CONSTANCE BAY – Linda Cassidy and Bob Dupuis conceived West Carleton’s Terry Fox Run eight years ago, but their history with the cancer fundraiser goes back more than 35 years.
Cassidy has been a participant (or organizer) in the Terry Fox Run in 35 of the 38 years the cancer fundraiser commemorating one of Canada’s best, Terry Fox, has been held.
“I remember seeing Terry Fox on the parkway in Ottawa,” she said.
When Dupuis met his “soulmate” in 1992, he got involved as well.
“She got me interested when we met,” he said. “We would participate in the Ottawa ones at Billings Bridge and Kanata, then Stittsville on the old railway line. Then we kept saying, why do we go somewhere? Why don’t we have our own? It didn’t matter to me how small it might be.”
In 2011 the first Constance Bay Terry Fox Run was held. They raised $3,000.
“That’s what got the ball rolling,” Dupuis said.
Although the name has changed to represent the entire community, “the route is the same today as it was then,” and includes “a wonderful forest walk.”
Cassidy and Dupuis work tirelessly promoting their event, organizing it and fundraising. They attend functions and events such as every single Constance Bay Community Market, set up their booth and spread the word. That is exactly how West Carleton Online met the dynamic duo.
That is how they’ve been able to raise more than $46,000 for Cancer Research over the last seven years.
Right now, they are hard at work putting up signs, organizing volunteers and raising every last dollar they can. Cassidy and Dupuis took time out of their day on Sept. 6 to speak to West Carleton Online from their home in Constance Bay.
“One of the main reasons I do it is because I’m a cancer survivor myself,” Dupuis said. “But also because 82 per cent of the money raised goes to research. That’s important. It’s a worthwhile cause and they tell us exactly where the money goes and their successes.”
Cassidy and Dupuis are quick to point out they don’t do this alone.
“The Constance Bay community centre (the NorthWind Fireless Fibe Centre) has been one of our greatest assets,” Dupuis said. “The Constance Bay Pharmacy is a wonderful supporter. Dunrobin Auto has donated to the barbecue since Day 1.”
Dupuis says there are about 22 volunteers the day of, giving their time to help make the event run smoothly.
Dupuis and Cassidy receive lots of help prior to the event as well.
“To give you an example of how cooperative the community has been, Happy Times Pizza, Pizza Workz, Sammi’s, the Lighthouse, they are all attaching our flyers to their pizza boxes for delivery,” Dupuis said. “What a marketing ploy, right?”
Dupuis and Cassidy also have a few individual fundraisers who have made the event a huge success.
In seven years, Mike Milliken has raised nearly $11,000. Since 2012, Penny Singleton, who also volunteers her photography skills, has raised $6,640.
The event runs this Sunday (Sept. 16) with registration starting at 9:30 a.m. and the run is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The barbecue fires up at 10:30 a.m. For those non-runners or walkers, there is a small store of Terry Fox swag on site as well. The run features a three kilometre, five km or 8.5 km road route and a five km forest route.
For more information, contact Bob Dupuis or Linda Cassidy at 613-832-2403 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.