And they’re off.
Friday morning, 25 riders and six support staff from the RCMP and supporting enforcement agencies in south-eastern BC embarked on the 2017 Cops for Kids Ride from Kelowna.
The 16th annual ride will take the team across the RCMP’s south-east district to raise awareness and essential funds for children in medical, physical or traumatic crisis.
During their 10-day fundraising journey, the Cops for Kids riders will cycle nearly 1,000 kilometres through mountainous terrain across the Okanagan, Kootenay and Thompson regions that encompasses the RCMP’s South East District and pass through 18 communities.
Along their route, they’ll be greeted by local dignitaries and their “Little Ambassadors” who receive funding from the annual event.
Ride captain Julio Krenz said it’s those interactions with families that remind the team members why they’re out there trying to make a difference for local children.
“These riders suffer through their own pain cycling the distance, but they know it’s nothing compared to the struggles faced by these smiling kids,” said Krenz. “These kids are an inspiration to our team, and that’s what keeps them pedalling day after day.”
Funds raised from the event stay in the communities to fund specific items required by children facing illness, disability or traumatic crisis through a grant application process. Since 2001 the Cops For Kids has raised more than $4 million dollars through their fundraising efforts.
“With many of the riders having completed another long season of summer policing duties, they’re now heading out the door again to continue to give back to their community,” said Cops for Kids president Grant Fletcher.
“With a short turn around, this shows what an exemplary group of committed individuals make up this special team,
He said each rider has volunteered and trained on their own time, in addition to raising a minimum of $2,000 in order to be a part of our team
“We’ve got great sponsors, donors, and supporters who will be cheering us on from home so we’re excited to hit the road and make them proud,” added Fletcher.
Members of the public are encouraged to meet with the team during their stops in each community, to make a donation or to learn more about the ride.
Donations are also accepted at any time.
To follow the team along their journey or to make a donation please visit the website at www.copsforkids.org