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Can local runners reach the half-million-dollar mark?

Organizers of this year's Terry Fox Run say it could happen Sunday
S Black Cathy Davis
Mayor Steve Black presents a proclamation to Cathy Davis, lead organizer of the Timmins Terry Fox Run. Andrew Autio for TimminsToday

As countless youngsters made their way out of the council chambers after receiving recognition for their athletic and academic achievements, Cathy Davis couldn't help but smile as she came forward to speak about the upcoming Terry Fox run.

"That's why we are so successful in keeping the run alive, not only around the world, but here in Timmins, for 37 years."

Davis was proud of the fact the run has gone on locally, uninterrupted for so many years.

"We've always had a run. I can go back right to the first walk, which was around the Timmins Square, and we've had some wonderful people to make sure that its gone on every year. Hopefully the youth will continue to take on the torch and keep the event running," she said.

This year's event takes place on Sunday, September 17 at Gillies Lake in the city centre. Registration will take place at 11am. A 'Fun Run' take place at noon, and the leisure walk at 1 o'clock.

"So we've got everything for everybody who needs to do different levels of exercise. We're going to hopefully keep the Marathon of Hope alive in Timmins, by keeping on inviting people to come, especially the youth. We're very proud that the schools of our community, all the schools of our community, have a curriculum that teaches about our Canadian hero every September. Once again, that's the youth that are going to keep this going, and we never thought that it would last for 37 years."

Davis there was a one resounding reason why Fox decided to run across Canada back in 1980.

"When he went to the hospital, he saw the sick children, and he wanted to make a difference. That was his main reason for doing what he did."

Cathy DavisLocal Terry Fox Run organizer Cathy Davis speaks at city hall. Andrew Autio for TimminsToday

Fox's courageous and inspiring run sadly had to come to an end after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres travelled, making his way from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Thunder Bay, Ontario. He had raised over $1.7 million dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society when he was forced to stop after his cancer had spread to his lungs. 

Davis said there is a good chance that after Sunday, Timmins will have broken the half million dollar mark in funds raised over the past 37 years. She and her team are encouraging everyone to come and show their support.

"Whether you have had a loved one who has passed, its a time for memory, to think about them. As you know, everyone has been touched somewhere in their life with a person, or themselves, with cancer. What we do know is that we are living longer, we are living with cancer, and we are finding out that we have cancer faster, and we're getting the medication that we need for our particular problem, and we're getting healed faster. We have some wonderful stories, we have some sad stories, but we don't give up. We don't give up because the Marathon of Hope is very important to keep alive," she said.

Mayor Steve Black thanked Davis and her team of organizers for their hard work year after year. He opened up about his own parents and friends battles with cancer.

"It's definitely a disease that has its impact on young and old, and its one that tragically impacts many lives across Canada. So I thank you for your efforts with your team, and hopefully this year's event is as successful as past years and raises lots of money," he said.

Black presented Davis with an official proclamation from the City of Timmins marking Sunday as Terry Fox Day.