Tim Collins/News staff
When the 20th Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team was announced at the Edward Milne Community School (EMCS) in May, the students of the school welcomed the 24 members of the team with enthusiastic cheers.
But beyond expressing their excitement and support for the team, the staff and students did something more substantial. They pledged to raise money for pediatric cancer research and support programs.
On Wednesday (Oct. 4) they delivered on that pledge when they presented the Tour de Rock riders with a cheque for more than $8,000; money they had raised through a variety of fund raising strategies developed and implemented since Spring.
EMCS vice-principal Todd Powell said the students were especially inspired by the fact that the Tour de Rock had a planned stop in Sooke near the end of their ride.
“Being able to celebrate the ride right here in town and being able to personally present the riders with the money raised by the students was a big motivator for the students,” said Powell.
“These are a great group of kids with big hearts.”
The students raised money through bottle drives, a spin-a-thon (in which they ride stationary bikes for pledges), bake sales, a coin drive, and a host of personal fund raising efforts; all in an effort to reach the goal they’d set in May.
Angus McCowan, a teacher at EMCS, who had pledged to shave his beard and shoulder length hair for pledges, was preceded by eight other students who had their own heads shaved to support the cause.
McCowan, the last to take the stage had his hair shorn by Zoey Tremblay who had, single-handed, raised $1,500 in support of the Tour de Rock and who sacrificed her own flowing locks moments before McCowan took the stage.
The 2017 ride was the 20th year for Tour de Rock and was made all the more special by the fact that the 24-member team was made up, not only of police officers and media, but also fire fighters, paramedics and community advocates.
The event at EMCS was a celebration of the Tour de Rock team’s accomplishment of having completed the 1,100 kilometre ride for cancer, as well as showing Sooke’s support for the event.
The funds raised by students at EMCS are enough to fully fund six children with cancer so that, next summer, they can attend Camp Goodtimes, a medically supervised camp for children who are in the middle of the biggest fight of their lives.