Three islanders participating in fund-raising ride

  • Aug. 8, 2007 10:00 a.m.

By Heather Ramsay–He might have signed up anyway, but when Masset RCMP Constable Alfy Vince found out that some of the funds raised during the Cops for Cancer Tour de North would go to Camp Goodtimes, that clinched it for him.Constable Vince spent seven years at the free, medically supervised camp for children affected by cancer, first as a camper, then a junior councillor, councillor and art director.At 15 years-old he was diagnosed with leukemia, but after three and a half years of chemotherapy, he stopped treatment and has been moving forward ever since. Now, more than 20 years later, he is training for the 850 kilometre Cops for Cancer ride between Prince George and Prince Rupert in support of Camp Goodtimes, the first place he met other teens who were going through the same experience. Twenty-four cyclists start the multi-day ride September 7 and pedal through to the 13, with some days up to 165 kilometres long. Const. Vince is one of the top three fundraisers in the north so far, aiming for the team’s goal of $225,000 to support cancer research and other services for children, teens and their families. Two other riders are from the islands, the first time Haida Gwaii has been represented in the Tour de North.Not only is Terry Mitchell of Tlell the top fundraiser so far, with more than $2,000 in pledges but he isn’t even a cop. Mr. Mitchell, who is riding for the Port Clements team, is a member of the BC Ambulance Service and his participation in the ride marks a first too. “In the north they’ve tended to be very pure,” says Mr. Mitchell. “They’ve always had just RCMP.” An avid cyclist, Mr. Mitchell had tried to join the ride before. He’s personally motivated to help as cancer has touched his life too. Mr. Mitchell lost his mother to cancer two years ago and his mother-in-law fought breast cancer and won. The riders each have personal fundraising goals, but the ride stops in each community along Highway 16 too. Mr. Mitchell has put a challenge out to all the BC Ambulance stations along the way to raise funds of their own. The islands third rider is Constable Jay Wessel, riding for the Queen Charlotte team. Donations can be made to any of the riders by visiting the Cops for Cancer website at