Thompson’s Terry Fox Run will have new organizers for its 39th iteration, with residents Kathy Pitre and Samantha Leahy taking over from Josh Cain.
In a May 10 conversation with the Thompson Citizen, both women revealed that the 2019 cancer research fundraiser will be largely unchanged from how it was run over the last couple years, including its starting point at the Thompson Regional Community Centre and the actual route that wraps around Thompson Drive and Cree Road.
However, the pair said they want to do a better job of advertising this event to the public and actively reach out to groups that they think have been neglected over the last little while.
“Right now we’re just at the beginning stages of things like contacting the city for using the TRCC and getting permission to using certain routes,” said Leahy. “Shortly we’re going to start our social media blitz just to put out the word about the Terry Fox Run and try to get the community more involved.”
Even though she hasn’t participated in the Terry Fox run since she was a child, Leahy has some experience organizing these kinds of events, having served as a volunteer recruiter and co-ordinator during the 2018 Manitoba Winter Games in Thompson.
Meanwhile, Pitre is more familiar with the run itself, since she’s taken part in it over the past couple years in her role as an educational assistant at La Voie du Nord.
While a lot of things are up in the air right now, given that the event won’t take place until Sept. 15, both Pitre and Leahy are moving forward under the principle of making this year’s Terry Fox Run as inclusive and approachable as possible.
“Because a lot of people think that it’s really daunting in terms of having to fundraise minimums,” said Leahy. “You don’t have to fundraise anything if you don’t want to. You can just come out and just show your community support.”
That being said, Thompson residents have also supported this cause through their wallets over the past 37 years, having raised $1,155 to fund cancer research last year.
“Thompson has been a part of that countrywide effort for a long time,” Cain said back in April. “The number one task the organizer is responsible for is keeping the memory, legacy and dreams of Terry Fox alive in Thompson. There’s a reason our whole country remembers him, and what he stood for. Together we can stand against anything.”
Anyone interested in helping organize this year’s Terry Fox Run can get a hold of Leahy by calling 204-679-5962 or by visiting the event’s Facebook page “Terry Fox Run Thompson.”