The 2022 Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team pedalled their way to Parksville Qualicum Beach on Thursday, their sixth day on the road raising funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.
It’s the 25th anniversary of the Tour de Rock, which started in Port Hardy. It’s a 14-day cycling tour across Vancouver Island that will wind up in Victoria.
The team was given huge applause and a warm reception at every stop in District 69 that included the First Credit Union near the Bowser BC Ambulance Services, the Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department, the Town of Qualicum Beach, Bailey’s Cafe, Kwalikum Secondary School, Arrowview Elementary School and Thrifty Foods. In the evening, a Beer and Burger night was scheduled at the Parksville Community Centre, with more head-shaving events in store as well as a silent auction.
Parksville Coun. Adam Fras, who led the Tour de Rock team into District 69, calls the experience surreal.
“It’s more than I could have ever imagined,” said Fras. “Going into the communities and seeing all the warm welcomes, the children, the people that were cheering us on. Tour de Rock is larger than just the team. It’s everyone involved. All the communities. It’s incredible.”
Donations have been rolling in since the tour began and Simon Douthwaite, Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock specialist, said to date they’ve already reached 80 per cent of their $850,000 target this year.
One of the biggest donations received by the tour in Parksville Qualicum Beach came from Kwalikum Secondary School. They presented the tour a cheque for $8,000, the largest amount the school has ever raised. The school has been raising funds for Canadian Cancer Society since 2016.
Three KSS Grade 8 students, Maddy Franklin, Riley Ferguson and Gracie Larson, were given recognition for raising $1,100 this year. They, along with the school, were applauded by the Tour de Rock members, who truly appreciated the donation.
The Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department raised $2,984 from the annual head-shaving event a week ago and on Thursday presented Tour de Rock a cheque worth $3,150.
Bailey’s Cafe in Qualicum Beach, which provided lunch to the Tour de Rock team, also handed a cheque worth $1,200.
The tour next heads to Port Alberni on Friday and on Saturday travels on to Ucluelet.
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