The two riders from the West Shore taking part in this year’s Tour de Rock are on a mission to set a record they hope will be broken next year.
West Shore RCMP Const. Cole Brewer and View Royal firefighter David Brown are both bent on helping the 2017 Tour de Rock team surpass last year’s total of $1.8 million raised to fund research and support programs for kids with cancer.
The two have been training since March for the gruelling event, a ride of more than 1,000 kilometres that begins on Sept. 23 in Port Alice and ends Oct. 6 in Victoria. The team was officially announced earlier this month in Sooke.
Although Brewer lost his father to cancer five years ago, his motivation to take part in the Tour goes beyond the loss of a parent.
“Every year in B.C., 134 children are diagnosed with cancer,” he said. The “As a parent, I can’t imagine losing a child to that disease.”
Brown, whose father is a cancer survivor, said he is drawing from the experience he gained fundraising for leukemia and lymphoma. “I’ve seen first-hand the difference it makes,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to help vulnerable people in the community dealing with pediatric and other forms of cancer.”
Both riders have pledged to exceed the $5,000 total in fundraising each rider is obliged to raise. Brown is aiming for $25,000, a goal he believes will be easier to accomplish by working together on a variety of initiatives.
“View Royal and the West Shore detachment have a really good working relationship serving the community … that benefits the community as a whole,” he said, adding that should translate to success at fundraising as well.
“The View Royal Firefighters Association has stepped up to help big-time,” noted Brown, 55, who has served as a volunteer and full-time firefighter for 14 years. He is honoured to be the first firefighter and first View Royal resident to take part in the Tour.
Brewer, is a 13-year RCMP veteran, with 10 spent at the West Shore detachment and most recently with First Nations Policing. A member of the Similkameen Indian Band who grew up in Princeton, said he’s fortunate to be able to draw from the experiences of other members in the detachment who took part in the Tour de Rock.
“They have all been great mentors,” he said. “No matter what you’ve heard, everyone says the ride will change you in ways you could never imagine.”
To donate or find out more about the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, visit tourderock.ca.