When Ron Calhoun was a little boy growing up on a farm in Byron (near London, Ontario) he learned to take the tough and the hard and shape them as he wished. At 6 he and his 7-year-old brother milked the cows together every morning before walking to school for 9 o’clock.
At 10 he decided his family home needed a lawn and he dug up the whole large yard and planted grass. Of course then he had to keep it cut and he did.
He took his grandfather’s horses and wagon and met the bus from London to give the skiers who had come to ski at Byron’s largest hill a ride to the foot of that ski hill. This is now called Boler Mountain and boasts many attractions. In Ron’s day, he dropped the skiers at the base and left them to get up on their own.
He saved every penny he could from his many ventures, a habit that carried him through buying his first house when he was actually too young to legally own property, and through a lifetime of providing well for his family. It didn’t hurt his volunteer career either.
Ron is best known for being the Canadian Cancer Society volunteer behind Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope. (Ron coined that phrase.) He was and is still a man with a profound ability to choose and use words well but his talents extend far beyond that. Over the two years of interviewing Ron for this book, I collected many worthwhile quotes showing exactly what his beliefs are. Here are some of them:
“Terry Fox knew that if there was anything that needed to be improved or corrected, I was the guy to call.” Ron Calhoun
“You’ve got a decision to make, Ron. It’s him or me.” Terry Fox
“From sea to sea without seeing.” Ron Calhoun (about blind cross-Canada walker Ken McColm)
“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” Ron Calhoun (about his own childhood)
“I have learned that the happiest of people don’t have everything, but they make the most of everything.” Ron Calhoun
“I had the good fortune to be part of something that was truly a miracle.” Ron Calhoun (about the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope)
Ron was the driving force not only behind Terry Fox’s marathon but also those of Steve Fonyo, John and Jesse Davidson and Ken McColm. Ron has never received a cent for any of the hours, days and years of his life spent helping others. Through helping countless others attain their dreams he has himself become a volunteer extraordinaire.
Read more about Ron in the new creative non-fiction book just released. (click title below)
Tags: Marathon of Hope, Ron Calhoun, Terry Fox, volunteerism