COVID-19 forced Cops for Cancer to downsize its fundraising goal this year and it’s still anticipated to fall well short, due in part to forced event cancellations.
The fundraising goal for the 21st annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast was $400,000 and organizers expect to raise $280,000, Canadian Cancer Society’s Amanda Reath told Coast Reporter on Sept. 24, the second-last day of the tour. Last year the tour raised $800,000.
“With any charity right now, it’s different priorities,” said Reath.
The major fundraiser supporting children with cancer is normally buoyed by events such as the Red Serge Gala in Sechelt, which has brought in as much as $60,000, but organizers had to cancel or modify events due to COVID-19 protocols, said Reath.
A “burger and beer” fundraiser on Sept. 17 at Batch 44 replaced the Red Serge Gala this year, for example. As of Sept. 25 a fundraising total from the Batch 44 event hasn’t been announced.
The society cut individual fundraising goals of $6,000 in half this year, acknowledging “there are some people who can’t give as much, and we don’t want to put any pressure on anyone,” said Reath.
Despite the lower numbers, Reath said organizers are happy with the outcome, given the hurdles thrown up by the pandemic. “We’ve dealt with a lot of uncertainty and change and we’ve handled it as best as we can, and we still were able to raise quite a bit of money for an amazing cause.”
As with last year, about 40 riders from RCMP detachments and police departments, as well as paramedics and BC Sherriffs, took to the roads of Vancouver, North and West Vancouver, the Sea-to-Sky Corridor and the Sunshine Coast.
Const. Shelby Wood and Const. Jihan McDougall of the Sunshine Coast RCMP detachment cycled from Earls Cove to Gibsons “in perfect riding weather” on Sept. 21, according to an RCMP release.
Rather than ride in one large group, cyclists rode in small groups to comply with physical distancing guidelines.