Update: Cops for Kids cycle into the South Okanagan

The cyclists kicked off their 10 day ride Friday morning in Kelowna

UPDATE 5:00 p.m.

The Cops for Kids cyclists have rolled into Penticton and the end of the first leg of their 1,000 kilometre fundraising journey.

“It’s so awesome, so exciting,” said Const. Liz Vant Erve. “We just started this morning from Kelowna, which is why I’m still so happy and feeling good. It’s a great ride, and a great organization for what it does for kids in need, so it’s absolutely amazing. We’ve already met a few and it’s been heartbreaking. This morning at our first send-off, we had a gentleman from Penticton, whose baby is in the hospital with his wife. He had his two little sons there, and it was very emotional as he was telling us about the costs. I can’t even imagine. That’s what we’re here for.”

The Knights of Columbus Council 3127 gave a cheque for $1,000 to Penticton Const. Andrew Deane, and one of the families recieving funds from the ride was there to meet the people who are helping to support them.

Christina Palmer is a retired RCMP officer herself, and rode in previous Cops For Kids fundraisers, with many of the officers there today. Palmer’s daughter Charlotte suffers from a rare disease known as Mirage Syndrome, and has spent most of her life in Children’s Hospital.

“It’s a humbling experience,” said Palmer. “When you’re on the ride and you meet the families, it’s very powerful, because you see first-hand the reason behind what you’re doing, behind the hard work and training, and the fundraising. But when you go on the receiving end, it’s a hard place to ask for a bit of assistance. But for our case, we’ve been down at Children’s for three years worth of the last four and a bit, and it’s a lot of expenses and time. Cops for Kids was there for us, and has continued to be there for us, and it’s amazing.”

******************

There will be no “bonking” for the cyclists at this years annual Cops for Kids charity ride.

The fundraiser, which includes RCMP officers from across the province, will ride 1,000 kilometres over 10 days to raise money and attention for families and children needing medical care throughout the Okanagan and other parts of South Eastern B.C.

The ride started in Kelowna Friday morning and will span across the next 10 days as they make stops in West Kelowna, Osoyoos, Cranbrook, the Three Valley Gap, Kamloops, Vernon and then returning to Kelowna on Sept. 15.

The cyclists needed to raise at least $2,500 for this year’s ride.

“These (riders) have been training and fundraising all summer for this year’s ride,” said event coordinator Courtney King.

“We’re very fortunate. We have some great partners and all the money is all kept within the area and redistributed to families in the Okanagan and South Eastern B.C.”

READ MORE: Lake Country family fundraises for Cops for Kids after receiving help for premature baby

READ MORE: 6 Okanagan volunteers receive national medals for community work

Last year, the Cops for Kids ride raised over $440,000 for B.C. families.

King said that they hope to beat that total this year.

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