By Duck Paterson
Riders have hit the road for the annual Tour de Rock fundraiser. The group of first responders and special guests will once again ride in support of families and children who are faced with cancer. Various teams of previous riders have been relaying down Vancouver Island, after starting from Port Hardy on Sept. 20.
Six Tour de Rock riders will arrive in Ladysmith on Monday (Sept. 27) — Cydney MacNeill, Shane Coubrough, Dave Giles, Ashley Cockle, Steve Smith and Mike Sherman will be making the ride from Nanaimo to Chemainus with the stop in Ladysmith around 11:00 a.m.
The Tour will stop at the local Tim Horton’s for a brief break and welcome by long-time supporters, Dave and Caroline Milne, local Tim Horton’s owners. The Oyster Bay and Ladysmith Tim Horton’s donate all funds raised by the sale of their smile cookies to the Cops for Cancer tour.
The team will travel south down First Avenue to city hall, where they will also make a brief stop. Due to COVID-19, the event will be held in the parking lot at city hall. The public is invited to attend. People can meet the riders and provide donations at city hall around 11:30 a.m.
The local Cops for Cancer usually holds a “Red Serge Dinner”, on the evening the Tour gets to Ladysmith, but this will be the second year in a row that the event has had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.
“The dinner traditionally raises over $5,000 for the children. Without that event, it really hits the pocket book of the Tour, so it’s hoped that a lot of people that believe in the Tour and the kids having some enjoyable times, will be able to come out and donate”, said Carrie Alexander, local Cops for Cancer committee treasurer. “Donations can also be made to the Cops for Cancer account at the Ladysmith and District Credit Union,” she said.
Since 1998 the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock has seen over 450 volunteer riders bicycle the entire length of Vancouver Island, stopping in almost every community along the way, to not only raise funds for research into paediatric cancer, but also for Camp Goodtimes. Camp provides a break to children and their families who have to deal with plenty of tests, needles, drugs and worry that come with their diagnosis. The camp is a free break for the children due to the generosity of thousands of Vancouver Island residents who have supported Cops for Cancer for over 24 years. Since its first peddle the Tour de Rock has raised over $25million.