RCMP Sgt. Kris Wood looked happy to see so many familiar faces as she biked into Beverly Corners, along with her 23 colleagues, on Oct. 3.
Wood, from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, is a participant in the 20th annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock which made several stops in the Cowichan Valley over two days this week.
She also has a purple Mohawk-style haircut which she received earlier in the tour that she proudly displays at each stop along the way.
Dozens of school kids, members of service groups, and families who have been helped by the cancer awareness and fundraising campaign turned out to greet the riders at Beverly Corners.
Wood said she’s been amazed at all the support the riders have received at their many stops since they left Port Alice on Sept. 23.
“It’s amazing what small communities can do,” she said as several community groups and businesses presented cheques to her and the other riders to aid in their cause.
“I’ll be sad when it’s over because this has been the experience of a lifetime for me. I’ve raised more than $10,000 myself for the fundraiser, and our total goal this year is $2 million.”
Since its inception in 1998, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock has become Vancouver Island’s number one fundraiser and has raised more than $22 million to help kids with cancer.
The Tour de Rock raises money for pediatric cancer research and support programs, including sending children facing cancer and their families to the CCS’s acclaimed Camp Goodtimes each summer.
The team of police officers and special guests riders from all over Vancouver Island cycle from the northern end of the Island to the southern end each fall; bicycling more than 1,100 kilometres every year.
Brian Johnson, a newspaper carrier in Duncan, raised $770 for the Tour de Rock this year from his customers.
But he had to shave off his long hair and beard at Beverly Corners, a common way to raise funds for the Tour de Rock, to clinch the deal.
He said he’s been fundraising for the cause for the past 12 years, and has raised more than $12,000 in total in that time.
“It’s all for the kids,” he said as he checked out his new look.
Tanya Davis, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Cancer Society, said she’s impressed with the success of the tour so far.
She said the final tally of the money raised will be announced at the tour’s grand finale in Victoria’s Spirit Square at 4:30 on Oct. 6.
“The support we received this year is amazing,” Davis said.