Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast rolled into Maple Ridge on Tuesday to a screaming crowd of students at Meadowridge School.
Students lined the U-shaped road leading up to the front doors of the school building, holding out their hands for high-fives as the group of 38 riders made their way to a series of tents on the grassy field to thank the students for their support.
“We’ve been doing this at the school for over a decade,” said coordinator of Cops for Cancer school visit Charles Schofield, who is director of student life at Meadowridge School.
This is the first time riders have been back at the school since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Terry Fox Run is held on the same day, Schofield noted, and for the students it is a big push for cancer awareness and fundraising for cancer research.
Sports camps during the summer months also raise funds for Cops for Cancer, he added. The students have already raised more than $1,000 from the camps, and that amount will be closer to $2,000 by the time funds are counted from the run.
Tour de Coast started their ride on Wednesday, Sept. 21 in North Vancouver. So far they have travelled to West Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, Powell River, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, and Pitt Meadows. In total riders will cycle more than 800 kilometres.
Const. Jordan Shields and Corp. Peter Westra, both with the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment, are part of the Tour de Coast team.
Shields said the ride had been great so far.
“I did a shortened version of the tour last year. This is my first full tour. I have had family and friends who have had cancer and it is a good way to give something back,” he said.
Westra, who is with the serious crimes unit, said riding into schools with children cheering is what doing the ride is all about.
“He noted Cops for Cancer raises money for pediatric cancer research and Camp Goodtimes, a summer camp started in 1985, that sees about 500 campers each summer and gives children and youth affected by cancer, along with their families, an unforgettable experience in a medically supervised, safe, and supportive environment. In Maple Ridge the camp is held at the UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest’s Loon Lake Retreat Centre.
“So seeing all these kids, it warms your heart,” he said.
The goal of the team is to raise $600,000 and so far, noted Shields, they are just past the $500,000 mark.
“Since its beginning Cops for Cancer has raised over $50 million,” he said.
Next stop for the tour is Richmond on Wednesday, Sept. 28, and it finishes on Thursday, Sept. 29, in Vancouver.
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