Terry Fox organizers pass the torch – 100 Mile House Free Press
After three years of organizing the Terry Fox Run at 100 Mile House, Burnis and Michell Taylor are looking to pass the torch to a new organizer.
The end of their tenure comes as the Taylors prepare to vacate their caretaking positions – as well as their residence – at 108 Mile Mall, due to a change in ownership. The couple are due to move this summer and plan to travel to Vancouver Island to be closer to Michell’s family.
“I’m sad. We love giving our time to a good cause and to see it end abruptly is hurtful,” said Burnis, 65. “We’ll miss it.”
Burnis said he and Michell, 59, have always enjoyed volunteering in the community in one way or another and jumped at the chance to coordinate the Terry Fox Run in 2019. Both also lost their mother because of cancer. the disease is particularly close to their hearts.
“You want to make sure we can end this disease, it has to end one day,” Burnis said. “I think 100 Mile House does a lot of giving, there are good people living there.”
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The first year the Taylors hosted the event, they held a one-kilometer race and a five-kilometer race, the latter starting at Centennial Park and going under and around Highway 97. Burnis said that they had live music and a concession, courtesy of the 100 Mile House Lions Club and raised over $3,000.
“This year became a very successful year, but then of course COVID hit after that and the last two years have been a virtual march,” Burnis said.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Burnis and Michell persevered by selling shirts and encouraging people to participate in a virtual walk for cancer research. Michell said people in 2020 were really good at engaging online and following the march, but the numbers dropped in 2021. In those two years, she said they raised about $3,000.
“Every little amount of money raised counts,” Michell said.
They said the most critical part of their success was the team of a dozen volunteers they assembled to run the event. Working with them and other members of the community has been one of the most rewarding parts for Michell.
“These are the people you meet. You meet a lot of really nice people from all over doing this,” she said.
To make the event a success, Burnis said an organizer needs to be someone friendly who is willing to get out into the community and talk to businesses about sponsoring the race. He and Michell would typically begin this process six months before September and visit businesses multiple times to secure a donation.
Although they are not running the race this year, Burnis and Michell are happy to provide new coordinators with all the information and materials they need. Anyone interested in taking on the role can call them at 250-791-1923.
“Hopefully the Terry Fox race will continue and someone will take over,” Burnis said.
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