The excitement around Friday morning’s (Oct. 5) arrival of riders on the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock has been steadily building for the past week at Esquimalt High.
It began last Friday with a full assembly, during which teachers got pied in the face to raise money for the charity. It grew with daily goodie sales at a lunchtime café, a bottle drive at the Encorp depot on Ellery Street and a car wash on Saturday.
And it was a state of controlled bedlam in the gym on Wednesday, as some students volunteered to have their heads shaved while others had their legs waxed, again as a way to bring in money for the cause.
To add to the total, there will be a few more pies in the face today before the riders come by for the first stop on the final day of their 12-day, 1,000-kilometre cycling tour down Vancouver Island, raising money for childhood cancer initiatives.
“It’s been really busy,” says Grade 11 student Shayla Zeitz, who has organized the café, stocked with baked goods from Country Grocer and Thrifty Foods and tea from Silk Road.
“We’ve tried doing a lot more things this year than past years. We added the café, the car wash and the bottle drive on top of the usual head shaves. I think the students have responded very positively. The buzz (about Tour de Rock) has been there, usually around the café and head shaves.”
The school’s Tour de Rock committee set an unofficial goal to beat last year’s take of $4,000 and Zeitz says things are “looking promising” to achieve that.
Teacher Jonathan Schneider, who guides the leadership class at Esquimalt High and has worked with fellow teacher Bryn Barker to keep the organizers on track, says the students have really got on board with the fundraising activities.
“It’s been fun. Every year is different and we’re always really happy to see the kids take an interest and get involved,” Schneider says. “Bryn and I have always been really proud of the kids here at Esquimalt.”
Tour de Rock riders roll in to Esquimalt High around 9 a.m. Some other stops Friday:
• Esquimalt Plaza, 9 to 11 a.m., team arrives at approximately 9:20 a.m.
• Spectrum community school, 10:20 a.m.
• Glanford middle school, 11 a.m.
• St. Margaret’s school, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
• Reynolds secondary, 12:55 p.m.
• Mount Doug secondary, 1:30 p.m.
• Dawson Heights (seniors’ housing, 3710 Cedar Hill Rd.), 2 p.m.
• Grand finale in Centennial Square 4 to 7 p.m.