September 21 / 2018

Why We Run

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Dear Parents,

Next week Monday, the York School community will come together to participate in our 25th annual running of the Terry Fox Run. I still remember my very first Terry Fox Run at The York School (September 14th,1995). At that time, it was run in memory of Natasha Zimnoch, a York School student who had the year previously, succumbed to cancer. Countless York School students, staff members, parents, and yes, even dogs, have joined us in this annual tribute to Canada’s undisputed hero, Terry Fox, raising close to $300,000.

But despite the importance of the cause, it has never really been about the money or about the cancer research. Rather, I have always believed that the Terry Fox Run is about community and values.  There are all kinds of important causes that deserve financial support. We haven’t made the run an annual tradition because we believe cancer research is more important than any other charitable objective.  The fact is, we believe in Terry.

We believe in the value of courage, perseverance, caring, taking action, and overcoming personal obstacles to help a cause that is greater than ourselves.  Terry represented all of this, and more. And it is these values that draw us together as a community. When we run with Terry, we uphold what he believed and what he did, and by so doing we help make our community a community of hope.

Yours in hope,


Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Terry Fox was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer and forced to have his right leg amputated in 1977.

While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.

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Called the Marathon of Hope, Terry started his run in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 with little fanfare. On September 1st, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay. Cancer had spread to his lungs. Terry passed away on June 28, 1981 at the age 22. To date, over $750 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry’s name.

The York School honours Terry with a school-wide run that joins both schools in a run up to, and along, the Beltline. To ensure an orderly flow and to avoid bottlenecks along the course, we are planning for a staggered start on this year’s run. All runs start at the Junior School Playground.

  • Grades 6 & 7 will join their JK/SK buddies at 1:30 in the Junior School Playground. After a warm up, they will head out together through the cemetery to the Beltline.

  • Grades 8 & 9 will join grades 1 & 3 at 2:00.

  • Grade 10 & 12 will join with grades 4 & 5 at 2:30.

Students and staff are invited to wear York athletic casual, house shirts or past or current Terry Fox shirts.

Parents! Come join in on the fun! Meet us in the Junior School Playground at your child’s allotted run time. Parents with pets, please meet us at the gates of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Yonge.

The Terry Fox activities are expected wrap up at the Junior School at 3:30, so there will be lot’s of excitement at the pick-up area. Please drive with care when entering the kiss-and-ride to pick up your child.

The run for Terry will be rain or shine. Fill up your water bottle, and let’s carry on with Terry’s legacy!


For the glory of Farnham!

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