Oak Bay High raises over $51,000 for Tour de Rock despite COVID-19 restrictions

Oak Bay High twins, John and Chris Horwood, reveal the school’s total fundraising amount for 2020’s Tour de Rock. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Tour de Rock alumni riders enter onto Oak Bay High’s field to hear how much the school has raised. (Jane Skrypnek)
Oak Bay High students John Horwood, Ian Carmichael and Chris Horwood (left to right) all shaved their heads for the Tour de Rock fundraiser. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Tour de Rock alumni riders enter onto Oak Bay High’s field to hear how much the school has raised. (Jane Skrypnek)
Oak Bay High principal, Tom Aerts, welcomes Tour de Rock alumni riders to the school. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
An Oak Bay High student holds a poster in support of the 2020 Tour de Rock. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
An Oak Bay High student holds a poster in support of the 2020 Tour de Rock. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Oak Bay High students hold up posters in support of the 2020 Tour de Rock. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Oak Bay High students hold up posters in support of the 2020 Tour de Rock. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)

Oak Bay High students revealed they raised $51,700 for the Tour de Rock on Friday morning, despite the many restriction of a global pandemic.

Running a fundraiser in the midst of COVID-19 was a lot of work according to Oak Bay High student, John Horwood.

“But,” he said, “when the riders came in and we revealed the cheque, it was all worth it.”

Instead of the school’s usual massive celebration inside its gym, Oak Bay High students and faculty welcomed Tour de Rock alumni riders with posters and cheers outside their front entrance and onto their field.

Oak Bay High principal Tom Aerts, said an incredible number of students wanted to be outside welcoming the riders, but they had to limit the number to 50.

“We had to just think creatively around things,” Aerts said.

The school managed to run the majority of its regular events thanks to that creative thinking.

For the car wash, students were grouped into washing cohorts and distanced from each other. During the school’s bottle drive, students had people stay in their cars and just pop their trunks for students to remove the bottles. The annual auction was run online and the annual head shave was done in small groups.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay High students do their best for COVID-19 Tour de Rock

“It was amazing how hard and dedicated the students and the community were still supporting it,” said Aerts.

Students who participated in the fundraising events said they felt proud.

“It’s so impactful to so many people’s lives. It’s something that we should never stop doing,” said Ian Carmichael, one of several students who had their heads shaved.

Grade 12 twins, Chris and John Horwood — who presented the school’s cheque — also made the gutsy choice to let their hair go. Their motivation, they said, comes from the many losses their family has suffered at the hands of cancer.

John explained that another motivator for him to shave his head for the first time was talking with a fellow Oak Bay High student who is currently undergoing cancer treatment at B.C. Children’s Hospital.

“Things like that really make it worth it,” he said.

For Chris, this was the fourth time he has shaved his head for the Tour de Rock fundraiser. He said this year’s restrictions have made it a memorable one though.

“You never know what you can accomplish despite things going on around you,” he said.

READ ALSO: Abbreviated Tour de Rock rolls into Sidney on Thursday


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

fundraiseroak bayOak Bay High SchoolTour de Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Black Press Media took to the streets of Colwood to find houses decorated for Halloween. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Check out these Colwood homes ready for Halloween

Halloween takes place on Saturday, Oct. 31

Struggling to afford rent, Sylvia Bailey is hoping to trade her love of cooking for some more affordable accommodation. (Photo courtesy of Sylvia Bailey)
Retired Victoria woman looking to cook, clean or garden in exchange for rent

Sylvia Bailey is hoping to use her love for cooking to help afford rent

Victoria police are searching for a suspect after a stabbing Monday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police searching for suspect in late-night stabbing

Victim taken to hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries

The drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Island Health opens COVID-19 testing site at UVic

As with all other sites, an appointment is needed to receive a test

Saanich police issued a 90-day driving ban and a 30-day vehicle impound after an impaired driver was caught at the scene of a collision involving a parked car early on Oct. 27. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Driver fails roadside screening after early morning crash in Saanich

Both cars significantly damaged after driver hits parked car around 5 a.m.

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

The voting station mimicked a real voting station in Nicole Choi’s classroom at Chilliwack middle school on Oct. 22, 2020, where students had to show their ID (student cards), be checked off a list, and mark a secret ballot behind a screen. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. students choose NDP majority in mock election

More than 90,000 youth took part in school-based election process

Crew transport bus at the Trans Mountain pipeline project work site in Burnaby, March 2020. (Trans Mountain)
Check your workplace COVID-19 safety plans, Dr. Henry urges

Masks in public spaces, distance in lunchrooms for winter

B.C.’s Court of Appeal is in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judgment reserved in Surrey Six slayings appeals

Six men were killed in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

Kelowna City Hall has been vandalized overnight. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna City Hall hit by anti-pandemic vandalism

Graffiti condemning the virus appears overnight on City Hall

FILE – A woman smokes a marijuana joint at a “Wake and Bake” legalized marijuana event in Toronto on October 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Home nurse visits could play big role in reducing cannabis use, smoking in young mothers

The program, dubbed the BC Healthy Connections Project, involves public health nursing home visits

Candice Woloshyn prepares her flower beds for the next season at her ‘Dirty Girl Flowers’ farm in Merville. Despite the pandemic, Woloshyn was able to sustain her homegrown business as community members opted for regular deliveries of fresh cut flowers. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.
Vancouver Island flower farmers were blooming as the pandemic wilted everything else

Floriculturists saw increased subscriptions as fresh flowers became a ‘sight for sore eyes’ during isolation

The ‘new normal’ for hockey parents in Chilliwack and elsewhere in B.C., watching their kids from outside of the arena due to COVID-19 protocols. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack hockey parents petition to be let back in the arena

Refused access due to pandemic protocols, parents are now applying pressure to loosen the rules

Most Read