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Chilliwack Terry Fox Run co-ordinator laments theft of banner

The co-ordinator for Chilliwack’s Terry Fox Run found out the hard way that thieves will steal just about anything.

Volunteers for the annual cancer research fundraiser put a 30-foot-by-three-foot banner up on the fence on Young Road by the Chilliwack Airport on Aug. 13.

Run co-ordinator Diane Pinder said she drove by on Aug. 18 and saw it had been partly torn off. She fixed it up as best as she could and carried on.

The on Aug. 22 after work she drove by again, but it wasn’t until she got all the way home that it sunk in: The banner was gone.

“I have a really open heart but I was really upset to think that someone would steal it off the fence on purpose,” Pinder said Monday, pointing to the fact that it was obviously ripped off as the grommets and zap straps were left on the ground.

So why would someone steal a banner?

There seems to be no logical explanation for anyone to be opposed to the message, so there’s only one thing: “I’m thinking it’s used as a shelter. It’s about 30 feet long and I believe around three feet wide and really good quality, stronger than tarp material.

“I don’t understand why anyone would take it unless they needed it.”

The banner wasn’t terribly expensive at $400, but for a charity operating with zero budget that gives 82 cents on the dollar earned to cancer research, $400 is terribly expensive.

“Everything we do is begged and borrowed,” Pinder said. “Our runs are all volunteer operated.”

The other problem with the disappearance of the banner is it had the correct location for the Sept. 16 run, which unfortunately is incorrect in The Chilliwack Leisure Guide ad. The event runs from 9:30 a.m. and is at its regular location at The Landing Sports Centre (on Spadina Avenue) not The Landing Leisure Centre (on Corbould Street).

As for the banner, Pinder said that story has a bit of a happy ending in that local entrepreneur Barry Ross who runs Ross Graphics offered to donate a new banner. Pinder said the “amazing” offer is greatly appreciated and is very generous considering Ross runs a one-man operation.

“He has such a huge heart,” Pinder said.

The Chilliwack Terry Fox Run is Sept. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at The Landing Sports Centre. The fun event is suitable for bikes, wheelchairs/strollers, even rollerblades. Dogs on leash are also welcome. There are three distances: two kilometres, five kilometres and 10 kilometres.

Volunteers are always needed. You can email donna.white@terryfoxrun.org if you are interested.

Paul Henderson

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