On Sunday, Sept. 10, 24 cyclists will arrive in Castlegar as a part of the 2023 Cops for Kids Ride presented by the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation. The group consists of law enforcement officials from across Southeastern B.C. who are all committed to helping kids in their community.
Their arrival into Castlegar at the RCMP detachment at 3:30 p.m. will conclude the third day of their ten-day journey, bringing them up over the Paulson summit. The following day the team will cycle over to Nelson and then as far east as Cranbrook, before returning to Kamloops, through to Vernon and finishing in Kelowna on Sept. 17.
“The past weeks and months have tested the team already,” said ride captain, retired Staff Sergeant Major Julio Krenz. “In addition to their policing duties, they’ve faced an unprecedented fire season which meant extra overtime hours and poor air quality for training. They’ve proven already that they’re committed to helping local kids by fundraising and training in such challenging times.”
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.
The ride will stop in 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. Folks are asked to show their support by coming to the Castlegar police detachment on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. to greet the team.
Once again, Castlegar is represented by Cst. Ron George as one of the cyclists returning again this year.
“I ride each year for the experience of working together with my colleagues to make a direct impact in the lives of local kids. When we meet the families who benefit from our fundraising efforts, it makes all the steep hills and training seem worth it,” he says.
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.