On Friday, in front of a cheering, jam-packed crowd at Edward Milne Community School in Sooke, the 20th team of the Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock Team was announced.
“Communities and schools are the backbone of the Tour de Rock. It’s about kids helping kids. In fact, Vancouver Island IS the Tour de Rock,” says Jan Buehler, Manager Annual Giving Vancouver Island Canadian Cancer Society. “We are so grateful for the wonderful reception Sooke gave the team. They are excited and ready to make a difference.”
Since its inception in 1998, The Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock has become Vancouver Island’s number one fundraiser and has raised over $22 million to help kids with cancer. The team of police officers and special guests, ride down Vancouver Island starting in Port Alice to Victoria; over 1,100 km every year. The 20th year will mean that collectively they have travelled over half way around the world to help children in their battle against cancer. The funds raised send children facing cancer and their families to our acclaimed Camp Goodtimes. One $1,500 donation is enough to send a child to Camp.
“In the past 20 years Vancouver Island through the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock has sent 8449 kids to camp!” says Buehler.
This year’s team includes riders from almost every part of the island. The team members received their Coast Capital Savings training jerseys and their Trek bikes during the announcement.
On the team are brothers Mark and Ryan Hendren. Mark is an officer with the Saanich Police Department and his brother Ryan is a paramedic with BC Ambulance Services. Ryan volunteered last year for the Tour de Rock as the paramedic, and he himself has battled childhood leukemia. Ryan says, “I am honoured to ride. Cancer treatment itself is brutal enough; all of the psychological and social impacts that go with it are something that aren’t as well handled as the ‘medicine’ part of the disease so Camp Goodtimes is incredibly valuable. Anything I can do to help so that others don’t have to suffer alone the same way I did is the least I can do.” Cops for Cancer is about helping kids.
The Edward Milne Community School was so moved by the presentations that several students pledged to shave their heads to raise money to help kids. A beloved teacher Angus McCowan, who is known for his long locks that flow past his shoulders, will let the student who raises the most by October, shave his head when the Cops for Cancer team returns on October 5th. The School issued themselves a challenge of raising $10,000 by the time Tour de Rock returns.
The Tour de Rock is an amazing example of our communities and our police forces coming together to make a significant and direct difference in the lives of Vancouver Island kids. Since 1998 the Tour de Rock has been creating community solidarity with children who have cancer. The collective hard work of all Vancouver Island communities and schools in their unwavering support for Tour de Rock allows children on Vancouver Island to attend Camp Goodtimes – a special summer camp for kids with a history of cancer – and also funds pediatric cancer research that changes their lives.
Since the beginning in 1998, Vancouver Island has raised over $22 million dollars. These donor dollars have made a big difference in the lives of children living with cancer. Cops for Cancer helps to fund research that will find safer, gentler treatments for childhood cancer and allow kids to live better, fuller lives after cancer.
The Tour de Rock team will spend the next five months training on the bike and fundraising, before setting out on September 23 for the 1,100-km tour of our rock (Vancouver Island) beginning in Port Alice and ending in Victoria on Oct. 6.
The 2017 Tour de Rock team is:
1. Sandra Boyd —Vista Radio’s 1240 Coast AM in Port Hardy
2. Virginia Bessette —Campbell River RCMP
3. Dirk Finkensiep —Comox Valley RCMP
4. Marc Yeon —Military Police Unit Comox
5. Marcel Midlane —Ucluelet RCMP
6. Beth O’Connor —Port Alberni RCMP
7. Dave Boyce —Port Alberni RCMP
8. Samantha Caram —Nanaimo RCMP
9. Kevin Flood —Nanaimo RCMP
10. Lindy Skutnik —Community of Ladysmith
11. Kris Wood —North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP
12. Cole Brewer —West Shore RCMP
13. Ashley Cockle —Victoria Police Department
14. Jill Bonnet —RCMP Island District Headquarters
15. Jonathon deBoer —Saanich Police Department
16. Chelsea Cofield —Saanich Police Department
17. Mark Hendren —Saanich Police Department
18. Ryan Hendren —BC Ambulance Service
19. Glen Polson —BC Ambulance Service
20. David Brown —View Royal Fire Rescue
21. Chris Day —CFB Esquimalt Fire Department
22. Matthew Best —Military Police Unit Esquimalt
23. Arnold Lim —Black Press & 2013 Alumni Rider
24. Mike Gonzalez —Old Spaghetti Factory