate, and we also had in the neighbourhood of 30 parents and helpers,” said Eagle View Elementary Principal D’Arcy Deacon. “We had an assembly, shared stories about Terry Fox, and then we all went outside and listened to music and participated in the run for about a half an hour – it was absolutely wonderful.”

Maggie Rufus watched the Terry Fox Run at Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw School with her grandson.

“Elder Alice George Sr. had collected coins throughout the year and put it in the donation,” said Rufus. “It touched me emotionally, because I never knew that – it was a huge jar full.”

Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, a run across Canada to raise awareness and funds for Cancer research, took place in 1980. He ran an average of 42 kilometres every day for 143 days until his cancer spread to his lungs and he passed away.

In 2016, the Terry Fox Foundation announced that over $715 million had been raised to support cancer research in Terry’s name.

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