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Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Terry Fox Run in need of an organizer

Ali Wakeling will be stepping away from role after six years
Ali Wakeling will be stepping down as organizer of the local Terry Fox Run. (The News files)

The local Terry Fox Run is in need of an organizer.

Ali Wakeling – who took on the role in 2015 after Betty Levens, who, in turn, had organized the run for 15 years prior – will be stepping down.

Wakeling and her husband Sandy first started volunteering with the run in 1999. Sandy had helped Levens run the event. However, the former Pitt Meadows Citizen of the Year passed away in 2013 at the age of 42 after his own battle with cancer.

For the past two years, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants of the Terry Fox Run in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows were asked asked to do the run by themselves. No committee was necessary to organize a route, put up signs, or sell shirts.

This year, the 42nd annual event will be returning to an in-person format, and not only is an organizer required, but also volunteers.

“Since 1982, Maple Ridge has hosted an annual Terry Fox Run and contributed over $563,000 to cancer research,”explained Jack Basterfield, director of community development for B.C. and Yukon with the Terry Fox Foundation.

He noted that anyone interested in becoming the event organizer or chair will receive support, training, and materials from the foundation to ensure the success of this years run.

Terry Fox started on his Marathon of Hope on April 12, 1980 after the 18-year-old was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma above the knee and had to have his leg amputated. He was forced to stop his run on Sept. 1, 1980, when cancer returned to his lungs. He had run 5,373 kilometres. Fox died on June 28, 1981.

READ MORE: Passing the Terry Fox torch

ALSO: Thousands raised for virtual Terry Fox Run in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Since then the Terry Fox Run has raised more than $850 million for cancer research in Canada.

“Our greatest strength is the extraordinary team of Terry Fox volunteers that span from coast to coast, a human chain linked by a common purpose – to make a positive difference in the fight against cancer,” said Basterfield, adding that they share the qualities of being dedicated and driven, helpful and humble, and, caring and compassionate.

“If you are an enthusiastic and organized individual who possesses exceptional leadership skills and wants to make a difference in the world, please reach out to the regional coordinator of your area to help organize the Maple Ridge Run and make a difference.

The 42nd annual Terry Fox Run takes place Sunday, Sept. 18.

Anyone interested in organizing the run this year can call the national office at 1-877-363-2467.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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