Crowsnest schools ready to walk for Terry Fox 0
Kevin Rushworth photo. Last year's All-Schools Terry Fox Walk was a major success in the Crowsnest Pass. Students, staff and parents at Isabelle Sellon, CCHS as well as Horace Allen are gearing up this year's event, which takes place at ISS on Sept. 27 at 1 p.m.
By Kevin Rushworth
"I'm not a dreamer, and I'm not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to."
Thirty-three years after Terry Fox wrote these words to the Canadian Cancer Society looking for support for his cross-country marathon, 500 million dollars have been raised for cancer research.
Across Canada, people of all ages have found a personal connection with the Canadian hero who dipped his prosthetic leg in the Atlantic Ocean in St John’s, Newfoundland.
While Fox had to stop his journey in Thunder Bay, Ontario after 143 days and 5,373 kilometers, Canadians have taken up his cause.
The first Terry Fox Run was held in 1981—mere months after Fox, 23, passed away from his resurgent cancer.
In the Crowsnest Pass, the All-Schools Terry Fox Run has become a crucial event designed to honour Fox’s lasting legacy.
Paul Pichurski, principal of Isabelle Sellon School, knows the importance of remembering who Terry Fox was as a person and what he stood for.
“He still strikes a chord as a Canadian hero and an example of how one person, one determined person can make a difference,” he said.
Eight years after hosting the first All-Schools Terry Fox Walk, Pichurski said the event teaches kids about citizenship and making a difference.
Getting students from Horace Allen, Crowsnest Consolidated High School and Isabelle Sellon School together for the annual run is an important tradition in this mountain valley.
Students just beginning kindergarten all the way up to those who are beginning the countdown to finish Grade 12 walk together—buoyed by many school staff as well.
“It’s a lesson not just for the kids, but for all of us that you need to approach things one step at a time, make a plan, make a goal and then be determined to achieve it,” Pichurski said of Terry Fox’s goals.
As nearly 30 years have passed since the Marathon of Hope, Pichurski said many of the kids only know Fox through the event.
“The kids today really know the legacy quite well,” he said. “They know of him as a hero and they don’t recognize that he was a young man and before that, he was a young child.”
On Sept. 27, the gym at Isabelle Sellon will once again be packed with students, teachers and parents.
“It’s an exciting day; it’s early in the school year,” Pichurski said. “It’s absolutely the first coming together of all the kids.”
Varying emotions are felt throughout the ceremony—held before the run starts. Not only is it a jubilant high-energy occasion, but also solemn—marking the passing of Terry Fox.
A high school student will be on hand to speak on how Terry Fox has affected their life in a way to connect students to the man himself.
According to Pichurski, there’s nothing quite like a long line of students, teachers and parents walking through downtown Blairmore.
Business owners clap from their shops, horns honk in support of the walkers and onlookers provide healthy cheers.
“I believe it’s positive on all sides that we have our kids out there presenting themselves in a positive way,” Pichurski said. “We are taking part in a positive and an admirable cause.”
The All-Schools Terry Fox Walk starts at Isabelle Sellon School at 1 p.m.
“We’re excited to have everyone who is able to take part and we look forward to sharing this important day together,” Pichurski said.