The annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock made a stop in Ladysmith today (Sept. 27) as part of its second alumni tour. Between its Ladysmith and Chemainus stops, the fundraiser saw over $28,000 in donations, according to Tiffany McFadyen, who coordinated the ride.
The Tour de Rock raises money for childhood cancer research. For the second year in a row, it operated on a smaller scale because of pandemic restrictions. Rather than having 26 riders complete the full 1200km ride, almuni riders stuck to their communities for shorter tours, without overnight stays.
“[It’s a] huge honour for me to be back on the bike, back with some teammates and wearing the jersey again,” said rider David Giles.
A $6,000 donation was made by a local couple, Ed and Marie Polachek. They have been collecting bottles every year for over 12 years to raise money for the Cops for Cancer. Ed said they have donated over $60,000 total. They were motivated to raise funds for the cause after Ed won a battle with cancer.
Though there was no police escort or big crowd for the stop, community members still gathered to support the riders.
“[It’s] quieter maybe this year, but the efforts you guys all put in — we are so thankful. We are sorry we can’t show our gratitude like we usually try to when you come through, but we will make up for it next year,” said Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone.
Next year will be the 25th anniversary of the Tour de Rock and McFadyn said she is optimistic it will be able to go back to normal with the full ride across Vancouver Island.