Two Maple Ridge officers will be pedalling 800 kilometres across the Lower Mainland later this year, raising money for pediatric cancer.
Const. Gregg Holland and Const. Cory Russell, out of the Maple Ridge detachment, will be setting off on the Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast in September as part of a team of about 40 cyclists.
The Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast and Tour de Valley launched Wednesday at a Vancouver police station. The team members for 2019 received their training jerseys from chief-for-the-day Casey Wright, followed by a short training ride. Wright is a former Camp Goodtimes – at Loon Lake in Maple Ridge – participant and a Cops for Cancer junior rider. Diagnosed with a brain tumor at six months old, he underwent two rounds of chemotherapy and four surgeries before he was five.
For Holland, this will be his fourth year participating in the ride and said the tour raised roughly $600,000 last year. The goal is to reach $625,000 this year, the 20th anniversary.
Holland first decided to get involved because, to him, getting on a bike for nine days is something that he will happily do if it means he can help raise funds for a good cause.
“It’s the least I could do if you see the struggles that those families go through,” he added.
Holland said that it’s great meeting the family and kids along the tour route, seeing first-hand the impact that is being made and the support that comes from corporate sponsors and schools.
Participants have to be prepared to ride about eight hours a day in unpredictable weather. Holland said that he rode one year where it poured for eight and a half days while they were on the road.
“We couldn’t get any wetter if we tried.”
The Tour de Coast, one of four province-wide tours, runs annually in September, with law enforcement and emergency services personnel from across the province cycling through the Sea to Sky corridor, Sunshine Coast, North Shore and cities in Greater Vancouver, from Maple Ridge to Richmond.
Cops for Cancer has raised more than $42 million for pediatric cancer research since the B.C. tours began in 1997.
Donations made directly to the Canadian Cancer Society through Cops for Cancer fund life-saving research as well as aid in providing care and support in order to improve the quality of life of those directly affected by pediatric cancer, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.