Two residents remember fundraising for Terry Fox

Two residents remember fundraising for Terry Fox

This year marks 40 years since Terry Fox first embarked from St. John’s, Nfld., and began his Marathon of Hope to bring awareness and fundraise for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Heather Hildebrandt (née McKellar) and Kim Bridge, two Grade 5 students at the time, held a fundraiser after hearing that Fox had to stop in Northern Ontario, on Sept. 1.

“I’ve always remembered this as being during his run, but it must’ve been the news about him having to stop his run that put the fire under my butt to do the fundraiser,” said Hildebrandt, now 50 and living in Langley, B.C.

She said she remembers sitting at the kitchen table having breakfast and listening to the news, as her mother would usually turn it on in the morning, and it was just something about his story that motivated her.

There wasn’t much fanfare when Fox started his run, but, by the time he reached Thunder Bay, he was running in front of crowds cheering him on, supporting his every step.

“Maybe it was the emotion that he started out with,” Hildebrandt told the Times.

She reached out to a friend (Bridge) to help, and the two made posters that weekend from various supplies her mother could find for them. The two sat on the back porch, on a cold Saturday in September, cutting, colouring and pasting newspaper clippings about Fox’s journey.

“It was a great cause and something we could get behind,” said Bridge, now 49. “I think, maybe as children, I know I didn’t really have that much of a concept of what he was going through…but I was definitely always willing to participate or be helpful.”

The following week, they got permission to visit every classroom each morning, telling their school-mates about what Fox was doing for the Cancer Society and how important it was to donate whatever they were able.

The girls raised almost $500 in just one week — pretty big numbers for 1980.

“From kids!” Hildebrandt exclaimed. “We fundraised from kids. This wasn’t about the adults, it was about the kids.”

Bridge remembers collecting pennies from the other kids (“Bring your pennies!”). Some teachers and staff pitched in as well, just to bump up the girls’ number to an even $500. But the first $456 came from their peers.

“That was more money than either of us had ever seen ourselves!” said Bridge. “That was like millions to us, right? And just being so impressed that people would be so supportive, in such a short time, it was pretty exciting.”

She added that while she too has a hard time remembering exactly what was going on at the time, she believes it was Fox’s battle and determination that stuck with her.

The two didn’t keep in touch much after high school, as Hildebrandt got married soon after and moved to the coast, while Bridge studied ministry in Alberta before moving back to Clearwater a few years ago. Despite this, they would see each other every decade or so at reunions and the more recent creation of social media has brought them closer together in recent years.

“It’s kinda neat, we definitely have that kind of friendship that even though we weren’t always together, we were able to just pick up as soon as we got back together,” said Hildebrandt.

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

Just Posted

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

District of Clearwater meetings are open to the public. The meeting agendas and past meetings minutes can be viewed on the DOC's website. Every meeting has time allocated at the end for comments from the public.
District of Clearwater hires new chief adminstrative officer

The new CAO will arrive at the end of June.

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Drug users were shut out of Vancouver’s decriminalization proposal, critics say, demanding redo

The coalition is asking the city to raise the proposed drug thresholds from a 3-day supply

David and Julie Kaplan with their children Estelle and Justin. (Special to The News)
COVID-19 border closure stops B.C. family’s cross-country move

Maple Ridge couple, two kids, turned away at New Brunswick border

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna RCMP reviewing rough arrest after video shared on social media

The video shows an officer punching a man while arresting him for allegedly driving a stolen car

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
B.C. to provide three days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

(Pixabay)
B.C. doctors could face consequences for spreading COVID misinformation: college

College says doctors have a higher level of responsibility to not spread incorrect information

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

Most Read