'Life-changing' bike ride

Alanna Kelly

Thirty-six riders made their way back to Kelowna after a long 10 day bike ride over 1,000 kilometres, feeling a tad bit sore and filled with gratitude. 

This year’s Cops for Kids was the most successful ride yet.

Riders cycled to the hearts of 29 communities to raise money for children in medical, physical or traumatic crisis.

“There was pretty intense weather, but they were really pumped that they are out there raising money,” said assistant district officer with the RCMP Southeast district Ray Carfantan.

Kelowna Const. Macklin McCall took part in his first ride and said every police officer should join.

“The most significant thing was in these communities getting to meet the families you are benefiting and then they share their stories,” said McCall.

“It’s life-changing… it is pretty amazing stuff.”

McCall said he contemplated doing the ride before and it was just as difficult as he was anticipating.

“It was extremely difficult, I really should have done more practice,” he said.

McCall said he will be back next year.

“I am going to train from this moment right now until the day I leave,” he said with a laugh.

The largest team in the foundation’s history worked together to raise $440,000, which goes directly to the children. The total includes funds raised through the musical ride as well.

RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said riders individually raised over $175,000 as a team this year, the largest fundraising effort in the event's history.

Riders battled challenging weather including hail and rain, but it was all worth it to give back to the communities.

Funds raised from the event support children who require transportation to medical treatment outside their home community, medical supplies, specialized therapies, learning tools and mobility aids.

There is still time to donate and it can be done at this link

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