KELOWNA - Bringing tears of joy and appreciation to the eyes of those helped in some way by the tireless efforts of those volunteering with Cops for Kids is not unusual.
Although they may best be known for their signature Cops for Kids Ride fundraising event, the charitable Okanagan Foundation’s volunteers and board work tirelessly year round to make sure children in need are taken care of.
For 17 years, the Kelowna-based non profit Cops for Kids has been supporting children in crisis with donated funds. This support can come in the way of medical treatments, transportation and accommodation, medications, specialized therapies, learning tools or mobility aids. There are 180 to 200 families from Lytton to the Alberta border and Clearwater to the U.S. border who are helped every year in some way through the foundation.
“We are able to help with services that are untouchable by the family. We can fill the gap,” said Cops for Kids rider and board president Gail Harrison.
When families contact the foundation, they’re in a real crisis and their world has been turned upside down, Harrison explained.
“You can’t plan for a crisis.”
Cops for Kids is well known by many for its annual 1,000-kilometre cycling fundraiser ride that takes place every September. Current and retired RCMP members as well as Cops for Kids board members and others take part in the ride that begins and ends in Kelowna.
Along with the ride, Cops for Kids undertakes several other fundraising efforts including the Charity Golf Tournament last Thursday under sunny skies at Black Mountain Golf Club in Kelowna where 70 golfers from business owners, corporations and law enforcement took to the greens for the kids.
“I’m a big supporter of Cops for Kids. I’ve been on four or five rides and now the golf tournament. I like what they do with the funds,” said golfer Brad Field.
The Texas scramble golf tournament, sponsored by The Canadian Brew House, Pushor Mitchell Lawyers, Sun FM and EZ Rock, as well as numerous hole sponsors including iNFOnews.ca, also included dinner and a silent and live auction.
The next fundraisers include a slo pitch tournament July 22-23 at High Noon Park in Kelowna, Pack Your Bags raffle, with tickets available from your local Cops for Kids Rider and the annual cycling ride September 8 to 17.
For more information on Cops for Kids, or to donate, check out www.copsforkids.org.
“We are really looking forward to gaining more sponsors and raising more awareness,” Harrison stressed.
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