Cops for Cancer’s annual Tour de Rock rolled through Oceanside today (Sept. 24), making stops in Qualicum Beach and Parksville.
A team of alumni riders stopped for a break near the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce around 12:30. They started their ride at the Bayside Resort.
Each year, law enforcement and emergency services personnel raise money for childhood cancer research and support services at the Canadian Cancer Society through the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock event.
For years, Parksville volunteer Joan LeMoine helped raise money by shaving her head. LeMoine passed away earlier this year, so a few community members stepped up to have their heads shaved in her memory, while raising money for the cause.
“It feels very fresh, very cool. It’s a change from the curly hair I had on top there earlier today,” said Bradd Tuck, a member of 100 Oceanside Men Who Give a Damn. “We need this to continue and we need to keep showing our support, especially through these weird times, so whatever we can do to help the tour and help these riders.”
Tuck’s son, Oliver, also had his head shaved to help fundraise. So far the tour has raised about $180,000, including $23,000 in the Oceanside area, according to Tiffany McFadyen, Cops for Cancer Specialist. The tour hopes to raise $650,000, about half of the usual, pre-pandemic goal.
Tour de Rock usually consists of a team riding for two weeks, making 200 stops across Vancouver Island, but since the start of the pandemic it has shifted to a new format with community-based teams completing segments of the journey.
The tour will make its way to Port Alberni and Tofino before heading south down the Island. The tour began in Port Alice on Sept. 20 and will wrap up in Victoria after 1,200 km of riding.
The money raised will help fund cancer research to improve cancer treatments, risk reduction and treatment. Canadian Cancer Society also offers community-based support services for people living with cancer and their families.
Tour de Rock has raised over $26 million for pediatric cancer research and support programs like Camp Goodtimes since 1998.