No power proved to be no problem for Tofino’s Cops for Cancer celebrations on Sunday morning as a planned eight-hour power outage could not darken the mood of a pancake breakfast event held to welcome the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock riders to town.
“We’ve got music. We’ve got hot pancakes and hot coffee and it’s terrific community-building,” said Tofino mayor Josie Osborne.
Community members began pouring into the Tofino Legion just as the power went out around 9 a.m. and enjoyed a hearty breakfast cooked by the Legion’s Ladies Auxiliary while cheering on the Tour de Rock team’s efforts.
“This year, when it happened that we were not going to have power, there were some folks who said, ‘Oh, we can’t do this.’ I said, ‘Yes we can. This is Tofino,” said Jim Striegel of the Tofino Co-op, a key sponsor and organizer of the annual event. “So we all got together. The Fire Department brought a generator. The [Tofino Legion’s] Ladies Auxiliary’s stoves in the back run on gas. People brought power lights. We’re here, like we always are.”
Osborne said the Cops for Cancer celebration is an important annual staple on Tofino’s calendar.
“It’s such an important cause and a way we can show the big hearts that we have in a small town like Tofino and that we care,” she said. “I am so thrilled that this year we have a local rider, Amanda McRae, and it’s wonderful to see the kind of support that we have for her here in the community. She really represents the big heart that Tofino has. I’m really proud of her accomplishment.”
McRae, a local paramedic and volunteer firefighter, is the community’s first Tour de Rock rider since Tofino’s former bike-cop Andrew Waddell rode with the team in 2013.
She was all smiles as the team prepared to ride out of town after a successful event.
“Thank you so much for the warm welcome on this rainy day,” she beamed. “It’s been great.”
Tofino Fire Chief Brent Baker was delighted to see such a large turnout of community members arrive to show their support for McRae and her team.
“They have worked and trained so hard for such an important cause and event and to see all their hard work come together like this and have the community be here to support them. It’s a really passionate community and it’s great to see everybody here behind them,” he said.
“They’re going from town to town and school to school, spreading the word about what they’re doing, generating more awareness and creating a following. It’s amazing.”
The Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock ride raises funds for pediatric cancer research as well as Camp Goodtimes, a week-long camp designed for children and families battling Cancer.
The team cycles approximately 1,000 kilometres across Vancouver Island visiting around 30 communities along the way, beginning in Port Alice on Sept. 22 and finishing in Victoria on Oct. 5.The ride has raised over $38 million since its launch in 1998, according to Tour de Rock’s website.