Williams Lake RCMP Const. Joel Kooger is on the road once again riding with the Cops for Cancer Tour de North team.
Kooger, now participating in his fourth year of the ride, departed Dawson Creek Tuesday on the one-week, 800-kilometre ride ending in Williams Lake on Monday, Sept. 23.
Tour de North participants raise money to help with life-saving research that has led to earlier detection of childhood cancers, better treatments and more children surviving and thriving.
They also raised funds for important support services for children affect by cancer, and their families, such as Camp Goodtimes — a medically supervised summer camp that provides a unique refugee for children and families affected by childhood cancer.
Each year, according to the Canadian Cancer Society, around 950 Canadian children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is the top cause of disease-related death among children in Canada and two-thirds of survivors will suffer serious long-term side effects from their treatment.
“I wasn’t ready to give it up,” Kooger said of his decision to take part in the journey once again as the lone Williams Lake representative on the ride.
“I still like the ride, and I still like the cause. It’s been so good to do over the years.”
Reflecting on last year’s ride when the team encountered heavy rain and wind, hail and cool temperatures, Kooger said as long as it doesn’t snow he’ll be happy.
Adding a little extra incentive for Kooger this year will be its final destination in his home in Williams Lake where Kooger’s wife, Alison — who participated in the 2018 Cops for Cancer Tour de North — and four children will be anxiously awaiting his arrival.
“Once we get into town we’re being graciously hosted by Mr. Mikes for dinner and we’re having a big welcome event at Canadian Tire as we ride in,” Kooger said, noting they should be arriving on Monday, Sept. 23 around 5 p.m.
In recognition of the efforts made by first responders in supporting kids with cancer, the Province of British Columbia has declared Sunday, Sept. 22 as Cops for Cancer Day in B.C.
Along the route, community members can meet the team at the following locations:
• Wednesday, Sept. 18: Fort St. John departure; Holiday Inn Express at 8 a.m.
• Wednesday, Sept. 18: School visit at Hudson’s Hope; school at 1 p.m.
• Wednesday, Sept. 18: Community lunch, Hudson’s Hope; Community Hall at 1:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, Sept. 18: Community Barbecue Dinner, Chetwynd; firehall at 6:30 p.m.
• Thursday, Sept. 19: Chetwynd Secondary School Visit; Chetwynd, 8:40 a.m.
• Thursday, Sept. 19: Windrem School Visit; Chetwynd, 9:10 a.m.
• Thursday, Sept. 19: Little Prairie School Visit; Chetwynd, 9:45 a.m.
• Thursday, Sept. 19: Elks BBQ Dinner; Powder King Resort, 6:30 p.m.
• Friday, Sept. 20: Cops for Cancer BBQ; Mackenzie RCMP Detachment at 12:15 p.m.
• Friday, Sept. 20: Morfee Elementary School Visit, Mackenzie at 1:30 pm
• Friday, Sept. 20: Mackenzie Secondary School Visit; Mackenzie at 2:30 p.m.
• Friday, Sept. 20: Elks Cops for Cancer Dinner; Mackenzie at 6:30 p.m.
• Saturday, Sept. 21: Community Lunch, Bear Lake; Bear Lake Community Hall at 12:30 p.m.
• Saturday, Sept. 21: Cops for Cancer Team Dinner, Prince George; Kordyban Lodge at 6:30 p.m., catered by The Keg Restaurant
• Sunday, Sept. 22: Denny’s Team Breakfast; Prince George Denny’s Restaurant at 7:30 a.m.
• Sunday, Sept. 22: Canadian Tire Photo Opp; Quesnel at 5 p.m.
• Sunday, Sept. 22: Cops for Cancer Team Potluck; Quesnel Masonic Hall at 7 p.m.
• Monday, Sept. 23: Cops for Cancer Integris Breakfast; Quesnel Integris Credit Union at 7 a.m.
• Monday, Sept. 23: School Visit – Quesnel Junior Secondary at around 8:45 a.m.
• Monday, Sept. 23: Meet and greet at Canadian Tire; Williams Lake at 5 p.m.
• Monday, Sept. 23: Team Finale Dinner; Williams Lake Mr. Mikes Restaurant at 7 p.m.
The 2019 Tour de North riders are Chris Fedoruk (Community Rider, Quesnel), Christiaan Dreyer (RCMP, Fort St. John), Curtis Davis (RCMP, New Aiyansh), Jessica Friesen (BCEHS, Prince Rupert), Joel Kooger (RCMP, Williams Lake), Keasha McAra (RCMP, Prince George), Lenin Cruz (RCMP, Chetwynd), Mark Webber (RCMP, Fort St. James), Robert Hillhouse (Community Rider, PG), Ryan Hobbs (RCMP, Houston), Sharon McLeod (Community Rider, Fort St. John) and Oleksandr (Alex) Tsitsilin (BCEHS, Prince Rupert).
For more information, please contact Erin Reynolds at 250-614-6917 or Margaret Jones-Bricker at 250-645-2369.