The buzz in the gymnasium at Tillicum Elementary School in Saanich on Friday morning began with the introduction of Ryder the raccoon and intensified as the newly announced riders from the Cops for Cancer 2022 Tour de Rock team entered.
But a roar went up when the guest rider, none other than Tillicum principal Jeff Duyndam, was introduced.
“All of this really turns me on, does it turn you on?” he then asked the students and staff assembled for the event, to which they responded with another roar.
“We’re going to take that passion inside of us and do something really special, we’re going to take it to help others,” he said. Another roar.
It’s moments like this, happening on Vancouver Island, that have been missed in the three years since the last full Tour de Rock event to raise money for pediatric cancer research and family support.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this team, and to have (the launch event) taking place at my own school in the Greater Victoria School District is absolutely spectacular,” Duyndam told Black Press Media after the rally ended. noisy.
The tour, an island staple that attracts riders primarily from law enforcement and emergency services but also from the wider community and media, has been canceled in 2020 and 2021, former riders taking over fundraising.
If the energy generated by Friday’s event was any indication, the Canadian Cancer Society will be pulling out all the stops for the 25th anniversary tour this fall and preparations.
const. Saanich Police Department. Aaron Grewal, one of multiple members of the department announced on Friday, is “super excited” to be part of the team, having seen his goal of riding in 2020 canceled by the pandemic. He has continued to cycle ever since and has stepped up his training in recent months.
“Wearing the jersey today makes it so much more real,” he said. “The jersey and the bike are kind of the tools that allow us to get in the door and spread the word, we can raise money for research and planning and also for Camp Goodtimes, where the kids can go to be children.”
Childhood cancer survivor and former junior runner Lily Lecinana, 13, of Sooke, presented the shirts to the runners. She encouraged the public to keep the runners and beneficiaries of their efforts in mind as they return to the roads for training and the tour itself, from September 24 to October 7 between Port Alice and Victoria.
“Today is a very, very special day. It’s Tour De Rock’s 25th anniversary, which is awesome and I can’t believe it. It’s an amazing day, I almost want to crying is so awesome,” she said. She hopes to make it to Camp Goodtimes this summer, having missed her chance last year due to COVID.
Other team members, from the north, are Kyle Dornan, Port Hardy RCMP; Bonnie Logan, Campbell River Fire Department; Steve Scott, Courtenay Volunteer Fire Rescue; Josh Wilson, CFB Comox; Terry Crawford, Nanaimo RCMP; Rachelle Cole, British Columbia Emergency Health Services; Rick Geddes, Ucluelet District Fire; Kenn Mount, Central Saanich Fire Department; Josh Peterson, CFB Esquimalt; Karen Robinson, Pat Bryant, Lindsay Blackett, Trent Edwards, Saanich Police Department; Chris Van Swieten, Tristan Williams, VicPD. Guest riders include Robin Campbell of the North Island, Adam Fras of the City of Parksville; Tiffany Parton, representing the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police, and Anna McMillan of CTV Vancouver Island.
To past and future supporters of the tour, Duyndam said, “Thank you for all you do…Helping others is something absolutely spectacular that we need to do more of.”
To follow the runners, make a donation or learn more about the programs, visit tourderock.ca.
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Cops for CancerSaanichTour de Rock