Locals are encouraged to show their support at a safe distance as the 20th anniversary Cops for Kids Ride passes through Vernon Saturday afternoon.
Twenty-nine RCMP cyclists are travelling 1,000 km over 10 days as part of the yearly fundraiser that brings in support and awareness for local children facing illness, disability or traumatic crisis.
In years past the team would pedal as a group, stopping in each community along the way. This year the ride has been adapted to a relay format as a precaution amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Riders are covering the distance individually from their homes while a small support crew picks up six local riders each day to cover a leg of the route on behalf of the team.
“Families are still struggling, they still need our help more than ever. And so, with support from the Impact Tomorrow Foundation, we put together a plan that allows us to continue while still abiding by public health guidelines,” said Cops for Kids President Grant Fletcher.
On the days they aren’t cycling as a designated rider, the team members continue pedalling in their home community to complete their 1,000 kilometres, fulfilling their promise to the children who need them most.
Representing the North Okanagan is Nick Reimann and Const. Carl Stene of the Vernon-North okanagan RCMP, along with Armstrong Cpl. James Moore, retired RCMP member Steve McVarnock and police dispatcher Kathryn Ahvenus.
While public safety measures mean the riders won’t be stopping in each community to meet with the public, supporters are welcome to line the streets and cheer them on as they pass through.
“These waves and cheers will remind the riders of the children who are relying on them this year more than ever, and will serve as the reminder that quitting simply isn’t an option,” Cops for Kids spokesperson Courtney King said.
Supporters can catch a glimpse of the team by standing physically distanced along 32nd Street southbound from 43rd Avenue to 39th Avenue at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19.
Visit www.copsforkids.org for more information or to make a donation.