Rachelle Cole can’t stop. She won’t stop. Somebody call 9-1-1 because this Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock Rider is on fire.
Cole, Ucluelet’s BC ambulance unit chief, is currently the top fundraiser in the 25th Annual Tour de Rock peloton of 21 riders by a landslide, netting almost $38,000 since her campaigning began in May.
“If it wasn’t for the generosity of the hard-working people of the West Coast, friends, family and BCEHS, if it wasn’t for all those people, there would be no FUN in fundraising,” said Cole, who also sits on Ucluelet council.
The fun Cole alludes to has everything to do with one flower stuffed toilet or ‘Throne of Hope’ as she likes to calls it.
“I started circulating the toilet on June 22, my 50th birthday. It made 68 stops in Ukee in 50 days and raised $10,000,” she told the Westerly News. “One day it moved 11 times. It blew up! The faster it moves to the next location, the more funds can be raised for Camp Goodtimes.”
When the toilet is dropped at a doorstep, owners have the choice to ‘Flush out Cancer’ by donating $10 to take it away, $20 to take it away and send it to a friend, $50 to get rid of the toilet, gift it to a friend and make sure it never comes back, or for $100 it gets removed, they gift it, they get insurance it never comes back and they can keep the flowers.
On Aug. 11 and Day 50 of making the rounds in Ucluelet, Ukee Petro Can threw $500 to get rid of the can and had it sent way north to their pals at Long Beach Auto in Tofino. Cole says the toilet will be circulating around Tofino businesses until the Tour de Rock riders roll into Ucluelet on Oct. 1 and Tofino on Oct. 2.
“I don’t have a prediction for Tofino. Who knows how much they will donate?”
She says the West Coast is notorious for their generosity towards Cops for Cancer. Past riders Marcel Midlane raised a whopping $60,000 in 2017 and Gaylene Thorogood, the inventor of the creative toilet game, raised $45,000 in 2016.
“I don’t think the toilet game would work in a bigger city. It’s easy and fun because it’s a small town. I’m glad that it’s taken off for Rachelle,” said Thorogood, who is the administrative supervisor, for RCMP support services out of North Cowichan/Duncan.
Thorogood went on to wish all the riders a safe ride.
“It’s gonna be hard, but it’s worth it. We’re doing what we can for the kids who can’t. For everyone helping out, thank you. It’s a huge effort to send these kids to camp,” she said.
Cole has a couple more fundraising initiatives on the horizon, including an Art Night on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Ucluelet Community Centre main hall. Tickets are $50 per person and include a signature cocktail compliments of Pacific Rim Distillery and West Coast inspired snacks. To save a spot, text: 250-726-5072.
All the money raised from the tour goes towards paediatric cancer research and sending children with cancer to Camp Goodtimes. In B.C., Camp Goodtimes has two locations for kids ages 7 to 18 diagnosed with cancer: Camp Pringle at Shawnigan Lake and Loon Lake in Maple Ridge. It costs about $1,500 per child to attend the camp.
“Kids with cancer is about as wrong as it gets,” says Cole.