Dawnice Kavanaugh

General Amherst High School raises over $5,500 at Terry Fox Run



By Ron Giofu


The students and staff at General Amherst High School hit the walking track next to the school all in the name of cancer research.

The school held a Terry Fox Run/Walk last Thursday. As of Thursday morning, about $4,000 had been raised for the Terry Fox Foundation. When all was said and done, General Amherst High School had brought in $5,500.

The event was organized by General Amherst’s fitness and recreation leadership class and student Abby Orchard said it was not just about raising money for the Terry Fox Foundation, but to raise awareness as well.

“The run is really to raise for cancer research,” explained Orchard. “Hopefully, we can reach our (fundraising) goal. Regardless, I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished here today.”

Orchard pointed out that “everyone has been affected by cancer at some point in their lives” and that the class and the entire school wants to raise awareness and funds so that the disease can be cured once and for all. She added they are thankful to all of those who supported the Terry Fox Run/Walk.

Public health nurse Dawnice Kavanaugh recalled seeing photos of Terry Fox when he was running in his “Marathon of Hope” in 1980.

“He was a young guy with curly, wild hair and he ran with an artificial leg,” she said.

Kavanaugh noted he ran 42 km per day, equivalent of going from Amherstburg to the Windsor riverfront daily.

General Amherst High School held its Terry Fox Run last Thursday with the school raising over $5,500.
The event was organized by the fitness and recreation leadership class and involved the entire student body and staff.


“He ran in rain, blizzards and the heat,” she said, noting Fox did it to raise money for cancer research.

“I’m proud of you guys today,” Kavanaugh told the students. “You are raising awareness and you are involved in a physical activity.”

Kavanaugh also urged staff and students to avoid cancer-causing activities, such as smoking and staying out in the sun too long without sunscreen.

Cancer survivor Julie Wingerden, mother of student council prime minister Jordan Wingerden, told the students and staff of her cancer journey. That journey began Sept. 2, 2014, when she had to tell her children she had cancer. She has been cancer-free since 2015 but still gets pain stemming from her eight chemotherapy treatments.

The chemotherapy “beat me up bad,” she recalled.

“There were some days where I couldn’t get off the couch.”

Terry Fox runs/walks as well as similar events are very important, Wingerden emphasized, as they raise funds for important research.

“I came to the realization if Terry Fox didn’t do his run, I could be dead today,” said Wingerden.

As a result of the “Marathon of Hope” and subsequent fundraising events, millions have been raised and Wingerden stated “I will be forever grateful.”

Cancer doesn’t discriminate on who it impacts, she added.

“It’s serious. Cancer really sucks and can affect any one of us,” said Wingerden. “I think it’s important we do these walks. We have to hope there will be a cure one day.”

Wingerden challenged students to do nice things for others. She also encouraged the students to do whatever they can to overcome tough times.

“There’s always hope you can overcome it,” said Wingerden.