No place like (Castlegar) home

A Cops for Kids retrospective from a local constable

Constable Rob Gardner (R) leads the way in 2013 Cops for Kids ride entering Castlegar.

Constable Rob Gardner (R) leads the way in 2013 Cops for Kids ride entering Castlegar.

He spent all summer training and fundraising, and then another 10 days on the road cycling for local children.  Cst. Rob Gardner returned Sunday from their 10 day, 1,000 kilometre cycling journey across south eastern British Columbia as a part of the Cops for Kids Ride Team.  The annual event raises funds and awareness for children in medical, physical and traumatic crisis in our region, for the funding of medical equipment, therapies, travel to Children’s Hospitals learning and mobility aids.  Since 2001, Cops for Kids have raised over $2.7 million in support of local children and this year’s event added a record-breaking $260,000 to that total.

During the 10 day ride, Cops for Kids rode into 18 different communities across the region, where they were generously hosted by local restaurants, hotels and service groups to keep the team fueled and rested for the road.

“It was great to arrive into my hometown of Castlegar on day 3,” said Gardner. “After climbing the Paulson Summit, it was a nice coast down the hill to Boston Pizza where we were met by our Little Ambassadors and friends where they generously opened their doors to feed and host the team, before our overnight rest at the Super 8.”

“This was such a rewarding experience,” he added. “We all know that it’s a tough physical challenge, but to be rewarded by those smiling faces of the kids who benefit from our efforts is really what makes it all worthwhile.”

Cops for Kids provides assistance directly to children who need it most from our region. Due to the overwhelming number of grant requests, they are unable to meet the demands and have established a wait list of children needing essential medical equipment, specialized therapies, and medical travel. Although their signature event has wrapped up for the year, their need for funding lasts throughout the year. The group currently has a wait list for funding, and they require year-round donations to fund their requests until the 2015 ride.

“I was one of the top fundraisers on the team this year,” summarized Gardner. “And while I know I’ve got my work cut out for me to maintain that reputation as a top fundraiser on the team, I’m committed to make next year even bigger and better.”

To make a donation please visit the website at www.copsforkids.org.