Ted Wernham still clearly remembers when Canadian hero Terry Fox came to London on his cross-country journey to raise money for cancer research.
Wernham ran with Fox down Dundas Street on that warm day, July 17, 1980.
"It was a Thursday morning. Factory workers at Kelloggs had tears rolling down their cheeks. They were pulling money out of their pockets. Not counting it, just dumping it into buckets.
"I saw more grownups cry that day. He had such an impact. For a brief time, we were in the presence of a unique individual," said the former city councillor, now a financial advisor.
The next year Wernham helped organize the first Terry Fox Run in London. He said there was a lot of anxiety not knowing if people would come out and support it.
But the crowds did come. "It was like opening the gate to let the kids out of school, it was such a rush," he said.
That first year raised $47,000 and Wernham called it a "tremendous amount."
He was on hand Saturday at White Oaks Mall to speak about his experiences and lend a hand to the London Terry Fox Run organizing committee, which is stoking interest in this year's run.
Wernham believes Terry Fox's determination to find a cure for cancer spurs Canadians to continue to fulfil his dream.
"There is a tremendous amount of emotion that he still brings."