We were up before dawn that day, arranging for comfort stations along the course, setting up the registration tables, reviewing the agenda for the day and wondering what the turnout would be like.
Raising money for charity through Runs or Walks, as frequent as they are today; were a novelty 30 years ago. No one had any experience in what to do, really. We just wanted to do good, and recognition of Terry's efforts.
There was no shortage of support from the community for this Run. The City of London police force, soldiers from Wolseley barracks, St. John's ambulance paramedics, politicians and fellow life insurance agents from the London Chapter were there in force and early.
We solved any problems about the Run, “on the run”. Was there enough parking? Did we have enough water? What about pets? Who would marshal the course? If people brought money for donations, what about security? And on we went.
We drove the course. The pathway through Greenway Park was ideal. I can remember that the dew was very heavy that morning and the sunrise was glorious. Conditions ideal, purpose ideal, preparations an idea, waiting to be tested.
As the time of registration drew near, as much as we could be, we were ready, although all of us realized this was a first, with all that it meant.
The powerful impact Terry Fox had when he ran through our community was echoed by those who chose to emulate his courage and effort by participating that day. There were hundreds of participants!
The start was exciting, the event was a lifetime memory, and those who came to honor Terry, all ages, fit and fat, those who walked, those who ran, and those who were assisted over the course, knew that the day was one never to be forgotten.
We were thrilled with the participation, the media coverage, the cooperation of the community, and Terry's example that had made this all possible, even to this day.
As Chair of that event, I knew early that we had surpassed even the most optimistic expectations of fundraising and participation. It was just after I had finished my interview with the London Free Press, realizing the powerful impact that one person, Terry Fox, had on our community; that I was moved to tears.
It was then I realized that the Terry Fox Run, that day, was one never to be forgotten.
And I'm still moved to tears, remembering Terry Fox.