Watersports

Central Saanich First Responders Participate in Tour de Rock Fundraiser

Two Central Saanich first responders step in to help children battling cancer.

Central Saanich Fire Chief Kenn Mount and fellow Tour de Rock team member Cpl. Pat Bryant of the Central Saanich Police Department rides his training bikes to raise money for this year’s Cops for Cancer ride. The duo will ride nonstop for three hours from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 8 in the plaza across from Peninsula Pizza at Central Saanich’s Pioneer Village mall on East Saanich Road.

“We were at Camp Goodtimes (recently) and I think that was the real turning point for me,” Bryant said. “Getting together with these kids for a few hours, hanging out and playing games with them was really special.”

Peninsula Pizza owner Rick Scott says having members of the Cops for Cancer team in front of his business at the busiest time of day helps raise awareness of the Tour de Rock.

“Pat (Bryant) walked up to us and said, ‘Let’s put some runners up in front of the store and do some fundraising. Of course we said yes,” Scott said. “We have given them a place and we will also donate.”

“Raising awareness about cancer, cancer research and fundraising, that’s pretty much how it works,” he added. “People in the community see us fundraising, they donate money, and the research continues.”

Bryant says he spoke with a number of former Cops for Cancer Tour riders from Rock and they all said the ride was an amazing experience. He says the fundraising hike for children and families battling cancer is something he’s wanted to do for a very long time.

“I’m in the last year of my career and I thought it was a special way to come out,” Bryant said. “Just to give back to the community and children with cancer and it’s a passion of mine to raise money for them and support them.”

This year’s Tour de Rock Cops for Cancer will mark the 25th anniversary of the fundraising event. It is also the first year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that a full team of runners will cover the 1,200 kilometer route on Vancouver Island from Port Alice to Victoria.

“This is the first race since the pandemic with a full team,” Bryant said. “I ride with amazing people, so come support Rock’s 2022 Cops for Cancer Tour.”

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, which organizes the annual walk, this year’s fundraising goal is to raise more than $600,000 for children facing cancer and pediatric cancer research.

Bryant says he and Mount haven’t set a fundraising goal for Friday’s event, but he’s confident the community will come together for such a worthy cause.

“(The goal is) as much as we can get,” he said. “We would be very grateful for any funds we can raise.”

Rock’s 25th Anniversary Cops for Cancer Tour begins September 7 in Port Alice and concludes two weeks later in Victoria’s Centennial Square on October 7.

To make a donation to this year’s fundraising ride for childhood cancer, go to the Tour de Rock website.