More than $675,000 raised for Niagara-area cancer support services
GTA Construction Report staff writer
The 2011 Rankin Cancer Run on May 25 attracted a record-breaking 11,587 participants and raised more than $675,000 for Niagara-area cancer support services, all with 100 per cent voluntary support and leadership, said run director Mary Ann Edwards.
The run has raised more than $3.9 million since it started in 2006.
Edwards says all the funds raised by the nine-member volunteer committee support Niagara area hospitals and cancer support services. Sponsors, led by Rankin Construction CEO Tom Rankin, cover the event’s hard costs. “They pay our bills, plain and simple,” she said.
“Tom Rankin is our hero and has a heart the size of the region,” she said. “We are endlessly grateful to Tom for believing in our grassroots event from the beginning.”
Edwards said Rankin didn’t want public recognition for his contributions, but she insisted. The support traces back to the initiative when Edwards phoned Rankin to seek support as she was planning the first run.
“Tom was out of the country at the time,” she said. “His daughter Wendy answered the phone, and said they might need a week to respond.”
However, the daughter called back within a half hour and said they would lend all the support they could.
“Tom Rankin believed in me,” Edwards said. “We had nothing to show on paper. Who would ever do that?
In the first year, she said she hoped that maybe 50 people would show up. Some 3,000 participated – and the run has grown every year since.
To put it in perspective, consider that the St. Catharines/Niagara area has a metropolitan area population of slightly under 400,000 people, meaning that the run attracted about three per cent of the area’s entire population.
Next year’s run is on May 24, 2014. For more information, see www.rankincancerrun.com.