Mission complete for Tour de Rock riders

Cpl Michael Smith and team at CFB Esquimalt Fire and Rescue headquarters.

Cpl Michael Smith and team at CFB Esquimalt Fire and Rescue headquarters.

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

Tour de Rock rider Cpl Michael Smith says he was taken aback by donor generosity in this year’s fundraiser for children with cancer.

The 29-year-old works in the Court Section of CFB Esquimalt’s Military Police Unit. He was part of a 19-person police and first-responder cycling team that pedaled a combined distance of 1,200 kilometres from Port Alice to Victoria between Sept. 23 and Oct. 2.

Tour de Rock provides funding for paediatric cancer research and support programs through the Canadian Cancer Society while also raising awareness about the plight of affected children and their families.

This year’s fundraising effort fell short of last year’s total of $1.2 million due to COVID-19 restrictions, but still reached its $600,000 fundraising goal. Riders set individual fundraising targets and this year Cpl Smith exceeded his $5,000 goal by $220.

“Every year I am blown away by the generosity of people on Vancouver Island and at CFB Esquimalt. This year’s Tour de Rock was no different even despite the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Cpl Smith.

The tour made fewer stops with much smaller gatherings of 50 people or less.

“I understand these are tough times for everyone but I’m  glad to see our supporters realize that cancer doesn’t take a break, even for COVID-19,” said Cpl Smith.

The tour made a stop on the last day at CFB Esquimalt Fire and Rescue headquarters to a COVID-19 scaled-back heroes welcome. Cpl Smith and the others riders were greeted by members of Esquimalt’s military police unit and fire department staff. 

‘Game On’ For Golf

CFB Esquimalt’s Military Police Unit continue their ongoing fundraising for the Military Police Fund for Blind Children with their upcoming golf tournament.

A maximum of 60 participants will adhere to strict social distancing guidelines for the first annual James Riley Stone ‘Big Jim’ golf tournament, to be held Oct. 16 at Olympic View Golf Club.  Four-player teams will compete in an 18-hole, Texas Scramble format event that begins with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.

Participants will receive practice balls and be eligible for prizes. A complimentary outdoor lunch at the 10th hole and a shared electric golf cart are also included with registration.

The event is named in honour of Colonel James Riley Stone, who founded the blind fund in 1957. The former Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) had a daughter who was afflicted with eye cancer. He established the charity to provide financial assistance and support for blind children under the age of 13.

This year’s golf tournament is being organized by military police members LS Eric McRae and Cpl Branden Keith. For player registration information contact Michael.smith2@forces.gc.ca


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