Long-time Terry Fox Run volunteer Val Huber likes the mission, goals, and cause of the Terry Fox Foundation.
She also likes the fact that no company can stick its logo on Terry Fox paraphernalia.
"That's what I like about the Terry Fox organization - there's no corporate sponsorship," Huber said.
The committee has been busy preparing for the Terry Fox Run that takes place this Sunday and gathering volunteers to man stations, guide the participants, and make sure all details are worked out.
Huber started volunteering with the local Terry Fox run in 1998, doing things like blowing up balloons and helping where needed. In 1999, she was asked to join the committee - and she continues to sit on the committee.
She has attended the run since 1998, and has involved her two daughters as well in the run. Last year, her granddaughter, only two months old, took part in the run.
Huber has sometimes been disappointed with how funds are used by other charitable organizations, but she's impressed that 84 cents from every dollar that the Terry Fox Foundation raises goes into cancer research.
Cancer has affected the lives of many people in Huber's life from aunts, uncles, and cousins to close friends.
"Our family seems to be predisposed to any kind of cancer you can think of," she said.
While the Terry Fox Foundation doesn't have any corporate sponsors, every year Huber and the committee draws on support of local businesses to help with the myriad details that go into putting the run on. Many will receive a thank you note, but they won't be publicly acknowledged.
"It's so grassroots and it's so well known - we don't need corporate sponsorship," Huber said.
For example, one company always gives Huber free helium for the balloons for the run.
"It's the little things people don't think about [and] don't notice," Huber said.
Local service clubs also pitch in to help make the event a success, she added.
"They all do it very quietly," she said. But, she admits, it's very hard for many organizations to get by without corporate sponsorship.
With a lot of new people in Maple Ridge, Huber was concerned that they wouldn't be able to find Hammond, so this year, she's made signs that she'll place on Lougheed Highway to point people in the right direction.
With a background in graphics, Huber has helped with a lot of the promotional material. This year the two wooden cutouts of Terry Fox needed some sprucing up so she's had them in her garage and has been repairing and restoring them.
They serve as posts for the balloons at the start and finish lines of the Maple Ridge Terry Fox Run.
The run in Maple Ridge has never been one of the big runs, like in Terry Fox's hometown. But Huber said she sees the same people coming year after year, and she's watched children grow up and now come back with their own families.
As a former career counsellor at Maple Ridge Secondary, Huber has worked hard to get students involved in volunteering, especially for the Terry Fox Run.
"Volunteering is giving of your time for the benefit of someone else," Huber said.
And there's always room for more volunteers.
"With our local run, as long as you have time to commit to the Terry Fox Run, we'll find something for you to do," she said.
The fact that Terry Fox himself was "just a kid who decided to do something to help others" when he set out on his journey to run across Canada, it encourages other youth to get involved and to look past their obstacles in life, Huber said.
The run take place on Sunday, Sept. 16 and leaves from Hammond Community Centre at 10 a.m. Registration is at 8: 30 a.m. The emcee for the event will be local media personality Steve Darling.