COLUMN: Coffee drinkers can combat cancer

Reporter's Viewpoint

OK, now that the cat’s definitely out of the bag about me riding in this year’s Tour de Rock, I don’t want to get left holding the bag – unless it’s filled with cash.

As a member of the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team, I have to spend a lot of time in Spandex on a road bike. Hopefully, that sight will become less of a shock as people get used to seeing it and I continue to lose weight. My other task is to raise cash for childhood cancer research and support services and Camp Goodtimes, a summer camp where children battling cancer go to try to forget about the disease, cancer treatments and just be kids for a few days.

As team members we each agreed to raise a minimum of $5,000 in donations, but we’ve set our own goals beyond that. I’ve never done any form of fundraising before or been involved in a cause like this, but I figure raising $25,000 by the time the tour starts is certainly not out of the question.

I and fellow Nanaimo rider Const. Sandi Holman will be out at a lot of different fundraising events over the summer and we’re each working up some fundraisers of our own, but I really want to get the ball rolling on this starting now.

So I’m asking for support from everyone in Nanaimo and Ladysmith who can spare a few dollars.

I’ve already had a call from one supporter who committed $500. That’s a big contribution and much appreciated. He did say, though, if I don’t complete the tour regardless of the reason he’s going to take his donation out of my hide, so I guess I’d better stay in the saddle.

Not everyone can afford that kind of contribution, but I bet we can all spare a loonie or a toonie. Why else are there so many dollar stores around? If everyone in Nanaimo contributed just one loonie each I’d triple my goal without even hosting a fundraiser. I’m planning a few fundraising events anyway and my co-workers are scheming up a couple as well … you get the idea.

So, if all you can spare is a buck or two that’s great, but what I’m really after is your coffee money.

I figure I spend at least $60 a month on coffee and tea at the various coffee shops around town. When I start tallying up the potential cash from coffee drinkers, I’m looking at some serious coin, so what I’m asking for is one month’s worth of coffee change from everyone who wants to kick in. You don’t even have to come up with it all at once.

We’re training until late September before the tour starts, so you can kick in just $10 to $20 a month over the summer.

The easiest way to donate is online. Google Cops for Cancer 2011 Tour de Rock Vancouver Island. That will bring up a link for the tour home page. Click on the big Make a Donation button, type in the rider’s name – that will be mine, of course, or Sandi Holman’s – and fill out the donation form.

Now, just because you can donate online doesn’t mean I won’t be coming around, especially to visit the people I’m regularly in contact with in my job.

Yup, I’m looking at the City of Nanaimo’s staff contact directory on my monitor right now. Ah, and I see several city council members I’ll be chatting up. I hear realtors drink their share of coffee too.

I love the Internet. I can track all my potential contributors down with just a few clicks of my mouse.

Oh, ho, look at all the staff at Nanaimo Fire Rescue – so many chiefs … and there’s a couple bank managers I’ll be visiting soon.

Yup, it’s gonna be a busy summer.