Fundraising activities are ramping up this week in preparation for the arrival of the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team to Ladysmith on Monday, Sept. 29.
The Tour de Rock, which began Sept. 20 in Port Alice, is a two-week bicycle journey in which a team of police officers and media personalities rides 1,000 kilometres from the north end of Vancouver Island to the south, raising money to fight childhood cancer. Since 1998, the tour has raised close to $20 million for the Canadian Cancer Society, which uses the money to fund pediatric cancer research and programs that help children with cancer and their families.
From Friday, Sept. 26 to Monday, Sept. 29, former Ladysmith Secondary School principal Dave Street will be on the Lift for Life to raise awareness and funds for Tour de Rock. Street will spend 72 hours in a scissor lift in the Ladysmith and District Credit Union (LDCU) lower parking lot at the corner of First Avenue and Roberts Street, collecting funds on behalf of the Tour de Rock, as well as entertaining with stories and songs.
Invite your family and friends to come and participate in the challenge of keeping Principal Street entertained. Bring your instruments, your songs, your stereos, and your stories. Be creative, and you never know — the most creative people might just win a prize.
Street did the Lift for Life last year as well, and when he looks back on that weekend, he laughs and says it was long. He remembers battling all kinds of weather, from sunshine to a storm.
“It was exciting, it was an event, and I very much enjoyed it,” he said. “People were very supportive and interested in the activity and what was happening. It seemed to do some real good for the cause.”
Street will head back up on the scissor lift this Friday (Sept. 26) and spend even longer — 72 hours, compared to last year’s 60-hour event — to raise money for Tour de Rock.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
This year, Street will be starting a PayPal account for online donations, and there will be a live video stream throughout the weekend, accessible through www.tourderock.ca.
Street says the time goes rather slowly at times, but he keeps himself and the spectators entertained and thinks about the importance of the cause.
“I get rather creative as far as entertainment and just chatting with people,” he said. “Last year, when people phoned in, I played songs for them. I’m just having fun, trying to keep it interesting for folks and keep the cause at the forefront. It’s something different, something out there, but it’s for Tour de Rock and raises funds to battle childhood cancer, and I can’t think of a better initiative to do something like this for.
“I’ve had various people in my immediate and extended family impacted by cancer. People say 72 hours is a long time, but you’re sitting in a lift … put it in perspective, and it’s a small thing to do in light of everything else so many people go through.”
On Friday, Rhythm Dance Academy will be performing at 7 p.m. in the LDCU parking lot.
Ladysmith Fire/Rescue is hosting a beverage and burger evening Saturday, Sept. 27 in the LDCU lower parking lot. This evening of camaraderie and fun begins at 3 p.m., and the hot dogs and burgers will be served until 7 p.m. or until supplies last.
The Ladysmith Rotary Club will host a Pancake Breakfast Sunday, Sept. 28 in the LDCU lower parking lot. Breakfast will be served from approximately 7-11 a.m.
At the same time, the Tour de Rock Ladysmith Committee will be collecting cans and bottles to help raise money for Tour de Rock.
The main event is the Red Serge Dinner, set for Monday, Sept. 29.
This semi-formal dinner held in honour of the riders and their support crew is a major fundraiser for the Tour de Rock initiative.
The dinner will take place at the Eagles Hall, with doors opening at 6 p.m. and roast beef dinner beginning at 7 p.m. There will be fundraising activities throughout the evening, including a “Wall of Wine,” a silent auction and a balloon pop with a grand prize of WestJet tickets. There will also be a raffle to win a special Tour de Rock-themed mini fridge, and all five raffle mini fridges will be drawn during the dinner.
Tickets are $25 each, and a limited number are still available at the LDCU.
In Chemainus, the community will gather early in the morning on Tuesday, Sept. 30 to honour the Tour de Rock riders. From 7:30-8:30 a.m., there will be a Tour de Rock breakfast at the Chemainus Legion. Community groups will present donations to the riders, and there will be head shaves and a few antics.
Tickets are $20 and are available from the Legion lounge on Legion Street, 49th Parallel Grocery Store, Chemainus Foods and the Chemainus Seniors Drop-In Centre.