Cops for Kids on the road today

34 cyclists, and a 6 person support crew from the RCMP, and supporting enforcement agencies from across the RCMP's South East District, will hit the road this morning (Sept 14) on the annual Cops for Kids Ride.

The largest team in Cops for Kids history is making their way south along Highway 97 for the first of 10 days to raise awareness, and essential funds, for the Kelowna Foundation for Hope and Social Innovation for children in medical, physical or traumatic crisis.  

Interest for the 2018 Ride started pouring in the day after their return last year. Ultimately the charitable foundation had to make the difficult decision to place a cap on the number of spots available on this year's team. "We rely on the generosity of local hotels, restaurants, service clubs and businesses to host the team in each community, so we realize the pressure a large team puts on them. Their support is appreciated more than ever," commends Ride Captain, retired Staff Sergeant Major Julio Krenz. "To have this much interest from riders wanting to join the team to make a difference in their community speaks to devotion from the RCMP members and the partnering law enforcement agencies in our area so we are thrilled."

Each rider must provide their own bike, train on their own time, volunteer at community events, and fundraise a minimum of $2,000 in order to participate. "When I see the devotion that these members make to supporting local kids, it makes me want to help out where I can," says Kelowna Foundation President Al Hildebrandt. "These riders work overtime shifts keeping our communities safe, have families of their own at home, and they still give another 10 days to this ride, so we are going to do our part too and help raise the funds needed by local families."

The 2018 Ride will take the team over 1,000 km across the south eastern corner of British Columbia over 10 days stopping in 26 communities where they'll be welcomed by local supporters, dignitaries, media and the Little Ambassadors that they pedal for each day. Over the event's 17 years, they've raised over $4.5 million through their signature event.  With requests from families on the rise, they're working even harder to support the local children who need it most.  Funds from the event support requests for medical equipment, transportation to Children's Hospital's, specialized therapies, as well as learning & mobility aids.