Quesnel family puts the ‘fun’ in fundraising for Terry Fox Run, cancer research

Members of the Terry Fox fundraising team ‘Family Fun’ accept a certificate of appreciation recently from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International for their charitable contributions in the community. (Karen Powell photo)Members of the Terry Fox fundraising team ‘Family Fun’ accept a certificate of appreciation recently from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International for their charitable contributions in the community. (Karen Powell photo)
Family Fun members pose for a group picture in September 2017 with Cathy Walsh of the Rotary Club and Hailey Nazaruk who walked with them for the day. L-R: David Kopetski, Cathy Walsh, Gary McLean, Maryann Kopetski, Hailey Nazaruk, Judith McKenzie, Janice McLean, Joyce Standbridge, Rosemarie McKay, Elaine Kopetski, Shane Rawling and Bill Spaetgens. (Dave Sutton photo)Family Fun members pose for a group picture in September 2017 with Cathy Walsh of the Rotary Club and Hailey Nazaruk who walked with them for the day. L-R: David Kopetski, Cathy Walsh, Gary McLean, Maryann Kopetski, Hailey Nazaruk, Judith McKenzie, Janice McLean, Joyce Standbridge, Rosemarie McKay, Elaine Kopetski, Shane Rawling and Bill Spaetgens. (Dave Sutton photo)

Fundraising for the Terry Fox Run continues to be a family affair for Maryann Kopetski.

The Quesnel woman and members of her tight knight family were recently presented with a certificate of appreciation by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

For the past six years, the family has collected more than $87,000 for the Terry Fox Run through year-round fundraising.

Before then, the group had raised more than $260,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.

“Cancer has always been important for us to fundraise for, and we feel the Terry Fox Run is a good fit for us because it is a family-run organization, and so for us … that just seems right,” she said.

Last week their fundraising efforts consisted of a $2 sucker pull at the Summer Night Market at Alex Fraser Park as well as a concession offering candy, popcorn, chips, pop, and ice cream at a two-day movie night in the park sponsored by the City of Quesnel Forestry Initiatives Program, Fortis BC, Canadian Red Cross Society and Canadian Mental Health Association.

Kopetski noted the family receives overwhelming heartfelt support from residents who are always eager to support them.

She recalled several years ago how a wedding party approached them outside of Safeway, where she was holding a bottle drive.

“The groom jumps out of the car and says ‘this is the best day of my life, so here’s a donation,’” she said, noting the man had provided cash as he said he did not have any bottles.

“That was cool. I thought that was great.”

These days the family also walk together, and on their own, and log their distances for a virtual cross-Canada fundraiser.

Earlier this month, Kopetski and her family arrived virtually in St. John’s, Nfld. after starting a virtual 7,000-plus kilometer walk across Canada along the Trans-Canada Highway route from Victoria, B.C.

They are currently beginning their virtual cross-country journey back to Quesnel through a northern route that Kopetski estimates will take an additional 2,000 kilometers or more to complete.

Read More: ‘Amazing legacy’: Terry Fox Run goes virtual for 40th anniversary of Marathon of Hope

“In the beginning, we had three generations of family on the team. Now we’re down to just one but still, it was great,” she said, adding it would be awesome to see others start a fundraising team of their own.

“It gives us something to do together. And we get out there and we’re always trying to think of some kind of fundraiser, and the community has been completely supportive.”

This year’s Terry Fox Run in Quesnel is set to take place in LeBourdais Park starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, September 19.


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