Cops For Kids Roll into Castlegar Sunday
On Sunday, the Cops for Kids will arrive in Castlegar to end their third day as a part of the 2023 Cops for Kids Ride presented by the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation. The 24 cyclist group consists of law enforcement officials from across South Eastern BC who are all committed to helping kids in their community.
Their arrival into Castlegar at the RCMP detachment at 3:30pm will conclude the third day of their ten day journey, bringing them up over the Paulson summit. The following day the team will cycle over to Nelson and then as far east as Cranbrook, before returning Kamloops, through to Vernon, finishing in Kelowna on Sun., Sept. 17. It’s an arduous journey at the best of times, with hill climbs over the Anarchist mountain and Paulson pass across the RCMP’s South East District.
“The past weeks and months have tested the team already,” said ride captain, retired Staff Sargaent Major Julio Krenz. “In addition to their policing duties, they’ve faced an unprecedented fire season which meant extra overtime hours and poor air quality for training. They’ve proven already that they’re committed to helping local kids, by fundraising and training in such challenging times.”
The ride is a culmination of each riders’ year-long efforts volunteering at community events, training on their own time, and fundraising a minimum of $2,500 each so that they can be a part of this riding team. For them, it’s a small sacrifice compared to what families go through in a time of crisis.
“Riders start to think that they may be tired,” said rider and director, Gail Harrison. “The fatigue of overtime shifts are nothing compared to the constant worry for the parent of a sick child. That in itself is pretty sobering, and it helps put one foot in front of the other”
The ride will stop in communities across South Eastern BC where the team will be met by the children who benefit from the fundraising efforts year-round. These interactions with families are the reason the riders keep pedalling each day with sore legs and often unfavorable weather conditions. Community fundraising events and gatherings are held to welcome the team, and to help provide the funds needed by families with a child in crisis. Folks are asked to show their support by coming to the detachment on Sun., Sept. 10 at 3:30 p.m. to greet the team.
Once again, Castlegar is represented by Cst. Ron George as one of the cyclists returning again this year. “I ride each year for the experience of working together with my colleagues to make a direct impact in the lives of local kids. When we meet the families who benefit from our fundraising efforts, it makes all the steep hills and training seem worth it,” he says.
Since 2001, Cops for Kids have raised over $6.1 million in support of local children in medical, physical, or traumatic crisis. To follow the team on their journey, or to make a donation please visit the website at www.copsforkids.org or follow along on Facebook and Instagram.