The annual Cops for Cancer rally is a ritual that’s become so ingrained at Reynolds secondary, Grade 9 students arrive to the school in September having already made up their mind.
Girls come willing to shave their heads. Boys come willing to shave their heads too, or wax their legs, or both.
One of those students is Mhina St. Hilaire, a Grade 9 student who’s raised nearly $3,000 and is targeting $5,000. On Friday, her straight red hair that already drops past her shoulders and halfway down her back, will drop all the way to the floor. She’s been chosen as one of two students to have their heads shaved at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 7, when the Tour de Rock riders stop at Reynolds during their final day of the 2016 tour.
“It’s because of my grandma who died of cancer that I wanted to help anyway I can,” St. Hilaire said. “Especially for kids who have to go through that kind of stuff.”
Reynolds holds its traditional head shave and rally on Thursday. Because so many students get their heads shaved, or legs waxed, the school split the rally into two parts, said Tour de Rock liaison and 2014 rider Dean Norris-Jones.
St. Hilaire isn’t the first in her family to partake in the head shave, as her sister Taewyn, in Grade 11, has been through the process before.
“She wore a hat a lot but I don’t think I will unless it’s cold,” St. Hilaire said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what happens [without hair].”
Reynolds is a leader in the annual Cops for Cancer fundraising, with more than $500,000 pulled in for pediatric cancer, some years topping $100,000. Saanich schools Spectrum, Lambrick and Mount Douglas are among those which have rallied for thousands more.
Reynolds is part of a series of Saanich stops on Friday for the Tour de Rock team. The team comes from Esquimalt and starts with the Coast Capital Savings branch at Tillicum Shopping Centre at 11:07 a.m., then at St. Joseph’s elementary (757 Burnside Rd. West) at 11:25 a.m., Broadmead Village at 11:54 p.m., Reynolds at 12:40 p.m., a brief photo at the pedestrian overpass at Braefoot and McKenzie at 1:16 p.m., and a stop at Dawson Heights (3710 Cedar Hill Rd.) 55+ senior housing at 1:20 p.m. All times are approximate as the schedule could be delayed.
On Thursday the tour will be at a host of Saanich schools, including St. Michaels University School, St. Andrews secondary, Colquitz and Marigold elementary schools, Spectrum Community School, Glandord middle school and Claremont secondary.
The stop at Broadmead Village is the longest and is the team’s final lunch stop of the tour. The public is invited to visit Broadmead to meet the riders, cheer them on and learn more out about their journey.
The riders are expected to stay until about 12:25 p.m. Pharmasave will be barbecuing hot dogs with proceeds going to Tour de Rock. Coast Capital is holding a spin bike fundraiser in the Broadmead breezeway.
Visit tourderock.ca for the full itinerary and more.