Blanchette continues her family’s legacy by organizing 42nd Annual Terry Fox Run in McLennan

·3 min read

“Nobody is ever going to call me a quitter.” Those are the coined words of Canadian icon Terry Fox, and the phrase that inspired the 42nd annual Terry Fox run’s theme, “I’m not a quitter.” This year’s run will be held on Sunday, Sept. 18 starting at the McLennan Fitness Gym (southwest entrance of Providence School) at 1:30 pm. The route is a 3-km stretch, with participants encouraged to try to do three laps. McLennan Terry Fox Run organizer Kristen Blanchette says it is up to the participant how many laps they can complete, because in the end the importance is keeping Fox’s legacy alive. “It (the run) brings the community together to show those impacted by cancer that they are not alone and that we support them,” explains Blanchette. “It also helps raise funds for the foundation and continues Terry’s dream.” There is no fee to register for the run, but if people are interested, they can register early and help to raise money for cancer research, with all funds going directly to the Terry Fox Foundation. “They (participants) can show up the day of the run and register or they can register online ahead of time,” says Blanchette. “If they register online, they can get people to sponsor them and share that they are participating on social media.” Blanchette said everyone is welcome to participate, regardless of whether they run. “The route around McLennan is all paved,” says Blanchette. “We have had people run, walk, bike, roller blade, skateboard and go on their wheelchairs.” The annual run is also a bit of a legacy for Blanchette’s family as her dad, Francis Lessard, had been organizing the event almost every year since 1981. A family friend took over the baton from Lessard for a few years, and then Blanchette reclaimed the honour of being the organizer six years ago. “My family always helped and supported my dad or helped raise funds or worked the registration table,” says Blanchette of her family’s vested interest in ensuring the event is held. “Even though we all do not live in the area, all of my family continues to participate in the Terry Fox Run.” She also reminds families and local youth that the schools also hold a Terry Fox Run, expressing the importance of teaching the next generation about Terry Fox and the impact he made on our nation and the long-term effects he’s had on raising awareness about the illness. “I think it’s important to raise money and awareness for cancer,” says Blanchette. “I also strongly believe in the values and love Terry Fox had for all his fellow Canadians and I’m happy to continue to help continue Terry’s dream.” Blanchette encourages people from throughout the region and surrounding communities to participate in the year’s run. To register for the McLennan run online, please visit https://run.terryfox.ca/3214

Emily Plihal

South Peace News - southpeacenews.com

Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, South Peace News