The Comox Valley Cyclepaths pedalled their way to $85,814 for Comox Valley Hospice Society during the Cycle of Life Tour.

The Comox Valley Cyclepaths pedalled their way to $85,814 for Comox Valley Hospice Society during the Cycle of Life Tour.

Comox Valley riders top the Island in Cycle of Life hospice fundraising

Cyclepaths pedal to $85,814 for Comox Valley Hospice

After two years of virtual rides, Raida Bolton and the Comox Valley Cyclepaths were ready for this year’s Cycle of Life Tour for Island hospice care.

So ready, in fact, that the 10-cyclist team topped all teams in this year’s ride, pedalling their way to $85,814 for Comox Valley Hospice Society, led by Bolton, who at $19,011 was the top rider for the entire event!

“It’s just such a great fundraiser for Comox Valley Hospice, especially when more than 70 per cent of Hospice’s operating budget comes from donations,” says Bolton, who first joined the ride in 2019 after her father was in Hospice care. “When my dad spent his time with Hospice, I saw how valuable the program is, and I wanted to give back.”

The Cycle of Life Tour takes riders along a two-day, 200-kilometre tour through the beautiful Saanich Peninsula, then over to the Cowichan Valley and Salt Spring Island, all to raise funds for Vancouver Island hospice care. Cyclists camp for the first night on Salt Spring, celebrating with a barbecue dinner, prizes and entertainment, before completing the ride on day 2. While the event is hosted by Victoria Hospice, it raises essential funds for hospice care across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands – all funds raised by the local team stay local.

Adding to the special atmosphere around this year’s Cyclepaths’ ride was completing it in the memory of former rider Margaret Lam, who passed away in 2020. Margaret’s initials, in a small heart, were on the outside back of the collar on the COLT jerseys, and at the awards presentation, they shared her photo with the gathered riders.

In addition to organizing the Cyclepaths, Bolton has also joined the Hospice board, and through their fundraising events and other activities, she’s always ready to share the message about Comox Valley Hospice – what it is and the impact it has.

“It’s been so nice to be out in the community again and to talk to people,” she says, noting this year’s fundraisers included spin cycling sessions at local stores, hanging basket sales, burger nights and more.

Team Cyclepath rider, the youngest person to take part in the tour, shows the ML heart on the collar of the jerseys.

Team Cyclepath rider, the youngest person to take part in the tour, shows the ML heart on the collar of the jerseys.

With the recent opening of the new six-room, purpose-built Aitken Community Hospice, the team was able to see concrete evidence of their fundraising efforts.

“Watching as the new facility was being built, it’s like you can see the results of your fundraising taking shape,” Bolton reflects.

Of course, the ride – and all the events that lead up to it – are also about raising awareness, and the riders appreciate the opportunity to hear people’s stories and share their own about the valuable work of Comox Valley Hospice staff and volunteers.

In addition to care at Aitken Community Hospice, the team also cares for those nearing the end of their journey at home or in hospital. Counsellors and volunteers also provide emotional and psychological support for individuals and their families, in areas such as anticipatory grief, having important end-of-life conversations, and grieving after a loved one’s passing.

To learn more about Comox Valley Hospice and how you can help, visit comoxhospice.com, where you’ll also find links to their secure donation page and volunteer opportunities.

READ MORE: Comox Valley welcomes brand new community hospice

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