Annual Cops for Kids Ride through southeastern B.C. makes stop in Nelson
Monday there was a long line of blue cyclists that cruised through Nelson as the 2023 Cops for Kids Ride continued its trek through the Southern Interior of BC.
Since 2001, Cops for Kids, presented by the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation, have raised over $6.1 million in support of local children in medical, physical, or traumatic crisis.
The 24 cyclist group consists of law enforcement officials from across South Eastern BC who are all committed to helping kids in their community.
The 2023 Cops of Kids ride included two cyclists from Nelson, BC Sheriffs Rob Crowder and Mike Kosof who are returning as cyclists on the team again this year.
“I’ve been riding with the Cops for Kids team since 2012,” says Kosof in a Cops for Kids media release.
“The interactions with the children and their families who benefit from our fundraising efforts tug on the heart strings and get me back on my bike training and fundraising every single year. For them, it’s all worth it.”
Monday’s ride began in Castlegar with a couple of group photos, before cycled along Highway 3A with a police escort onto to Nelson for a stop at the RCMP detachment as a part of their ten-day journey, that began in Kelowna.
The group cycled down to the South Okanagan and over into the Kootenays as far east as Cranbrook, before riding through to Kamloops and landing back in Kelowna on Sunday September 17th.
It’s an arduous journey at the best of times, with hill climbs over the Anarchist mountain and Paulson pass across the RCMP’s South East District.
“The past weeks and months have tested the team already,” said ride captain, retired Staff Sergeant Major Julio Krenz.
“In addition to their policing duties, they’ve faced an unprecedented fire season which meant extra overtime hours and poor air quality for training. They’ve proven already that they’re committed to helping local kids, by fundraising and training in such challenging times.”
The ride is a culmination of each riders’ year-long efforts volunteering at community events, training on their own time, and fundraising a minimum of $2,500 each so that they can be a part of this riding team.
For them, it’s a small sacrifice compared to what families go through in a time of crisis.
The ride will stop in communities across South Eastern BC where the team will be met by the children who benefit from the fundraising efforts year-round. These interactions with families are the reason the riders keep pedalling each day with sore legs and often unfavorable weather conditions.
Community fundraising events and gatherings are held to welcome the team, and to help provide the funds needed by families with a child in crisis.
To follow the team on their journey, or to make a donation please visit the website at www.copsforkids.org or follow along on Facebook and Instagram.