Hammond, an area located south of the Lougheed Highway, is one of Maple Ridge’s oldest neighbourhoods.
With fenced yards, parks, a small pool, and a few homes built in the first decades of the 20th century, Hammond has a heritage feel to it.
A sense of nostalgia tends to wash over you as you walk along the neighbourhood’s sidewalks.
The Hammond Neighbours, consisting of friends and neighbours in the Hammond (formerly Port Hammond) area of Maple Ridge, have a web page, www.hammondneighbours.ca.
The group promotes heritage, community safety, beautification, development, and gardening, among other interests.
They are also actively promoting the Terry Fox Run that’s going to be held in their neighbourhood.
Maple Ridge’s and Pitt Meadow’s fundraising and awareness event, named after Canadian icon Terry Fox, starts from Hammond Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 16 and offers routes of one, five, and 10 kilometres.
It’s suitable for runners and walkers, cyclists, and those in wheelchairs, on rollerblades, or pushing strollers. Even four-legged canine friends are welcome, provided they are on leashes.
Through the Hammond Neighbours Facebook page, eight people have indicated that they plan to take part, as a team.
They are Laetisha Biles, James Rowley, Sandy Macdougall, Leanne Koehn, Leah Pillet, Lara Cooley, Tina Willard, and Jennifer Zickerman.
With 65 people invited through the group’s Facebook page alone, that number will likely grow.
“One of our neighbours on Facebook noticed that the Maple Ridge Terry Fox Run happens in our neighbourhood, in Hammond,” Rowley said. “We’re a pretty new group of neighbours who would like to get together and build the community, and improve the neighbourhood, so it’s a natural fit.”
Cooley formed a team because her four-year-old son Duncan had been so enthusiastic about the Terry Fox Run in recent years.
This will be Duncan’s “fifth Terry Fox Run”, Cooley said. The first year was when she participated while pregnant with him.
“He was very hyped about it last year,” Cooley said. “A four-year-old, I don’t think would be appropriate for a team captain, so I decided to step in there, being his mom, and encourage him to keep doing something he loves doing.”
The team has a modest fundraising goal of $500.
“I want him [Duncan] to be able to see numbers and to see that a team can set a goal and meet it, and even beat it,” Cooley said.
Last year, Cooley said, Duncan was keen about supporting “Terry The Fox.”
“He was going to run for Terry The Fox,” she recalled. “He wanted to give away his toys to raise money to help Terry be a hero and help kids with cancer.”
While fundraising for cancer research is a big part of the Hammond Neighbours’ motivation, it isn’t their sole purpose.
“Sports is a great way to meet people and get a neighbourhood together,” Rowley said.
Rowley registered for the event online.
“You just show up,” he said. “You don’t have to register for a distance, you can bike, you can take your stroller, you can take your kids, you don’t have to pay an entry fee, you can buy a T-shirt. It’s really simple.”
While he hasn’t been personally affected by cancer, Rowley knows others who are facing a battle against the disease.
“Newly diagnosed, someone close to me,” he said. “It’s so new that it’s not widely known so I can’t say who.”
Having someone so close to him affected with cancer is “a real reminder of mortality,” Rowley said.
Everyone from Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and beyond are invited to take part in the upcoming local Terry Fox Run.
You can register on site at 20601 Westfield Avenue starting at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16. The event gets underway at 10 a.m. and is expected to finish sometime around 1:30 p.m.
For more information or to sign up online, visit www.terryfox.org.