A run for the whole family
Sandra McNeill, Rick Ventrella and Lilly took part in the Terry Fox Run. Lilly took the easy route. Courtesy Saucier photo

RUSSELL – Compared to last year, the numbers were down in both participants and funds raised at the 2019 10 km Terry Fox Run for cancer research between Russell and Embrun… but lead organizer Cindy Saucier is still calling it a success.

Spreading thanks to her team of 30 volunteers, Saucier called Sunday’s run/walk/bike/roller blade “incredible”. Spearheading the local segment of the national event for 20 years, she singled out the help of students who sold T-shirts, Russell Township staff and her colleagues on council, the fire departments in Russell and Embrun, paramedics patrolling on bikes, Alison Lystiuk and Penny Lee Provost for their warm up routines, Jacky’s Face Painting and many others.

Saucier reserved her biggest thank you for Donna Lafrance, her organizing partner for the past decade: “You rock girlfriend!”

Herself a survivor, face painter Jacqueline ten Hartog summed up the feelings of most participants: “I can’t express how many emotions go through me every time I see a group of friends or family walking together in honour of a person who passed away from cancer, who survived, or is in the middle of treatments.”

Saucier also singled out the Experience Café and Smoothie Bar at the Embrun end of the route which concocted two Terry Fox specials, the Smoothie of Hope with chocolate, banana, spices and milk, and the Smoothie of Courage with kiwi, mango raspberry and milk; the business donated $290 from sales of the beverages. 

At the end of the day, more than $9,000 was raised by 140 participants in the go-at-your-own-pace run which compares to close to $12,000 collected by 212 participants in 2018. Saucier said one of the reasons for the drop was competition from a new Ottawa run organized by Royal Bank of Canada for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. With the 2019 edition now concluded, Saucier and Lafrance are looking forward to the 40th anniversary next year: “I shaved my head for the 30th, so stay tuned!,” Saucier warned, adding that donations can still be made online.