The 22-member Tour De Rock team pedalled their way around several venues in Parksville Qualicum Beach when they made their schedule stop Sept. 27 en route to their Victoria destination.
They met students at Kwalikum Secondary and Arrowview Elementary, as well as community individuals and groups who have been raising funds for this year’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.
The highlight of the team’s visit was the Beer and Burger Night, held at the Quality Bayside Inn that was organized and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Parksville. Allison Roberts, who represented Parksville Qualicum Beach introduced her fellow riders and also awarded plaques of appreciation to individuals and groups that have faithfully supported Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock’s causes.
Roberts also related an emotional story about Kaiden, an 11-year-old Parksville boy, who has been battling with brain tumour.
Last year, Kaiden underwent a 12-hour surgery to remove a cancerous growth and last December his MRI showed that everything was clear.
“When Kaiden and I first met, everything was on the upswing,” said Roberts. She became friends with the young man and helped him come out of his quiet shell. Roberts said her being part of Tour de Rock has been a success as “somehow I have made a small difference in Kaiden’s life.”
“This is what I think all of us Tour de Rock riders are trying to do,” said Roberts, who then expressed her extreme sadness when Kaiden’s mom informed her that he was just presented a palliative diagnosis at his recent routine medical check up.
Roberts said she felt helpless.
But she felt they have an obligation “to do what we can do, to out out some positive energy for Kaiden and let’s do it for the kids.”
Another highlight of the night was the head-shaving event that featured Parsville’s most prolific community volunteer Joan Lemoine, 88, who had her head shaved for the seventh (and final, she says) time — to raise funds for Camp Goodtimes.
Camp Goodtimes is a summer camp that provides children with cancer and their families a unique experience, giving them a special time away from the stress of coping with the disease.
Friends came out to support Lemoine’s goal of raising $10,000 for Tour de Rock.
At the end of the night, she was at approximately $7,000 and will continue to raise money while the tour is still ongoing.
The other two ladies who allowed their heads to be sheared were District 69 school trustee Elaine Young, who raised more than $1,100 and Darlene Thompson, who raised close to $500.
The total amount that was raised at the Beer and Burger night was $30,545.
Riders enjoyed a pancake breakfast on Friday at The Bayside in Parksville and made a pit stop at Boston Pizza in Parksville on Sunday for lunch with the public.