Happy Valley elementary school went the extra mile in raising a record $10,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation, following a year’s hiatus from their two decade-long tradition.
Annually on Sept. 18, fundraising efforts by individuals and groups for the foundation and cancer research culminate with runs and other events honouring the memory of the legendary Canadian athlete, who succumbed to cancer in 1981.
From September into October, students at Happy Valley in Langford raised about $10,140 through online donations, take-home pledge forms and a donation jar placed on Sept. 18 during the Terry Fox Run. The amount is the most raised at the school in 20 years doing this fundraiser, beating the $9,000 raised in 2009.
On April 12, organizing teachers Joshua Johnson and Shelley Roberts – the latter founded Happy Valley’s Terry Fox fundraising in 2002 – received a letter from the foundation congratulating the school on placing seventh in the province.
Over the decades, Roberts said, “the students at Happy Valley have really gotten to know Terry and his story. They see him as a role model. They admire his determination and courage.”
As the first school-wide fundraiser of the year, the Terry Fox Run is well known and anticipated by students, she added.
“The students and their families know why we’re doing the Terry Fox Run – the importance of finding a cure for cancer. Happy Valley families have, of course, experienced loved ones who have had cancer, or have died from cancer.”
Roberts recalled the first Terry Fox Foundation fundraiser in 2002 raised just over $500 and every year since has seen a slight increase to the total.
That said, she and Johnson were surprised by the generosity shown during the 2021 event, the first held since 2019, due to the pandemic.
“It’s just amazing, the generosity in this community. Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Sjerven our principal and all (of the students’) teachers have talked about just how immensely proud we are of them. The boys and girls at Happy Valley continue to excite us and inspire us because they’re so passionate about Terry.”
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