Earlier this afternoon, the team was met with much fanfare by the students at Taylor Elementary, where Marques spoke to them about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. The children got the chance to talk one-on-one with the riders, with some even getting the chance to hop on a bike.
After surviving the North Taylor Hill, the crew made it to the Energetic City, where they’ll spend their first night on the tour. At a welcoming ceremony at Centennial Park, Constable Vandine thanked everyone for their support so far.
“We visited three schools today, and it’s amazing to see the interaction that we can have with the children and show them that even they can make a difference, just in small ways with lifestyle choices” he says. “It’s a great group to make awareness of such a great cause.”
So far the riders from Fort St. John have raised over $60,000 for the cause, while the Tour de North as a whole has already reached the $200,000 mark. All of the money raised supports cancer research through the Canadian Cancer Society, and Camp Goodtimes, a getaway for children with cancer and their families. This is the fourth ride for Constable Jennifer McCreesh of Smithers, formerly of Fort Nelson, who also got the chance to visit Camp Goodtimes in the past year.
“To see all of these kids that have been so sick in the past have the freedom to do whatever they wanted to at Camp Goodtimes, it was completely overwhelming,” she told the crowd. “It’s because of the support from communities like Fort St. John that we are continuously supported in riding, and are able to give back.”
The riders leave Fort St. John tomorrow morning after a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. at Centennial Park, for one of the longest legs of the tour to Chetwynd. The Tour de North will also take them through Hudson’s Hope, Powder King, Mackenzie, Bear Lake, Prince George, Hixon, and Quesnel, before finishing in Williams Lake on Thursday, September 19.