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Cops for Cancer tour gathering steam

RCMP traffic constable Brian Davis isn't joining the Cops for Cancer ride to Prince Rupert but he might be in the area this September catching dinner to help feed those hungry riders.
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RCMP Sgt. Holly Lavin will be riding in this year's Cops for Cancer ride. This is her fourth time riding in the event.

RCMP traffic constable Brian Davis isn't joining the Cops for Cancer ride to Prince Rupert but he might be in the area this September catching dinner to help feed those hungry riders.

When he's not out arresting impaired drivers, David runs the High Tide Charters fishing outfit based at Porter Island south of Prince Rupert and he's decided this year to help raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Having had two close family members touched by cancer, Davis is donating a three-day fishing excursion for four people July 13-15 off Porcher Island near Prince Rupert. Davis's mother-in-law died of cancer 15 years ago and his own mother survived the disease, and he knows he's not alone.

"I don't think there's anybody out there who hasn't been touched by cancer in one shape or form," said the 56-year-old Davis. "I probably will join the ride one year. I've bicycle toured before from Vancouver to San Francisco when I was 17. I'd like to come out and do it once."

Proceeds from the fishing charter raffle, worth $2,300, will count towards the fundraising total of Sgt. Holly Lavin. A total of 300 tickets were printed and are available at the North District RCMP office on Fifth Avenue. The draw will be made on Tuesday at the B.C. Cancer Agency Centre for the North.

"I think it's an important program and if I expect others to participate I think I should be leading by example," said Lavin, the Cops for Cancer liaison between the RCMP and the Canadian Cancer Society.

"I wanted to make sure we had enough representation from Prince George. It's a big place, there are lots of members here and historically we never seem to get much interest from the riders in Prince George and it's kind of frustrating."

This year's 11th annual ride starts in Prince George on Sept. 12 and finishes in Prince Rupert on Sept. 18. The 850-kilometre east-west route has been changed slightly and will bypass Fort St. James to allow the Tour to reach Kitimat.

Twenty-nine riders have signed up for the Tour, an all-time high and up from the total of 22 for last year's ride from Fort St. John to Williams Lake. Three other Prince George RCMP officers -- Sofia Delisimunovic, Chris Emon and Paul Starr --are taking part in this year's ride. The ride also includes B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic Dakota Stone of Prince George and community rider Dennis Schwab.

Fundraising efforts for this year's Tour de North are just beginning and already Schwab is toping the list. Schwab has brought in the most of any rider the past two years he's joined the ride and so he's collected $18,135. Schwab is an avid cyclist and his role in monitoring the pace of the group to keep the riders working together safely and efficiently. Riders are encouraged to take part in local road races like Sunday's Prince George Cycling Club Koop's Granfondo 125 km event to get used to riding in packs.

Cops for Cancer co-ordinator Erin Reynolds says the success of the ride hinges on the work of the planning committee and volunteers who support the riders in each of the cities on the route.

"People don't realize that the planning committee works 365 days of the year to make this event happen, it's not only the people on the bikes, and they're amazing," said Reynolds.

More information on the Cops for Cancer ride is available at convio.cancer.ca.