Cops Pedal to Support Local Kids
2022-09-06 16:44 PDT
This morning, a group of 32 cyclists and support left Kelowna to being the 2022 Cops for Kids Ride presented by the Impact Tomorrow Foundation. The group consists of law enforcement officials from across South Eastern BC. After two years of modified formats, the team was all smiles as they left the kick-off ceremonies at the Sandman Hotel Kelowna to begin their journey.
Over the next ten days, the team will cycle down through the South Okanagan, to the Kootenays as far east as Cranbrook, before returning through Kamloops, to Vernon, finishing in Kelowna on Sunday September 18th. It’s an arduous journey at the best of times, with hill climbs over the Anarchist mountain and Paulson pass across the RCMP’s South East District.
Our ride team is dedicated to helping the kids in the communities where they work and serve. For them the hard work of the ride will be over in ten days but for the kids we meet along the way, their journey to wellness is much longer, said ride captain, retired Staff Sergeant Major Julio Krenz.
The ride is a culmination of each riders’ year-long efforts volunteering at community events, training on their own time, and fundraising a minimum of $2,500 each so that they can be a part of this riding team. For them, it’s a small sacrifice compared to what families go through in a time of crisis.
When the ride starts hurting, I think of the parents and their children dealing with their challenges and that they can’t quit, said rider and director, Gail Harrison.
That’s what pulls me up those mountains. I tell myself they don’t quit, so neither can I.
The ride will stop in 26 communities across South Eastern BC where the team will be met by the children who benefit from the fundraising efforts year-round. These interactions with families are the reason the riders keep pedalling each day with sore legs and often unfavorable weather conditions. Community fundraising events and gatherings are held to welcome the team, and to help provide the funds needed by families with a child in crisis.
Krenz, with the team since the beginning, now helps with critical ride support.
These riders chose a life of service in law enforcement, and being able to pedal across the region to raise money for children in crisis is just one more way that they are able to serve their communities, he adds.
None of this would be possible without the help of founder & president of the Impact Tomorrow Foundation, Al Hildebrandt. Since 2012, Hildebrandt has provided a significant annual financial contribution to Cops for Kids through different avenues and formats which provides the backbone to start the Cops for Kids Ride each year. For Hildebrandt, knowing the core values of cops, he wanted to be aligned with their mission to help local kids.
In my prior years I was a police officer, and so I know that within the values of each of those riders is an innate desire to help. This group works tirelessly to help kids facing an illness, disability, or traumatic crisis around the clock. I may have retired from law enforcement now, but this is my way of being able to help them help the kids who need it most, he adds.
Since 2001, Cops for Kids have raised over $6.1 million in support of local children in medical, physical, or traumatic crisis. To follow the team on their journey, or to make a donation please visit the website at www.copsforkids.org or follow along on Facebook and Instagram.
For more information, contact Courtney King, Event Coordinator (250) 801.4438 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cst. Chris TerleskiMedia Relations Officer
Vernon North Okanagan RCMP
3402 30th St, Vernon, B.C. V1T 5E5
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