With long-time organizers Rob and Carole Frech stepping down, the 2008 Terry Fox Run needs new volunteers to fill their running shoes.
The annual cancer research fundraiser is scheduled for Sept. 14. Organizers would need to start planning now, with the bulk of work being done at the end of August, according to the Terry Fox Foundation.
The Frech's decided to become involved in the fundraiser after their 19-year-old daughter, Julie-Ann, died of the same type of bone cancer as that of Terry Fox. The couple officially took over the run in 2002, setting the annual event racing to new records after years of poor showings.
In 2000, only 75 people took part, raising nearly $7,000. By contrast, during the Frech's first year as organizers, 300 runners raised about $24,000.
Participation levels remain high, although money raised has been halved since that first attempt. Last year's event brought in $11,000.
Sault Ste. Marie is an important part of the fundraiser. It was the last major city Terry Fox ran through on his 1980 Marathon of Hope. Since 1981, the Sault has raised almost $340,000, helping lead to advances in cancer research. Cancer patients survival rate has doubled to 60 per cent because of that research, according to experts.
The Frech's are available to assist the new organizers, as is the foundation's provincial office.
To volunteer call Kim Smith, community events co-ordinator, at 1-888-836-9786 x 227.