Andrew Bailey Photo Three-year-old Ava Duncan volunteered for her first-ever haircut during Ucluelet’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock festivities on Saturday afternoon

VIDEO: Tour de Rock riders honour Ucluelet with Community Champion award

Local rider Marcel Midlane thanks West Coasters for a whopping $60,000 of support.

Ucluelet cheered in the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team on Saturday afternoon and the riders cheered right back, handing the community a Community Champion award for 2017.

“There’s only a couple of those given out for the entire Vancouver Island,” said Staff Sergeant, and former Ucluelet RCMP detachment commander, Jeff Swann.

He said the award recognized Ucluelet’s consistently inspiring fundraising efforts.

“This has just been such an amazing run for Ucluelet…It’s all-in-all such a wonderful cause and, when you look around and see the crowd that was here today and all of the people donating their time, their effort, their energy, their money and the businesses that donated, it’s just such a positive impact.”

The riders arrived in Tofino on Sunday morning for a pancake breakfast at the Tofino Legion and the team will have visited over 27 communities by the time their roughly 1,000-kilometre bike ride across Vancouver Island finishes in Victoria on Oct. 6.

Since its inaugural showing in 1998, the annual ride has generated over $23 million for paediatric cancer research and Camp Goodtimes, a weeklong experience for children and families battling cancer.

One of Ucluelet’s own is on the Tour de Rock team this year and tears overcame Const. Marcel Midlane when his fundraising total of $60,000 was announced in front of his teammates and supporters at the Ucluelet Co-op around 3:30 p.m.

“That isn’t me. All of this is everybody here. This is phenomenal,” Midlane said.

“This is such a caring community. I couldn’t have done this without each and every one of you who’s come out to support me and to support Cops for Cancer.”

The amount marked a roughly $15,000 increase from the West Coast’s 2016 Tour de Rock total, impressively spearheaded by another local rider, Gaylene Thorogood, who helped lead Midlane’s fundraising team this year.

Midlane gave a special shout out to West Coast sisters Dena Bruno and Rochelle Cole, whose combined efforts raised over $16,000 for the cause this year, as well as his local fundraising team, supporters and any locals who participated in the many fundraising events held throughout the West Coast.

“Everybody in the community who came out, time after time, for all these different events, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. It means so much,” he said. “This ride is for the kids and it’s fantastic.”

The Tour de Rock’s arrival included a community head-shave, which served as the perfect setting for three-year-old local Ava Duncan’s first-ever haircut.

“Ava stood up and decided to donate her hair. She got up there, we put her hair in ponytails, and we cut it away,” said Ava’s mom Rhianna.

“I’m extremely proud. I don’t think she realizes what that means and the volumes that that speaks that we’re raising money for kids with cancer and here she is donating her hair…It’s amazing and it’s lessons that you’re teaching them early, so it’s really cool.”

Ucluelet locals Jennifer Hoar and Maxtin Lengyel smiled under the head-shaving shears together after raising $3,000 for the cause.

“I’m super proud of this community for supporting me,” Hoar said.

She added that she’d been roughly $300 short of her $3,000 goal when she showed up to the afternoon’s festivities and was thrilled to see that gap disappear quickly.

“Everybody I walked up to, and said that to, pulled a $20 out of their wallet. I had, in half-an-hour here, well over $300 passed to me,” she said.

“It makes my heart feel good. It’s love and love’s all we’ve got. Bring a little light to a kid who is suffering from cancer and bring a little bit of light to the world…Kids are our future. You’ve got to do what you can for them.”

The Westerly News and Black Press are proud sponsors of the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock ride.

Tour de Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach Resort is for sale

The commercial offering of 21 suites and cabins was recently listed for $4,495,000

Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock

“He was just untying the boats and watching them float away,” said Harbour Master Kevin Cortes.

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Ucluelet RCMP warns of scammers impersonating police

“Police will never demand payment of any kind to get rid of an arrest warrant.”

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

Most Read