Safer communities co-ordinator Dave Dickson and Const. Chris Ives from the Williams Lake RCMP are gearing up for Cops for Cancer Tour de North in September.
The ride will be the second time in a row for Dickson and a first for Ives.
“It’s really a neat opportunity,” Dickson says.
He was going to ride to support 16-year-old Nicholas Paul, who was going to be the honorary rider, but unfortunately Nicholas died earlier this year after a long battle fighting leukemia.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I do it because I built this bond with Nicholas and his family,” Dickson says. “The cancer came back with a vengeance. We thought we had it beat and unfortunately it came back.”
Dickson will still ride for Nicholas, but in his memory.
On Sept. 14, Dickson, Ives, and other riders will head out on their bikes from Prince George to Prince Rupert — an 850-kilometre trip over seven days.
Though Dickson hasn’t set a fundraising goal for himself, he says each rider has to raise a minimum of $3,000.
“But every penny counts,” says Dickson, who has lost friends and family members to cancer. “I don’t like to say I’d like to raise $50,000. What I’d like to say is there is the penny that will end cancer. Whatever I can make, if it stops that wretched disease, I’d be forever grateful.”
Last year the Tour de North raised a total of $250,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society and its Camp Goodtimes, a recreation program for children with cancer.
Dickson hopes this year’s ride will meet or exceed that amount.
Ives, who has been an RCMP member at the Williams Lake detachment since 2009, says riding in the Cops for Cancer Tour de North is something he has always wanted to do.
“Const. Ken Davies at the time was preparing for it, so it just peaked my interest,” says Ives, who has a physical education degree and has been doing more cycling lately to get trained up for the big ride. “I do like to exercise daily if I can and it’s for a good cause.”
He says he hopes to exceed the minimum $3,000 fundraising requirement.
“I think we will,” he says, adding that though he doesn’t really know what to expect in the tour, he is looking forward to the camaraderie among the riders.
“Dave and past participants have mentioned that it’s a great time,” he says. “Dave has spoken highly of it, that it’s one of the highlights of his life. I am looking forward to meeting the other riders and coming into the communities.”
Last week, a fundraising barbecue was held at the Williams Lake & District Credit Union and raised $650 for the cause. Another fundraising barbecue will be held at the Williams Lake & District Credit Union on Aug. 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On Sept. 12 the annual Jail n’ Bail fundraiser will be held in Spirit Square in Williams Lake between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. to raise funds.
Last year’s Jail n’ Bail raised more than $20,000 in Williams Lake. Local riders included Dickson, Const. Ken Davies, Cpl. Mike Hacker and Cpl. Brian Evans.
Volunteers from the B.C. Cancer Society will again help out this year, and M&M Meat Shops will also provide a barbecue.
Other sponsors this year are the Williams Lake & District Credit Union and Canadian Tire. The Williams Lake Truckers Association has also made a large contribution to the cause again this year.
Anyone wanting to make a donation can visit www.copsforcancer.ca/tourdenorth or visit the Canadian Cancer Society to drop off a donation.
To have someone, whether a family member, friend, boss, or co-worker, thrown behind bars at the Jail n’ Bail fundraiser contact Dickson at 250-392-8701 or e-mail email@example.com.