The Tri-Cities' Three Amigos are challenging mayors across the country to raise one dollar from each of their residents — 35 million Canadians — in honour of the 35th anniversary of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope.
"While advances in diagnosis, treatment and outcomes for those with cancer have dramatically improved in the last 35 years, there is still much more than can be achieved if we all try," said PoCo Mayor Greg Moore in a letter to mayors across the country. Moore has also made contact with new Fox run organizers in West Vancouver and Dawson Creek as part of the challenge.
Mayors can publicly challenge a neighbouring community to raise more funds or enter more participants in the Terry Fox Run, or challenge a community that hasn't had a Terry Fox Run to begin organizing one.
The Mayors' Challenge also suggests getting local schools, chambers of commerce and faith communities on board, hosting a fundraiser among city staff and residents, and challenging the business community and local sports teams to support the cause.
Mayors Moore, Richard Stewart (Coquitlam) and Mike Clay (Port Moody) have been promoting the Mayors' Challenge since they attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting last month. Donna White of the Terry Fox Foundation's BC/Yukon branch said they've already heard from cities inspired to start organizing a run in their communities.
"Terry's dream was a dollar from every Canadian and, 35 years later, we have 35 million people in our country, so why not see that dream realized in his honour again?" asked White.
PoMo's Clay said his city will be looking to meet a significant goal this year to mark the 35th anniversary.
"With a population of 35,000 and our average fundraising total of between $6,000 and $9,000, reaching the goal of $1 per resident will be a challenge for sure," Clay said. "We'll be working to encourage people to come out and run but also to donate, even if they aren't doing the run.
"Terry started something very important for our entire country and we honour his dream every year. If he could see the progress we have made in cancer research and treatment because of him… he might still be here today to actually see it."
"There is tremendous enthusiasm across the country for this great Canadian," said Coquitlam's Stewart. "I will be following up with many of them to see what more they can do to honour Terry's legacy."
• Visit www.terryfox.org/mayorschallenge.html for more information.