Tour de Rock riders find plenty of inspiration in Cowichan Valley

Tour de Rock riders find plenty of inspiration in Cowichan Valley
Tour de Rock riders find plenty of inspiration in Cowichan Valley
Cowichan pipers escort the Tour de Rock riders into Beverly Corners for their annual celebration in Duncan. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Cowichan pipers escort the Tour de Rock riders into Beverly Corners for their annual celebration in Duncan. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
The Tour de Rock arrives in Duncan to the skirl of the pipes. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)The Tour de Rock arrives in Duncan to the skirl of the pipes. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Riders prepare to meet the crowd at Beverly Corners in Duncan. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Riders prepare to meet the crowd at Beverly Corners in Duncan. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Duncan town crier Ben Buss greets the Tour de Rock. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Duncan town crier Ben Buss greets the Tour de Rock. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
The riders are introduced to the crowd in Duncan. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)The riders are introduced to the crowd in Duncan. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Ryder Racoon may not ride but he’s always a crowd favourite. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Ryder Racoon may not ride but he’s always a crowd favourite. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Coast Capital gets a thank you plaque for supporting the Tour de Rock. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Coast Capital gets a thank you plaque for supporting the Tour de Rock. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Tour de Rock thanks Thrifty’s for feeding them all along the way. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Tour de Rock thanks Thrifty’s for feeding them all along the way. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
The Chemainus Eagles Auxiliary are happy to donate to Tour de Rock. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)                                The Chemainus Eagles Auxiliary are happy to donate to Tour de Rock. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)The Chemainus Eagles Auxiliary are happy to donate to Tour de Rock. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen) The Chemainus Eagles Auxiliary are happy to donate to Tour de Rock. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
It’s special for the Cops for Cancer when local groups like Cowichan Valley Fish & Game step up with donations. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)It’s special for the Cops for Cancer when local groups like Cowichan Valley Fish & Game step up with donations. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Lake Cowichan’s Jaxon Zalinko can’t wait until he’s old enough to be a rider on the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team.

Jaxon, 9, is a leukemia survivor and has been a Tour de Rock junior rider for the past four years.

He was also instrumental in raising almost $7,000 this year to help fight cancer.

“Jaxon was paired up with Derek Tolmie (a police officer from Victoria) this year, and Derek arranged a car rally fundraiser from Victoria to Lake Cowichan, through the Pacific Marine Route, while we arranged the event from Lake Cowichan’s end,” said Jaxon’s mother Rachel.

“The rally ended at Jaxon’s school, Lake Cowichan School, and Jaxon went on stage with them. He was thrilled.”

Jaxon said he wants to be a junior rider again next year.

“I’ll be able to join the team myself in another nine or 10 years,” he grinned while waiting for the team to arrive at Beverly Corners on Oct. 2.

Dozens of school kids, members of service groups, and families who have been helped by the cancer awareness and fundraising campaign turned out to greet the riders at Beverly Corners.

The Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team began their 11-day journey from the north end of Vancouver Island to the south last week to raise money to put an end to childhood cancer.

Since its inception in 1998, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock has become Vancouver Island’s number one fundraiser to help kids with cancer.

The Tour de Rock raises money for pediatric cancer research and support programs, including sending children facing cancer and their families to the CCS’s acclaimed Camp Goodtimes each summer.

Teresa Sawden, a hair stylist from Duncan’s Great Clips which traditionally cuts hair as an event fundraiser, raised more than $1,600 for the cause this year, and had her red hair shorn at Beverly Corners.

“It’s my first year getting my hair cut,” she said.

“It took just two weeks to raise the money from customers and co-workers.”

Marg Shepherd, a member of the Cowichan Valley Dragons Divas dragon boat team, raised $375 just while waiting at Beverly Corners for the riders to arrive.

She said the dragon boat team’s members are all cancer survivors and supporters.

“This my fourth year getting my head shaved, and I’m doing it again next year,” she said.