Dec 1, 2005 | Marmot, Winter 2005

The View From Here

Why would I do this to myself? Winter is going to be a little colder for me this winter...

I had my head shaved for charity on a cold, rainy morning in September, in support of Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock rider Constable Ian Ritchie. Ritchie, 46, an officer with the Saanich Police Department, is also a Mount Washington property owner.

An avid cross-country skier, Ritchie lives with his wife and four sons in Shawnigan Lake. Ritchie noted on the Tour de Rock website that he wanted to raise $5,000. Many Comox Valleyites stood in line to have their head shaved when the Tour de Rock stopped in town. At press time my supporters and I raised just over $4,700.

In his team bio, Ritchie stated that he was motivated to join the tour to raise money for cancer research. “Both parents have been inflicted with cancer,” he wrote. “Know a child with cancer. Love cycling – even more, now!”

Just finished its eighth year, the Tour de Rock is a 1,000-kilometre bicycle trip that annually sees a team of 19 law enforcement officers and two media members travel to 27 communities from Port Alice to Victoria. The tour has raised in excess of $5.5 million for the Canadian Cancer Society.

The Tour de Rock began in 1998 when Saanich Sgt. Martin Pepper topped up the Cops for Cancer head-shaving event with a local fundraiser for children. The police officers who sign up for the tour spend seven months training by cycling more than 3,000 kilometres.

Officers are teamed up with Island kids going through cancer treatment. Ritchie was paired with Justin Maizis, 15, who was diagnosed two months before the ride with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare cancer.

Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock is a very worthy cause and hats (hair?) off to everyone who supports them annually.

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