The Tour For Kids is a registered Canadian charity that raise a source of funding for several incredible cancer camp organizations in Canada. Since 2004 Tour for Kids has raised and distributed for than $11 million to these amazing camps. They have assisted in establishing a camp at Sick Kids Hospital, rejuvenated the aging infrastructure of several overnight camps and improved the delivery of service. In the Ontario chapter there are Camp Ooch, Camp Quality, and Camp Trillium. (Info from Tour for Kids website.)
Since camp is free for all in need, Tour for Kids funding means children with cancer and their families can take a break from their stresses while enjoying a camp experience just like other kids.
Funding for these camp experiences for children with cancer come through bike tours where cyclists in order to participate are required to raise their own support. It is a big commitment. The Tour for Kids donation model is super unique. One part paid by the rider is registration fees to cover their cost of the tour. The 2nd part is the minimum fundraising required, and 100% of this goes towards the cancer camps.
Each year there are rides in Alberta, Atlantic Canada, and here in Ontario. In Ontario riders can choose routes that vary in distance and the time involved. It could be 1 day or for a full 3 days with distances up to 200k a day. The departure each morning and return later in the day is at the Georgian College summer suites.
Along the routes there are rest stops/aid stations, and for the 3rd time in 4 years the tour has come right through my home village of Hillsdale. And in each of these 3 visits it has been an honour to have the church grounds where I am lay pastor used in a very small way to be used as one of the locations of one of the rest stops. This year the Tour for Kids had 350 riders of which 275 would have ridden through Hillsdale.
The tour provides everything at these rest stops: food and refreshments, 1st aid, portable washroom facilities and even their own volunteers. I don’t even have to be there myself, but love spending some time there because of the so many inspirations I get from these riders.
Cyclists come from throughout Ontario, but some come further and some even from overseas. One gentleman named John came from Ireland. He read about it and decided to ride the tour as part of a Canadian vacation.
For many of these riders there is a story behind why they are doing this. They may know a child who is fighting cancer or has lost the battle to cancer. From the Tour for Kids website it mentions that there are 10,000 children living with cancer in Canada.
Much like my ultra races the riders came quickly into the aid station and then back out again. They were on a mission, and I definitely did not want to hold them back. To undertake either 100k, 160k or 200k a day for up to 3 days over very hilly countryside is a huge commitment. It takes a lot of training, and with hot muggy conditions that weekend, it would have taken much endurance, stamina and mental grit. I have so much admiration and respect for them.
For more information on the Tour for Kids please visit their website tourforkids.
Tour for Kids Facebook feed.
Tour for Kids Twitter feed.
Thanks for reading!