For more than 30 years, Four Seasons has been deeply committed to the cause of advancing cancer research. Initially a one-time event inspired by a local hero, fundraising activities have now spread to the company’s hotels and resorts around the world, raising millions of dollars annually to benefit dozens of local research and care facilities.
Terry Fox had already lost a leg to cancer when he decided to run across Canada to raise money and awareness in 1980. Along highways, through towns and in pouring rain, he pressed on with his Marathon of Hope, with his unique run-hop due to his prosthetic leg.
Isadore Sharp was among those inspired that summer, following his progress, and increasingly convinced that more needed to be done. As founder of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, he personally pledged $10,000 to support Terry’s cause and wrote to another 999 Canadian corporations urging them to do the same. Before long, Terry’s route was lined with supporters, waving Canadian flags and cheering him on. Sadly Terry succumbed to cancer before reaching his goal to run across the country.
After Terry’s death, Sharp worked closely with the Canadian Cancer Society and other sponsors to ensure Terry’s legacy lived on through an annual run held in his name. The first Terry Fox Run, held the following year, drew more than 300,000 participants and raised $3.2 million. Today, the Terry Fox Run is held each September in more than 50 countries and is the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research. To date, close to $500 million worldwide has been raised. Every year, Four Seasons corporate employees in Toronto partner with Four Seasons Hotel Toronto to sponsor and provide volunteers to what is now one of many Terry Fox Runs in the city, located in Wilket Creek Park across from the company’s home office. This event alone has raised more than $8 million to date, with every dollar going directly to the Terry Fox Foundation.
Supporting Terry’s dream is just one way Four Seasons employees strive to advance cancer research. Through annual runs, golf tournaments, food and beverage promotions and other activities, every Four Seasons hotel and resort actively supports local and regional efforts to find a cure for cancer.