After 10 days on the road, they have cycled into the hearts of 18 communities around southeastern British Columbia.
Riders from the 15th annual Cops For Kids ride arrived in Kelowna Sunday (after cycling into Vernon Saturday afternoon).
The team of 28, which included Const. Nicolas Reimann and detachment transcriptionist Denise McMahon from Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP detachment, cycled across the southern Interior in order to raise money for children in medical, physical, or traumatic crisis.
Funds raised from this event go to support local children who are provided with transportation to medical treatment, medical supplies, medical equipment, learning tools and mobility aids, to name a few.
With recent cutbacks on government programs and other charities, families are leaning on Cops for Kids more than ever.
“Along the route we have personally met with some of our ‘Little Ambassadors,’ which allows us to hear their struggles and in many cases get provided with an update on how Cops for Kids Charitable Foundation has helped them in their progress forward,” said Cops for Kids President & Rider Gail Harrison.
“To hear that these children are thriving, thanks to the assistance we provide from our fundraising, is what motivates the team to keep pedalling day after day.”
In addition to cycling 1,000 kilometres to raise money for local children, the group has faced challenges of their own.
A crash on the second day, near Okanagan Falls, led to an ambulance ride for one cyclist, who spent the remainder of the tour at home recovering from a concussion.
Another team member is now in for the fight of his life with a recent cancer diagnosis.
Despite it all, these heroes are forging ahead selflessly to help others even in their own time of struggle.
The journey around the region brought in donations, corporate sponsorships and funds to be dispersed throughout the year through a grant application process.
Although their signature event wraps up for the year, their need for funding lasts throughout the year. They fundraise year-round with events to support the ongoing requests.
“These people have left everything behind and made a lot of sacrifices to be a part of this team and this ride is no easy feat,” said ride captain, retired S/Sgt. Major Julio Krenz.
“Not only have they worked hard on the bike, but they have done it selflessly. They are dedicated, hardworking, focussed and they truly are heroes in so many ways.”