It was truly a privilege to serve as the emcee for the 35th Anniversary of the Terry Fox, Marathon of Hope in Oak Ridges. I was asked by Glemena Bettencourt, also known as THE Terry Foxer, having spent a month with Terry and also becoming friends with his family. Glemena has kept her promise to Terry, to continue his journey and to share his words and memory with others across Canada.
What was equally important, was having my family with me for the event. My daughter, Arden is a competitive cheerleader and flag football player. My husband, Mike is a half marathon runner and also has prostate cancer. He lost both his father and brother to lung and brain cancer. We have participated in the run/walk in their honour for the last 5 years.
The day started off as a stormy Saturday, in which the clouds parted just before the event was to begin. I shared this was Terry’s doing, allowing the participants to have a bright and clear pathway.
We chanted our determination would not be dampened by any rain! Our courage would remain strong! Our commitment would not change - pending any weather changes!
At 21 years old Terry ran 5,373 kilometers for 143 days which equates to a full marathon every day!
Famed Richmond Hill resident, two times Olympic winner and three-time world champion, Elvis Stojko, cut the ribbon to begin the race. He shared how he used to ride his dirt bikes in this community and now he inspires others in his backyard with his passion, purpose and healthy lifestyle.
The Canadian band, The Derek Christie Band, entertained the crowd and played their amazing tribute to Terry Fox called, “What Makes You Run.” As the band played, there wasn’t a dry eye or a goose bump free body. The song touches the true essence of Terry’s message. Derek also shared he is a survivor of Cancer, and that the song and his participation is very personal.
Richmond Hill Councilor, Vito Spatafora, continued to set the atmosphere of inspiration, with his heartfelt speech about his own journey with prostate cancer, and encouraging men to not turn a blind eye to health and make it a priority.
“Even if I don’t finish we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me. “ – Terry Fox
The Terry Fox Foundation has a pledge to raise 35 million dollars this anniversary year. That equals one dollar per Canadian. To learn more about the initiative, please go to http://www.terryfox.org/
For more information on Glemena: https://www.facebook.com/glemena?fref=ts
Derek Christie Band: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0bLdrh3ttQ
This year I had an opportunity to meet Lani Netter, known as a producer and a philanthropist. What impressed me the most about Lani is that she focuses much of her efforts on charitable organizations that have an organic and global impact.
This week, during the Asian World Film Festival, I am working with Lani Netter and the social media correspondents with 411 voices in order to turn a spotlight on many worthy endeavors, mainly the Roots of Peace and Red Cross Organization.
Roots of Peace was founded by Heidi Kuhn and helps some of the world’s most vulnerable local economies after conflict. They support both individuals and local communities to renew livelihoods and business by transforming minefields into flourishing farmland.
I loved the idea that Heidi, a mother was inspired by the work of Princess Diana and it became the catalyst for her creating Roots of Peace in order to create global attention. She envisions the issues associated with landlines as curable and “removable.”
In addition to Roots of Peace, the Red Cross will be placed on center stage during the Global Change Gala. With a performance by Josh Moreland, the gala is centered on global efforts of the Red Cross. One needs not think far and wide to see the impact of the Red Cross, especially in light of the recent earthquakes in Chili and Nepal and hurricanes that have impacted the east and west of North America.
Charity Buzz is an online auction that gives social media attention to worthy organizations. The Red Cross will be the recipient of proceeds from Charity Buzz via the Asian World Film Festival. See all of the auction items listed via https://www.charitybuzz.com/AsianWorldFilmFestival.org.
I would like to take an opportunity direct you to a few of my favorite of the offerings. First how terrific for a young medical student to work alongside quality doctors who are serving children in situations of desperation. Children of War Foundation's mission is to provide access to donated transformative surgical care to children living with a physical deformity or injuries that cannot be treated in their home country.
Next, dine at one of two very special and notable places in the Los Angeles area – Nobu - Malibu and SPAGO of Beverly Hills. And, who would refuse an opportunity to bid for travel to either Napa Valley or Fiji! You can bid on these fabulous auctions, too!
See how the bidding is going – click here!
Remember the donations received could result in great proceeds for the Red Cross – which translates in to help around those the world for those who are most vulnerable.