Aaron Billesberger

Kicking off the Cops For Cancer campaign

Mission RCMP Const. James Mason, Correctional Service of Canada manager Aaron Billesberger, and radio host Chris Coburn visit local schools.

Three Tour de Valley riders visited Mission schools Monday to raise cancer awareness and begin the Cops for Cancer fundraising campaign.

Mission RCMP Const. James Mason, Correctional Service of Canada manager Aaron Billesberger, and radio host Chris Coburn visited Christine Morrison, Albert McMahon, ESR, and Mission Central elementary schools, as well as Mission and Hatzic Secondary schools.

Brandon Radnai, who is a childhood cancer survivor, also joined the team for part of the tour.

The group talked about the upcoming ride, advances in cancer treatments, and challenged students to live a healthy lifestyle and raise funds to support children living with cancer.

Students at some of the schools had already started fundraising for the team; Heritage Park had hosted a bake sale and students at Mission Central were donating money to guess how much candy was in a jar.

Cancer is an “awful disease that affects a lot of us,” said Billesberger, adding funds raised will help send children with cancer to Camp Goodtimes, where they can meet others going through similar experiences.

The community of Mission has been very supportive, said Billesberger after meeting with students. Billesberger and Mason are participating in the tour for the second consecutive year. Coburn has been riding for five years.

Last year close to $12,000 was raised in a single weekend when Billesberger and Mason spent a weekend on the roof of Save On Foods at the Junction. The pole sit will take place June 5-7 this year.

This year’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley runs from Sept. 24 to Oct. 2. The tour will cover more than 800 km from Langley to Boston Bar. The riders will be stopping in Mission, but a date for their visit has not yet been confirmed.

Donations to Cops for Cancer can be made at the local Canadian Cancer Society office at #5 – 32650 Logan Ave., or any of the seven schools the group visited today.