The 10-day marathon cycling effort by participants in the 15th annual Cops For Kids Ride will come to an end Sunday with their arrival back in Kelowna.
The public are invited to come welcome the riders, RCMP officers and other emergency service personnel, back home at 11:30 a.m., outside the Ramada Hotel in Kelowna at Enterprise Way and Dilworth Drive.
The 28 cyclists have visited 18 communities in their trek around B.C.’s southern Interior.
In cycling the 1,000 km route, the group has faced challenges of their own as on the second day of the ride near Okanagan Falls, one cyclist crashed and suffered a concussion, forced to have to be sent home, while another is in a fight for his life after a recent diagnosis of cancer.
Despite it all, these heroes are forging ahead selflessly to help others even in their own time of struggle. The journey around the region brought in donations, corporate sponsorships and funds to be dispersed throughout the year through a grant application process.
Funds raised from this event go to support local children who are provided with transportation to medical treatment, medical supplies, medical equipment, learning tools and mobility aids, to name a few. With recent cutbacks on government programs and other charities, families are leaning on Cops for Kids more than ever. (www.copsforkids.org)
“Along the route we have personally met with some of our ‘Little Ambassadors,’ which allows us to hear their struggles and in many cases get provided with an update on how Cops for Kids Charitable Foundation has helped them in their progress forward,” said Cops for Kids president and rider Gail Harrison. “To hear that these children are thriving, thanks to the assistance we provide from our fundraising, is what motivates the team to keep pedaling day after day.”
Although their signature event wraps up for the year, their need for funding lasts throughout the year. Cops For Kids fundraise year-round with events to support the ongoing requests.
“These people have left everything behind and made a lot of sacrifices to be a part of this team and this ride is no easy feat,” said ride captain and retired RCMP officer Julio Krenz. “Not only have they worked hard on the bike, but they have done it selflessly. They are dedicated, hardworking, focused and they truly are heroes in so many ways.”