Small groups of riders cycled into Kelowna Sunday, Sept. 20, to finish the 2020 Cops for Kids Ride.
But there was no pomp and certainly no circumstance.
Over the past 10-days, 29 cyclists have logged 1,000 kilometres as a part of their commitment to children across southeastern B.C. facing illness, disability, or traumatic crisis. Normally, the troop would circumnavigate the region as a team, stopping in each community to meet with supporters, donors, and the children who benefit from their fundraising efforts.
Due to the ongoing global pandemic, the team was unable to host the event under normal circumstances and instead had a small group of six local riders pedaling the designated route each day on behalf of the entire squad while the remaining cyclists rode at home to fulfill their commitment.
To further complicate matters, air quality became unsafe for cyclists to be outdoors earlier in the week and so the difficult decision was made to pull the team off the road to ride indoors for a few days. The Mounties all pedaled on spin bikes or wind trainers indoors, continuing to cycle 100 km each day as planned until the air quality improved.
Before the week’s end, the hazardous smoke dissipated, and the devoted Cops for Kids riders were back on the road to complete their commitment, with each of the cyclists from the RCMP and partnering law enforcement agencies all completing their 1,000 km.
Presented by the Impact Tomorrow Foundation, the signature event wraps up in a year when all other fundraising events had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Without spring revenues, our 20th Anniversary ride is more important than ever to help ensure that we have funds available for families who turn to Cops for Kids throughout the year to come,” said Cops for Kids President Grant Fletcher. “Much like families with a sick child, quitting isn’t an option. Over the past 10 days our riders have been able to overcome obstacles, showing their true grit and determination to assist children who depend on us.”
Each morning after the group health check, a story was shared with the riders of a family who received assistance from Cops for Kids.
These heartwarming stories were a reminder of why they must pedal on, and how they are making a real impact for families in the communities they serve. These powerful stories, along with the energizing waves and honks passing through communities, are why the group will continue looking forward to another 20 years, post-pandemic.
The need for funds exists year-round and the organization will continue to gratefully accept donations on behalf of the team throughout the year.
For more information, or to make a donation to one of the riders please visit www.copsforkids.org.