$1,154,776. Wow! Need we say more?
Vancouver Islanders — from Port Alice and Port Hardy, all the way down to Victoria — this remarkable number is your doing. Tour de Rock is the Island’s charity because without you, we would just be a group of cops and journalists, and one high school teacher, cycling 1,100 kilometres. It is the generosity of people in every community that makes Tour de Rock such a meaningful success year after year.
Today marked the final day of the 2014 Tour de Rock ride. The 24 riders took to the streets of Greater Victoria, stopping at schools and wonderful community events along the way. From heartfelt stops at St. Margaret’s School and Thrifty Foods, to great receptions at the University of Victoria and Country Grocer, the support is overwhelming and so very much appreciated.
But it was, like many years, when the team pulled in to Reynolds secondary that sent chills down every rider’s spine. Guest rider Dean Norris-Jones, a longtime Reynolds teacher and one of the strongest supporters at the school, walked into the gym alongside (as he so eloquently put it) “23 of my closest friends” to share an unforgettable experience. As fellow rider and Saanich police school liaison officer Heather Hunter stepped up and emotionally shaved her head in front of a gym full of supporters, the students presented the team with a $93,000+ cheque. Just moments after that reveal, philanthropist Rudi Hoenson rounded that number up to an even $100,000.
It’s moments like that that Tour de Rock is all about. The generosity of the people on Vancouver Island who welcome the team into their community with open arms is life-changing. The compassion and support that Tour de Rock riders feel from the honks and waves and cheers helps drive the team from community to community. Tour de Rock truly is Vancouver Island’s charity. You should all be incredibly proud of what you helped accomplish.
Thank you, Vancouver Island! We look forward to seeing you next year.