Cops pedal to raise money, awareness, for children in southern B.C. Interior | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Cops pedal to raise money, awareness, for children in southern B.C. Interior

The Cops for Kids Ride set off Friday, Sept. 6.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / RCMP
September 06, 2019 - 10:36 AM

VERNON - Cops are getting in gear to raise funds and awareness for children facing illness, disability or traumatic crisis within southeastern B.C.

Through the annual Cops for Kids Ride, 27 cyclists and a seven-person RCMP support crew and supporting enforcement agencies within the Southeast District departed today, Sept. 6 for Penticton – the first stop of the 10-day cycling event.

Participating riders provide their equipment, train and volunteer on their own time and must fundraise a minimum of $2,500. 

"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 benefitted from our fundraising efforts," ride captain and retired Staff Sgt. Maj. Julio Krenz said. "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 ride covers more than 1,000 kilometres with stops in 26 communities across the region in which riders are welcomed by local supporters, dignitaries and the little ambassadors for whom they pedal. Riders are hosted by hotels, restaurants and community groups in each community to ensure fundraising money goes directly towards the families.

For Kelowna Foundation president Al Hildebrandt, it’s a reminder of his past.

"I spent time as a police officer in my career, so I know that law enforcement is based on helping those in need. Now through the Kelowna Foundation, I’m able to help these officers give back to their communities and the children who need it most, he said.

The organization has raised more than $5.5 million through the ride since its inception. Funds from the event support requests for medical equipment, transportation to Children's Hospital, specialized therapies and learning and mobility aids, the RCMP said.

To follow the team or make a donation go to the Cops For Kids website here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Parker Crook or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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