File photo Participants warm up before the 2015 Terry Fox Run in South Surrey.

Anonymous donor provides boost to South Surrey Terry Fox Run

Pledge made to match all donations for Sept. 17 event

This weekend’s South Surrey Terry Fox Run is set to be the biggest ever in 20 years of hosting the event on local streets, according to the runs’ longtime organizer.

On average, the local event raises between $10,000-$15,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation and cancer research, according to Van Scoffield, a member of the Rotary Club of White Rock, which has organized the South Surrey run for the past two decades.

But this year, an anonymous donor – who called event organizers out of the blue, Scoffield told Peace Arch News – has pledged to match all local donations, up to $15,000, which essentially doubles the amount typically raised by the local run.

The donation is a welcome boost to the cause, and Scoffield said he hoped the commitment would spur further contributions from the community.

Each year, the South Surrey Terry Fox Run – which this year is set for Sunday, Sept. 17, 9 a.m. at South Surrey Athletic Park – attracts between 200 and 250 participants, though each year Scoffield, who has been a Rotary member locally for 10 years, holds out hope that more will show up, considering the area’s growing population.

“With something like 100,000 people (on the Semiahmoo Peninsula), surely we can do even better,” he said. “But the reality is, there are some people who are indifferent to (events such as the Terry Fox Run), and there are also so many other (cancer-related) charity events… but it would be great to have (a lot) of people out.”

Scoffield is quick to point out that the Terry Fox Foundation has one of the lowest ‘expense ratios’ of any major Canadian charity at only 18 per cent, meaning 82 cents of every dollar donated directly funds cancer research.

“They run a very lean operation,” he said. “This anonymous donor, that was one of the key motivating factors to choosing to donate to the Terry Fox Foundation, and it’s really the strength of the organization.”

In addition to donating in-person on the morning of the run, donations can also be made online at www.terryfox.org/run. In the online-donation process, there is also an option to have your donation directly associated with the South Surrey event, Scoffield added.

For information on the local run, email Scoffield at vanandjan@telus.net