Cops for Kids Ride begins its tour of the Kootenays this weekend. File photo

Cops for Kids Ride to tour Kootenays

Ride raises funds for children in crisis

A team of RCMP officers and their support crew will be travelling through the East and West Kootenays raising money for children in crisis.

Thirty-four cyclists including Castelgar constable Ron George and a seven-person support crew from RCMP and supporting enforcement agencies within the South East District will depart Friday from Kelowna on the annual Cops for Kids Ride, presented by the Kelowna Foundation for Hope and Social Innovation.

The team will make their way south along Highway 97 for the first of 10 days to raise awareness and essential funds for children in medical, physical or traumatic crisis. Everyone is encouraged to come down for a refreshment and to support the team.

“Our route covers a vast and mountainous corner of the province with unrelenting hills and inclement weather at times, but these riders know that on the other side of each mountain is a family who has benefited from our fundraising efforts,” says Ride Captain Retired Staff Sergeant Major Julio Krenz. “Our riders join the RCMP to help people and make a difference in their communities.

“On a day-to-day basis, officers are often faced with some of the harshest realities in this line of work, while also dealing with common policing shortfalls such as staffing shortages that can leave them tired and burnt out. For them, experiencing the gratitude from families who are helped by their efforts is often one of the highlights of their careers, and reminds them of why they joined our national police force.”

The 2019 Ride will take the team over 1,000 kilometres across the southeastern corner of British Columbia, stopping in 26 communities.

Since inception, they’ve raised over $5.5 million through their signature event. With requests from families on the rise, they’re working even harder to support the local children who need it most. Funds from the event support requests for medical equipment, transportation to Children’s Hospital, specialized therapies, learning and mobility aids.

“With our need continuing to grow, we are working harder than ever to ensure that we’ve got funding available for local children in their time of crisis,” says Cops for Kids President Grant Fletcher. “We’ve already had 175 requests this year from families in our region so we are asking the communities we serve to help us help the local children.”

Here’s a list of the team’s appearances in the Kootenays:

Sunday, September 8— Departs Grand Forks, Arrives Rossland. Stop in Christina Lake, Trail

Monday, September 9 — Departs Castlegar, arrives Nelson

Tuesday, September 10 — Departs Nelson, arrives Creston. Stop in Crawford Bay

Wednesday, September 11 — Departs Creston, arrives Cranbrook. Stop in Yahk

Thursday, September 12 — Departs Cranbrook, arrives Three Valley Gap. Stops in Invermere, Golden, Revelstoke

Daily updates will appear on the team blog during the ride. To follow the team along their journey or to make a donation please visit the website at www.copsforkids.org or follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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