For eight years running, beloved Parksville volunteer Joan LeMoine has donated her locks to help raise funds for the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.
This year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, LeMoine will not have that opportunity. The 2020 tour, which features alumni riders, has been significantly modified to avoid big gatherings to keep the virus from spreading. But LeMoine is not easily deterred.
To make up for it, LeMoine went out to the community and spent about four hours seeking donations from shoppers at Save-On-Foods in Parksville on Friday, Sept. 25.
“I really wanted to do something because I was feeling bad I wasn’t going to get my head shaved raising money,” LeMoine said. “I said ‘let’s do a fundraiser any way because cancer doesn’t stop.’”
LeMoine has raised closed to $50,000 for the tour and has sent 26 children to Camp Goodtimes.
“We are going to get more kids camping hopefully next year,” said LeMoine, who was out with the blue bucket she has successfully used in the last eight years to collect money. She was joined by members of the Oceanside RCMP Detachment Danielle Swanson and Michael Garland, and also Parksville Coun. Adam Fras, who helped organize the event.
LeMoine met the riders who stopped by. The team included former Parksville Qualicum Beach representatives, Oceanside RCMP members Jesse Foreman (2013) and Jordan Reid (2014) and Allison Roberts (2018) of RLC Park Services.
The team made stops at various locations in the community to generate funds for children and families impacted by cancer. There was not as much fanfare due to the pandemic but the participants are still keen and devoted to helping raise money for cancer research and Camp Goodtimes.
“The cause is amazing,” said Foreman. “Every community needed to do their part and I am happy to join in.”
Roberts said having experienced the tour two years ago has made her a dedicated supporter of the cause.
“It’s such an amazing, emotional experience, as well as riding bikes,” said Roberts. “The emotional impact of the tour is so huge that you just have to support it. I had a really deep connection with my young super heroes who I rode for.”
This year’s tour aims to raise $1.3 million.
Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino followed by Nanaimo on Sunday.