Darlene Thompson is mid-way through having her head shaved by Allyson Bailey as a fundraiser for the Tour de Rock ride during the ride’s Beer and Burger Night in Parksville on Thursday, Sept. 28. — Adam Kveton

More than $21K raised at Parksville Tour de Rock night

Hearing stories from parents, children touched by cancer ‘humbling’ says local rider

The Quality Inn Bayside was packed with cancer survivors, their supporters, family, friends and Tour de Rock riders on Thursday, Sept. 28 for the annual Beer and Burger Night.

The event saw all but one ticket sold, and thousands of dollars donated towards the Tour de Rock cause: pediatric cancer research and support programs for children, such as Camp Goodtimes.

By the end of the night, $21,341 had been raised through group and individual donations, head shaves and a silent auction presented by Quality Inn Bayside and the Rotary Club of Parksville, and dinner tickets.

The money adds to the more than $23 million that’s been raised since Tour de Rock started in 1998, but what riders and attendees of the event will go home remembering will no doubt be the stories of hardship, perseverance and loss that were shared.

Beth O’Connor, a Port Alberni RCMP officer from Qualicum Beach, said she was told that participating in the ride changes you, and at the event in Parksville, added that “it has already.”

While the camaraderie between riders is a treasure, and getting to rally communities around such a worthy cause is exciting, one of the biggest impacts on O’Connor has been the stories she’s heard from kids and parents about their connection with cancer.

“It’s very impactful to meet a parent that’s lost a child,” she said, as well as kids who have lost brothers and sisters, and those who’ve come out of their battle cancer-free.

Some of the stories are unexpected, said O’Connor.

She recalled one parent she’d met the day before, who had talked about how Camp Goodtimes had probably saved her marriage — providing a reprieve for her child with cancer, as well as a chance for her and her husband to reconnect.

One story shared at the Parksville event was that of Olivia Davis — a Qualicum Beach hockey player who, now 17 years old, is a cancer survivor.

RELATED: Qualicum teen fights leukemia

RELATED: Qualicum Beach teen now focused on hockey rather than cancer

At 13 years old, Davis was told by her doctor she had cancer, and that the disease had already taken over 84 per cent of her bone marrow.

Remembering the moment she was told, Olivia said, “I actually laughed.” After all, athletes like her don’t get cancer.

Nonetheless, she had to undergo two and a half years of treatment, receiving 10 different types of chemotherapy.

To show just how much that is, Olivia brought a necklace that held one bead for things like a dose of chemotherapy, for a needle poke or a blood transfusion. Laid out, it’s 22 feet long, she said.

It was a desire to get back on the ice that pushed her through the experience, she said. Now, she’s playing for the Vancouver Island Seals AAA team.

Olivia also spoke positively about Camp Goodtimes, the Loon Lake getaway in Maple Ridge that offers a safe, fun program for kids and teens affected by cancer to be together and feel like they can be kids again.

Olivia, along with a friend, has raised $2,300 for Ronald McDonald House, and, along with her hockey team, raised $1,600 for Camp Goodtimes, plus $500 for pediatric cancer research with a bake sale.

Supporting Camp Goodtimes was certainly the focus for well-known local fundraiser Joan Lemoine, who has raised more than $25,000 by getting her head shaved for Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock over the years.

RELATED: Parksville super fundraiser living the dream

Lemoine and Darlene Thompson were the two people getting their heads shaved.

Thompson raised $2,400 for this year’s event, while Lemoine raised $7,500 in the hopes of sending five kids to Camp Goodtimes. That number increased as members of the crowd gave her more money as her head was being shaved.

Send news tips to:


Just Posted

RDN to create conceptual designs for fire halls

Committee endorses standardization design of buildings

Oceanside RCMP asking for help in finding teen

Isaiah Taylor may be in Qualicum Beach, Tofino or Victoria

Coast Guard searching waters off Tofino for three missing men

Search crews are concentrating their efforts in a 41km area near Tofino

Washington State man facing murder charges in 1987 killing of Victoria couple

Two counts of aggravated first-degree murder filed against William Talbott II in Snohomish

30 degrees and warmer forecasted with heat wave in B.C.

The weather could stay well into next week, according to Environment Canada

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after an incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

QB Jennings leads Lions to 22-10 win over Alouettes

B.C. wins CFL home opener over Montreal

Most Read