I got an email the other day from RDCK head office in Nelson requesting some of our recreation type photos for a project with Selkirk College. I did a quick search, which is always interesting, but one lasting special event that I ran across brought back a few more memories than others. The Terry Fox Run is probably one of the best-known national events of its kind, plus it has some pretty deep roots in Creston as well. While it had been held in Creston previously (but outside my scope of history-taking), we started hosting it at the Community Complex in 1997. Coping with her father’s death from cancer that same year inspired our Recreation Programmer Andrea Peet to be the primary organizer for these past couple of decades.
While the building and grounds have changed quite a bit over those years, the run has stayed pretty consistent. You can either walk, run, bike, rollerblade or otherwise propel yourself around the 2.5 km route up to 4 times in the immediate neighbourhood. Another consistent aspect is a few of the volunteers – aside from Andrea – Jeannie Hollis, Val Roy and Ashley Grant have been pretty solid throughout the years at assisting with a number of functions of the event. As well, we have utilized the Thundercats (as well as the original Thunder players back in the day) as road monitors, cheering sections (there’s a switch) and general duties ensuring safety and support of the participants.
The Fox organization is pretty low key as well – Andrea pointed out when she calls in the stats that day. It’s not the amount of money we have raised as a community, it’s the fact that we participated. The person on the other end of the phone yells to their fellow operators “Creston raised X amount of dollars!” and everyone cheers with the same intensity as hearing a community that raised 100 times more. Their philosophy is that you don’t necessarily have to gather pledges; it’s just as important to take the time while you walk to remember a loved one, close friend or even casual acquaintances that have passed on. That kind of ties in with my way of thinking – for me, as long as someone remembers you for who you were as a person and not just a bronze plaque on a wall somewhere, you remain alive in people’s memory. Mine are as simple as handling a screwdriver of my dad’s that I remember him using or a water glass from my grandma’s house. It includes people that I once played music with or sharing some laughs with fellow workers about a colleague that has passed. That’s what keeps them alive.
So, if it suits you, come out Sunday September 18th from 9:00 -11:00 am and pay tribute to someone close to you by having a stroll around our community on a day that has consistently had good weather over the years. Maybe get a Terry Fox t-shirt to add to your collection or another stamp on your certificate. If you are young enough, you can get a tattoo and Andrea is working on getting a DVD of the Terry Fox Story to make available to schools as we did in the past with our VHS copy (now slightly obsolete). If you need more info on the event, contact Andrea at the Community Complex 250 -428-7127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston & District Community Complex.