Doesn’t matter what year it is, or who happens to be decked out in red, blue and yellow spandex – the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team knows how to make an entrance.
On Friday, this year’s Tour roster rolled into a packed gymnasium at Reynolds secondary, led by drum-pounding members of the school’s marching band.
It was barely controlled bedlam and the roar was almost deafening.
Amazingly the assembled students and staff were able to calm themselves enough to allow Tour de Rock MC and rider Const. Mike Russell of the Victoria Police Department to introduce the entire team, spare one unmistakable figure who had yet to have his head shaved.
Saanich police equipment officer Kevin Nunn, whose cultivated blond spikes and English accent have earned him the nickname Billy Idol, for his resemblance to the Brit 80’s rocker, exclaimed, “This baby’s coming off today!”
With the p.a. blasting Jennifer Lopez’ party anthem “Let’s Get Loud,” students roared as the electric clippers plowed through Nunn’s spikes, row by row like a lawnmower.
The whole procedure took about two minutes, after which the big moment came.
Key fundraisers Kathryn Johnson and Anna Sollazzo, both in Grade 12, were marched out by vice-principal Dean Norris-Jones with the giant faux cheque folded.
When they slowly opened it to reveal the amount, the students and staff again exploded, to the tune of $75,158. And as Norris-Jones noted, there’s always more pledges to follow. As of Monday, the total had surpassed $91,000.
Afterward Johnson, still holding one end of the cheque, voiced her enthusiasm for the annual fundraiser.
“It’s just so awesome. This campaign involves everyone in the school,” she said, from head shaves to bake sale purchases to securing auction items.
Sollazzo, who focused her volunteer efforts on bake sales and silent auctions, is proud of the tradition of giving at her school.
“It’s incredible to be part of a community where service is such an integral part of the culture,” she said, adding that a car wash held the previous weekend drew numerous volunteers and dozens of customers, despite a constant downpour.
As the team rolled off to their next stop, even Nunn, whose personal fundraising has included pulling a Mini around University of Victoria’s Ring Road and riding for 24 hours around the same road, was taken aback.
“It’s so empowering to walk in there and get that kind of reception,” he said. “I have so much respect for them, because it’s kids giving to kids that didn’t have a choice whether or not they got sick.”
As of this week, the Tour de Rock had raised close to $600,000. See copsforcancerbc.ca for more information or to donate.