An illustrated proposal of what the Terry Fox Centre could look like. The purpose of the centre is to house Terry Fox artefacts, many of which are from the 1980 Marathon of Hope, including the iconic Econoline van. (Terryfoxcentre.ca)

Running down the dream of a Terry Fox Centre

Oak Bay’s Rob Reid part of the initiative for the proposed centre that would house artifacts

In plain grey sweat shorts, a Marathon of Hope T-shirt and what became trademark Adidas runners, the image of Terry Fox is iconic in the transition from a no-logo mentality to major charity fundraising.

His legacy, the Terry Fox Foundation, has raised $700 million for cancer research, and as a result many of the people who died from cancer in the early 1980s would survive if they were diagnosed today, noted Rob Reid, the Oak Bay resident who was behind the installation of the Terry Fox statue at Mile Zero in Beacon Hill Park.

During the Marathon of Hope in 1980 Fox accepted Adidas runners and the philanthropic support of Jim Pattison for the Econoline van and accompanying motorhome, Reid noted. But there was a notable absence of major corporate brands, and it’s with that spirit that a board of directors with Reid, Fox’s brother Darrel, and others, are pushing to build the Terry Fox Centre.

READ MORE: ‘He would be so proud:’ the legacy of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, 40 years later

The centre will house about 1,000 artifacts from Fox’s life, his time on the Marathon of Hope and the refurbished 1980 Ford Econoline van that Ford helped reproduce in 2008 (and which Reid helped drive back to B.C.).

“Terry, really, he was the first one to use running to raise money, while now there are walks and runs all over with corporate support,” Reid said. “And he raised millions. One of the greatest examples of hope is Terry Fox’s run. The goal of this centre is to keep his messaging and values alive.”

Of course, the team organizing the Terry Fox Centre is seeking partnerships to make this happen. But they’re doing it in a way that would make Terry Fox proud.

Ideally, the Terry Fox Centre would be located in downtown Vancouver where it would be accessible for Canadians and tourists alike. The artifacts are currently in storage but made up a travelling exhibit that last toured to Prince George.

“So we haven’t knocked on doors, we’ve organized this on a shoestring budget so far,” Reid said. “It’d be nice to have more support but we don’t go looking for it. We aren’t marketing it as the ‘Add Sponsor Here’ Terry Fox Centre.”

READ ALSO: #Foxforfiver, support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

The team had hoped to have a permanent location in place by the end of 2020 and are now hoping the delays caused by COVID-19 will only push them back about a year.

“Before she died, Betty [Terry’s mom] was worried about the artifacts and noted the need for a place to preserve them,” said Reid.

He is also challenging Canadians on the 40th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope.

“I’m challenging people to do 143 days of exercise, for mental health relief,” Reid said. “Either a walk, bike, or run, in the leadup to the Terry Fox Run in September. For every day you complete it, put a loonie in a shoebox and then donate it to the Terry Fox Foundation.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Terry Fox

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Saanich artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Artist Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Traffic redirected after crash on McKenzie Avenue

Saanich Police responded to Thursday evening collision

Tour de Victoria postpones 10th annual ride to 2021

Ride that draws more than 3,000 cyclists to Greater Victoria was set for August

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read