Kevin Lane (left)

Kevin Lane (left)

Cops cycle in support of kids

Annual fundraiser raises funds for children across the Southern Interior

The numbers are unofficial, but they still top last year’s amount raised in the annual Cops For Kids charity cycle event.

The ride, which features law enforcement personnel and their support crew cycling 1,000 kilometres over 10 days around B.C.’s Southern Interior region, helps raise money for the Cops For Kids charity.

“The last count on the ride we were at $215,000, which is $25,000 above last year,” said Vernon RCMP Supt. Reg Burgess, who served as part of the support crew on the annual trek.

“It was a tremendous year for us. We had lots of support throughout the South East District.”

Money raised through special events such as ball and golf tournaments, the riders themselves and private donations are still being counted.

All the money raised stays in the Southern Interior communities, including those in the North Okanagan region.

“It was the best weather we’ve ever had,” said Burgess, who has now been on five Cops For Kids tours.

“I think it rained twice in the 10 days for about 15-to-20 minutes both times. It was beautiful riding weather.

“We had no close calls. The drivers were all respectful of the riders and we had lots of honking and waving.”

Among the riders taking part was Vernon’s Kevin Lane, a B.C. sheriff based in Kelowna.

It was his first time on the tour, which, this year, was highlighted by the riders getting to meet more than 20 of the kids and their families Cops For Kids have helped out.

“It’s a great, great ride for such a good cause, and really positive, especially for the law enforcement officials,” said Lane.

“We deal with things that, sometimes, are not bright and cheery, then you go on something like this. It’s unbelievable.

“Meeting the kids was so cool because lots of the riders don’t necessarily know their stories, so it’s great to meet them and see how we help them out.”

In the past, Cops For Kids has helped North Okanagan children and their families with such things as specialized chairs or equipment to help with severe disabilities.

Lane also earned some bragging rights on the tour, winning the King of the Mountain title, in which some of the riders raced up the gruelling Paulson Summit on Highway 3 in the Kootenays.

“That (title) and a quarter get you a telephone call,” laughed Lane.

“Actually, there’s a (police) dog member out of Penticton. He’s a cyclist and spends lots of time in the saddle, so I’m holding that over his head like crazy.”