Tour de Rock riders arrive in Sooke on Wednesday

Major fundraising event planned for EMCS

The Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock rolls into Sooke on Wednesday for a major fundraising event at Edward Milne Community School.

The riders arrive at the school at 2:15 p.m. and will stay for 45 minutes, where they will be introduced on a stage and doing a meet and greet.

The event is open to the public, with Mayor Maja Tait, Sooke RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur, local firefighters and students from area schools as special guests.

“It’s going to be quite the shindig on the backfield,” said EMCS vice-principal Todd Powell.

EMCS students have been working hard to raise money for Tour de Rock.

Earlier this month, students held a bake sale, a spin-a-thon, a bottle drive in conjunction with the Sooke RCMP and Sooke Lions, and have had teachers and students volunteer to shave their heads, all to try and reach their fundraising goal of $10,000.

“I’m looking forward to our students seeing the end result after putting so much effort in to fundraising for the event,” Powell said. “It’s one of those causes that hits home for everyone, and it’s going to be exciting to see the riders on their home stretch.”

The 1,100-kilometre Tour de Rock began on Sept. 23 in Port Alice and ends in Victoria on Friday.

Police officers have done this tour every year since 1998, and have raised more than $22 million for pediatric cancer research and programs.

This year’s tour in particular is very special, as it is the 20th year anniversary. In celebration of the anniversary, the team is made up of 24 members who are not only police officers and media, but also firefighters, paramedics, and community advocates.

Debi Dempsey, also known as “Tour Mom,” who is the annual giving coordinator and has been volunteering for Tour de Rock every year since it started, said the tour is going very well and every community has been embracing the riders as they come through.

“It’s so great that everyone works together to try and eradicate childhood cancer, and raise money for cancer research so that hopefully one day we won’t have to have a tour,” Dempsey said.

She said the tour started out as just head shaving police officers, but then snowballed into Tour de Rock because the officers wanted to include the rest of the Island.

“Twenty years ago we thought, ‘Well we’ll try it out and see how it goes’,” she said. “And now, it is the thread that weaves 27 communities on the Island together, in support of children with cancer.”

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