U of R sets the bar high for Terry Fox events across the province
One of Canada’s most cherished legacies has finally come to the University of Regina. The Terry Fox run made its debut on the Green this past Saturday, and the organizing committee couldn’t have been prouder with the turnout.
“We way surpassed all our goals,” said Olivia Hellman, Chairman of the Terry Fox Run committee, early last Saturday morning after many of the participants had just started their run.
“We were hoping for 10 to 15 [runners],” Hellman said, adding that their end total was around 50. Students, alumni and faculty members of the U of R collected donations and participated in the run around the university.
The reason behind organizing an event like this was fairly simple for Hellman. Although she is part of the Ambassador Program at the university, where the students are encouraged to do a community service project every year, she also has a personal attachment to the cause.
“I have also lost a lot of people to cancer. My Grandpa died when I was ten years old from cancer, so it’s kind of always been something that has been extremely important and special to me.”
This ‘good cause’ theme is the underlying reason why many of people involved chose to be a part of this event.
Local bands were organized to play on the Green while the runners returned from either the 2.2 km, 4.4 km or 6.6 km courses.
Galactic Funk opened the festivites. For a “basement dwelling jam band” they had a solid turnout of family and friends showing their support on the Green.
Matt Shephard (guitarist and vocals), Graham Hilton (bass), and Chad Neald (drums) make up the trio. They also had help from friend Dan Sherven, who busted out some rhymes over some the band’s psychedelic and funk fused tunes.
Echoing the theme of the committee members, the band stated they wanted to help out with the good cause this event was trying to expose.
“It’s Terry Fox. You can’t go wrong,” said Neald.
Mitch Doll, Andy Goodson, and Ethan Anderson of Peanut Butter Genocide closed the show.
The band, which was formed around 2011, explained they were selected to perform and while it might have caught them off guard, they couldn’t say no to such a “good cause.”
For a band who only performs about half a dozen shows a year – and who states their music is a crossbreed of Super Nintendo samples, old documentary sounds, and 80s aerobic videos who found Anderson to play thick blues melodies overtop – the opportunity to play on the Green was a good way to get exposure.
“It’s good weather, and we figure if we are loud enough people will come,” said Goodson, who joked saying they have brought more gear than they ever had to a show before.
Hellman expressed that the purpose of the bands was to promote the Terry Fox organization’s inclusive values.
“We know that university students don’t necessarily like to run or get up early, so it was a way to make sure we could include everyone. So we wanted to make sure we had something for other people to take in and enjoy and get them out to the Green and see what’s going on, so maybe next year they’d want to run.”
After ten months of organizing, and nothing more than a couple bumps along the road, Hellman is looking forward to doing this again next year as well.
As noted before, the participation in the inaugural Terry Fox Run at the U of R exceeded the expectations of the committee. So did the support from the community.
On the morning of the run, the committee was already seeing over $1,000 in donations. T-shirts being sold, which were fully donated from Adidas, also helped contribute to the total raised.
Help from the foundation itself also guided Hellman to a successful experience, who was new to university event planning.
“The foundation is really good on giving you advice on how to plan these events,” said Hellman, adding that gaining contacts and asking for support throughout the university was definitely a learning curve for her and the committee.
For an event that is said to be struggling throughout Canada, Regina proved to be a leader for other cities holding in addition to the university run, the annual city run on Sep. 15.
Our university can also boast being the first campus in our province to initiate this event. It is something the committee members surely should be proud of.
The weather was warm, the breeze was a nice addition for the runners, and the music created a lively atmosphere for anyone on campus looking to spend some time outside.
Hellman’s goal of giving people “the first introduction to what Terry Fox will be from now on here at the university” has set the bar high.