Cops for Cancer is an annual fundraising event that began in 1997 with one police officer wanting to make a difference. It has grown into a Canada-wide event and become the largest fundraising initiative for childhood cancer, raising almost $50 million.
This year law enforcement and emergency services personnel will cycle 500 kilometres along the coast of BC in five days, raising funds that go toward childhood cancer research and support services at Canadian Cancer Society.
Corporal Philippe Caza from the Powell River RCMP detachment will be taking part in his first Cops for Cancer ride from September 20 to 24. He has been a member of the RCMP for the past 13 years.
The event will have a different look again this year due to COVID-19. The ride will not be passing through Powell River and has been shortened in length.
“When I first came here, Powell River had a long tradition of doing it,” said Caza. “I figured one year I’ll do it and this is my year. I’m excited to jump into it.
“Talking with previous riders Rod Wiebe, our commander, and Tim Venselaar, these guys have done the full ride and definitely it’s a different year. For sure it’s sad that it’s not coming through Powell River, but we’ll see what happens next year.”
Up until the ride in September, Caza will be trying to come up with creative events and ways to raise as many funds as possible. On June 19 at 9:30 am at the Assumption School field and playground, a Cops for Cancer Team Fitness Challenge will take place.
“Christine Parsons, who owns Thrive Community Fitness, is the wife of a member here; she’s been familiar with Cops for Cancer from events in the past and helped organize last year’s CrossFit event Tim Venselaar did,” explained Caza. “This year she approached me and asked if I would be willing to do something similar. COVID made everything quite different but she was great at organizing something outdoors that is meeting all the requirements by the province.”
Caza said he is really looking forward to the challenge.
“It goes along with what I’m doing for the ride,” he added. “It’s something physical and is a good way to raise money for the Tour de Coast.”
Teams of four from the same work/personal bubble can enter the challenge for $100. Full proceeds go directly to Cops for Cancer research for paediatric cancer and Camp Goodtimes, which will be called Camp Get-together this year due to different coronavirus precautions.
“It’s something the Canadian Cancer Society has for kids with cancer,” said Caza. “COVID has been hard for everybody, but especially for kids with cancer and their families because they couldn’t visit them as much in the hospital.
“The hospital had huge limitations on visits, so the point of the camp is to get the families back together in a place away from home and away from the hospital.”
Space is limited for teams wishing to participate in the Team Fitness Challenge. If the interest is overwhelming, Caza is open to hosting a similar event later in the summer.
“I’m hoping there is a big response; we’ve challenged the fire department, and the RCMP will have one or two teams, including staff and members,” he added. “I’m hoping to have some sort of fire department/police department rivalry going on.”
To enter a team for the fitness challenge, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a donation via Caza’s Cops for Cancer page, go to support.cancer.ca/site/TR/CopsforCancer/COPS_NW_even_?px=13708576&pg=personal&fr_id=27808.