Tour de Coast: Cops for Cancer smashes fundraising record

It was a blowout year for the Cops for Cancer’s Tour de Coast. The annual fundraiser, which sees dozens of police officers cycle 800 kilometres through southern B.C. including the Sunshine Coast, raised $680,000, surpassing their goal by $155,000.

It’s a new record for the 24-year-old event, and long-time participant Const. Ben Stewart credits the Coast with its outsized efforts.

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“The Sunshine Coast community has raised more money per capita than any other city or community in the Lower Mainland or up the Sea to Sky Highway, including big cities such as West Van, Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond,” said Stewart, who is based at the Sunshine Coast RCMP detachment.

“The Sunshine Coast alone raised close to 10 per cent of the $680,000, which is incredible for a small community, something to be very proud of.”

The biggest single donor event was also based on the Coast. The annual Ladies Red Serge Gala broke its own record, raising $59,000, up $7,000 from last year. Other large fundraising events were the Vancouver Police Department and Coquitlam’s “Jail and Bails,” which brought in $37,000 and $31,000 respectively.

Since its launch, Cops for Cancer has raised more than $43 million for pediatric cancer research and treatment and to send children affected by cancer to Camp Good Times.

It may be difficult to match the record next year, though. Carrie Sacco, chair of the Red Serge Gala, is moving to the B.C. interior and will no longer be organizing the event.

“Sadly, without a head chair to run the gala, the event will be at risk of folding, which would be a great disappointment as it the largest fundraising event for Tour De Coast in the Lower Mainland,” Stewart said.

The committee is actively seeking a new chair for 2019. Anyone interested in taking on the position is encouraged to reach out to the Sunshine Coast RCMP.

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