PORT HARDY—Port Hardy RCMP Constable Tyson Richard was feeling the heat Friday.
Then again, his assistance on the grill at the Cops for Cancer Chili Cook-off and barbecue in front of Overwaitea Foods was actually a welcome break from his fund-raising efforts of the last several months.
“Before this, I’d never done any fundraising,” said Richard, who will join nearly two dozen of his law-enforcement counterparts and media riders in the annual Tour de Rock beginning in Port Alice Sept. 21. “It’s about getting out of your comfort zone a little bit.”
The Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, which provides money for paediatric cancer research and visits by cancer-stricken children to Camp Goodtimes, takes riders on an 1,100-kilometre journey from North Vancouver Island to the finish line in Victoria. The months of training for the ride have been a breeze for Richard, who found himself mildly surprised by the amount of fund-raising involved in the ride.
Still, Richard’s proven to be adept at attracting money. The more than $800 raised at Friday’s Chili Cook-off pushed his total past the $10,000 mark, compared to his original goal of “anything over $5,000.”
He earlier helped organize the Cops for Cancer Golf Tournament at Seven Hills Golf & Country Club, then took part in a “Jail and Bail” fund-raiser at Carrot Park during Filomi Days.
“That Jail and Bail went pretty well,” he said. “We got something like $1,300 in two hours, all while I was on shift.”
On Friday, Richard got help from the Cancer Society’s North Island Community Giving coordinator, Lisa Harrison, and from Overwaitea, which donated hot dogs, chips and drinks to go along with four batches of chili that vied for top honours among taste-testers who donated money to vote on the best recipe.
Harrison also announced a deal has been struck with Cafe Guido in Port Hardy, which will concoct a new coffee drink, with a share of proceeds for the beverage in September going to Tour de Rock.
The event kicks off the evening of Friday, Sept. 20, with a dinner, auction and meet-and-greet with the riders at the Legion Hall in Port Alice. The next morning the ride will commence, with the tour making meet-and-greet stops in Port Hardy and Port McNeill.
“I’m really looking forward to the riding,” Richard said. “Fund raising has pretty much taken up most of my life for the last six months. It’s been good; it’s tiring, but I’ve met a lot of good people, done a lot of fun things.”