Part of the Cops for Kids team cycles Hwy. 97 north of Osoyoos Saturday afternoon.

A team of BC Mounties climbed out of their cruisers and on to their bikes this weekend, starting a 10-day odyssey through the southeast part of the province on the annual Cops for Kids ride.

Thirty-four cyclists — including the Osoyoos detachment’s Andrew Deane — and a support crew of six were in the South Okanagan Saturday on day two of the journey that began in Kelowna Friday and will see the team cycle more than 1,000 km and visit 26 communities.

While some cycled from Osoyoos Saturday morning — climbing up Anarchist and racing into Rock Creek after a hearty breakfast provided by the Osoyoos branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and a goodnight’s rest at Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip — others started the day in Oliver with a pancake breakfast courtesy of the Oliver Fire Department.

“We rely on the generosity of local hotels, restaurants, service clubs and businesses to host the team in each community, so we realize the pressure a large team puts on them,” explained Ride Captain Julio Krenz, a retired Staff Sergeant Major.  

“Each community where we stop has really stepped up to able us to feed and house this large team during our route, and that’s just fantastic.”

Funds from the ride — the largest in Cops for Kids history — support requests for medical equipment, transportation to Children’s Hospital, specialized therapies, learning and mobility aids through the Kelowna Foundation for Hope and Social Innovation.

“With our need continuing to grow, we are working harder than ever to ensure that we’ve got funding available for local children in their time of crisis,” explained Cops for Kids President Grant Fletcher of the effort.

“We’ve already had 175 requests this year from families in our region so we are asking the communities we serve to help us help the local children.”

Over the event’s 17 years, Cops for Kids has raised more than $4.5 million. 

To donate to Cops for Kids, visit the organization’s website — copsforkids.org.

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