The 2019 Cops for Kids fundraiser will pedal into Vernon this weekend, concluding a 10-day effort to raise funds for local children.
When the ride is all said and done, more than 1,000 kilometres will have been traversed by the 34 cyclists and their seven-person support crew—and hundreds of thousands of dollars will have been donated.
Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Const. Nick Reimann is a repeating participant and is on the Cops for Kids board of directors.
“Working with my peers to make a difference in our community is such a reward,” Reimann said. “Cops for Kids is able to provide that funding for families in their time of crisis and release some of the financial burden from families so they can be focusing on their child.
“When we arrive into a community and meet the children who benefit from our efforts it makes all of the hard work worthwhile.”
To participate, riders must fundraise a minimum of $2,500. Reimann has more than doubled that amount on his donation page.
The ride started in Kelowna on Sept. 6 and has since made its way through the South Okanagan. Stops will be made in Cranbrook, Salmon Arm, Chase, Kamloops and Falkland before the riders make it to Vernon on Saturday, Sept. 14. They’ll depart for Kelowna the following day for the final leg of the fundraiser and finish having stopped in 26 communities.
The route covering the South Eastern corner of B.C. isn’t exactly easy cycling terrain, but the participants are prepared—many of them having conquered the ride before.
“Our route covers a vast and mountainous corner of the province with unrelenting hills and inclement weather at times, but these riders know that on the other side of each mountain is a family who has benefited from our fundraising efforts,” ride captain and retired staff Sgt. Major Julio Krenz said.
“On a day-to-day basis, officers are often faced with some of the harshest realities in this line of work, while also dealing with common policing shortfalls such as staffing shortages that can leave them tired and burnt out. For them, experiencing the gratitude from families who are helped by their efforts is often one of the highlights of their careers, and reminds them of why they joined our national police force.”
Presented by the Kelowna Foundation for Hope and Social Innovation, the ride has raised more than $5.5 million since its inception. To track the team’s journey or to make a donation, visit copsforkids.org.