Jeff Shawcross, Debbie Crouch, and Nick Boudouris all have one thing in common --- their passion for Terry Fox's legacy and cause.
"We played live last year for an hour over in Perkinsfield and we had a ball so we said we'd do it again," said Shawcross, guitarist and vocalist in the five-piece music group, The Rennaisance Band.
Where Shawcross said he would much rather do a live performance, "There's no comparison, seeing the crowd come in after the run is fabulous," he and his band couldn't let it die so they had to do something.
"We were wondering what we could do so we decided to try do a 40-minute video because it's the 40th anniversary. We rented some space in Midland and took our equipment down there and did a 40-minute video."
The mini virtual concert was aired on the Terry Fox Foundation website the day of the run, he said.
Shawcross couldn't say how many fans had watched the show or how much money it had brought in, but he felt good about being able to do something.
Since donations are still coming in, even Don Chapman, chair of the planning committee for Terry Fox in the Heart of Georgian Bay, couldn't confirm how much had been raised.
However, he said this year's event went really well.
"It was a great success," said Chapman. "We had $50,000 donated before we even got to the day and then we had another $10,000 donated on Sunday itself. And since then we've got another $5,000 coming from bake sales and a music video. One whole neighbourhood in Tiny just collected more than $2,000 and gave it to us."
This year's event followed a different pattern entirely, thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, he said.
"Obviously it was a big change from anything we'd done before," said Chapman. "We're used to great big events and this was a few people here and there, little groups going around doing bike rides and runs in small clusters so we're COVID compliant. It was almost a culture shock from anything we'd done before."
But the multiple small events were a huge support, he added.
Crouch, who lives in Midland and whose husband Paul is also on the event committee, said she wanted to do something to make up for not being able to participate as usual.
"I'm not one to go out door-to-door to ask for money so this was one way of raising money," she said.
So Crouch and her sister Gail Chapman decided to hold a bake sale.
"I baked butter tarts (90) and cupcakes and my husband and I made empire cookies (56)," said Crouch. "Gail made two kinds of cookies and brownies. A neighbour also made biscotti to help out."
The sale took place last Saturday, a day before the run.
"We got a beautiful day and we were almost sold out by noon, except for the cupcakes," said Crouch. "We raised just over $500. Some people just came up and gave us a donation. We were also selling t-shirts."
Selling t-shirts were also the way Boudouris helped out.
"We sold the t-shirts at our location," said the owner of Dock Lunch, who has helped out with in-kind donations at previous events. "We were very pleased we were able to come here and sell some t-shirts. Every year, we try to sponsor them in a different way. It's a very special event for all of us. This year, we're all going through the motions but it's more important to sponsor such events because they're having a hard time."
Chapman said the big factor in getting to this point was probably promotion.
"We had more promotion support from our national and provincial offices than we've had before," he said. "In the past, we've been very much the in-charge people and the drivers. And what we did locally was that we focused our communications on the audiences the national can't reach. They don't know who our businesses are and we've built those relationships over the years."
And because this year there was no finish line, all donations have been sent directly into the foundation's Toronto office, Chapman said.
"So we have no idea how much more money is coming until it comes through from there," he said.
However, Chapman added, "I cringed almost thinking we're not going to make a whole lot of money in this environment. Frankly, I think we've done really well. I'm very hopeful that we're going to make a really good amount of money."
As well, he said, a lot of the participants have given him positive feedback about the new format of the event.
"My view is next year we might do some kind of a melded model," said Chapman, adding, "We've done very well but this isn't over. We're still open to donations right through 'til March and we're also planning some followup events so that people can participate."
For more information and to donate, visit the Terry Fox Foundation website.
Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com