Tour de Rock concludes on south Island

NANAIMO – Annual fundraising ride sees police officers raise money for childhood cancer patients.

The 19th annual Tour de Rock wrapped up its 1,100 kilometre, two-week bicycle journey down Vancouver Island on Oct. 7 at Centennial Square in Victoria.

The 17-member team of police officers, media and special guests raised money for pediatric cancer research and support programs by visiting 27 communities across the Island.

This year the Island tour raised $1,278,065 (and counting), bringing the 19-year total to more than $22 million.

Riders arrived at the square in the evening, piped in by alumni rider, David McMillan.

The 2016 Team was made up of Vitoria Police Department’s Todd Mason and Cam Stephen; CFB Esquimalt Andree Noye; Westshore RCMP Elyse Patton; Saanich Police Department’s Janis Carmina and Joanne Bickford; Duncan RCMP Felix Charette-Thibault and Auxiliary Officer Jaleesa Nardino; two guest riders Mena Westhaver and Anne Carelli; Nanaimo RCMP Sgt. Donovan Tait; media rider Daryl Major; Port Alberni RCMP Cpl. Brady Mathison; Tofino RCMP Auxiliary Officer Gaylene Thorogood; and Port McNeill RCMP rider Brent Schemilt and Curtis Mitchell; CFB Comox Trevor Mack.

At the finale, sponsors, including Coast Capital Savings, Peninsula Co-op, Black Press and Boston Pizza presented fundraising cheques.

Shannon Hartwig from Camp Goodtimes shared with the audience exactly how the riders impact kids who go to camp.

Riders Westhaver and Carelli shared their emotional trip as guest riders and their first-hand experiences they have had with children with cancer.

There was also special recognition of the former Canadian Cancer Society president, Peter Dawson, who was instrumental in starting the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.

Please visit www.tourderock.ca for more information.