The West Shore will be abuzz with the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock arriving on Wednesday (Oct. 1).
Day 11 of the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock brings the team of riders back to Sooke and the West Shore, including Sooke resident and West Shore RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve Wright, and West Shore resident Heather Hunter of the Saanich Police Department.
Wright won’t be riding into town, however, having gone down in a multi-rider crash in the fog between Ucluelet and Tofino on Sunday. He suffered serious enough injuries, including a reported separated shoulder, to render him unable to ride the rest of the way, but is staying with the team for the remainder of the ride.
Before the crash, he spoke about looking forward to seeing friends and family back home.
“It will be a very emotional time for me, there is no doubt about that,” he said. “There’s a lot of support in both communities for me. I’ll be coming home and it’ll be nice to finally see my wife and my friends and family there as well.”
It was family that was on his mind when he received a special surprise on his way into Ucluelet, where a tap on the shoulder caught the veteran cop off guard.
“Standing at the top of Hydro Hill and reflecting on people who have been affected by cancer, I was standing and thinking about (family),” he said. “It was a beautiful and calm moment and I got this tap on my shoulder and I turn around and there is my lovely daughter standing there. There couldn’t have been a better time, at a time I needed a hug she was there to give one to me. It was definitely one of the highlights of my Tour.”
Coming into Ucluelet, where he was stationed four years, Wright said he reflected on his family and friends, the support from the community and fundraising efforts to battle the deadly disease. His time has been especially rewarding, he said, because he has been able to do it with his family by his side.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without their support. The whole process has taken me away from them for extended periods of time. Knowing they support me and have helped me along this process has helped me be stronger, but be a better person as a result of that.”
His daughter, Sarah, said surprising him on tour and being there with her father alongside the journey has been a gratifying experience she hopes to contribute to as her father joins the team in the final stretch.
“I look forward to seeing him as he makes his way through (to) the finale (at Spirit Square) Oct. 3. I am really proud of him. We both have a lot of family members and friends who have been affected by cancer, so to be able to spend so much time fundraising for people affected by cancer just makes me very proud to see he’s doing something like this,” she said. “I’m proud to be able to call him my dad and he has been doing an amazing job.”
After travelling through Duncan, Shawnigan Lake and Sooke, the team will stop in the West Shore on WEdnesday at Lakewood and Ruth King elementaries, do a ride-by past Belmont secondary and attend a gala dinner at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort in the evening.
Cocktails are at 6:30 p.m. and dinner is at 7:00. Tickets are $65 each or $500 for a table of 8. To find out if tickets are still available, email Rod or Donna Fraser at email@example.com or call 250-590-6713.
To donate to Tour de Rock riders or the Canadian Cancer Society, visit tourderock.ca.