Sunday, September 9, 2012

Local News

Helping Hope  

Sears Kids Cancer Ride rolls through Chilliwack

Staff/Voice photos


Kids Cancer riders arrive all smiles at Sears in Chilliwack last Wednesday. The group is on their way across the country and expects to arrive in Halifax in about 2 weeks.


ross-country cyclists on the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride arrived in Chilliwack on Wednesday all smiles. They have something to smile about because they're doing what they love and have a chance to help children stricken with cancer. Along the way, riders will raise public awareness about childhood cancers.

On Wednesday, about 25 cyclists rolled into Chilliwack after a sprint from Sears in Abbotsford to Sears in Chilliwack at Cottonwood Mall where snacks along with his and hers semi trucks waited for them. Snacks were laid out under a canopy and staff from Sears sold hot dogs with the proceeds going to the ride.

The 2012 Cancer Ride began in White Rock where they dipped their front wheels into the Pacific. In about two weeks and 7000 km later, riders will be dipping their rear wheels in the Atlantic once they arrive in Halifax September 21.

While waiting for the riders to arrive, Corrie Autenrieth, Asst. General Manager at Sears Cottonwood Mall spoke with the Voice about the store’s involvement in the fundraiser on Wednesday.

Today they will be stopping by our store and all across Canada, Sears has been raising money by donation, like as you can see, today we’re doing the barbeque but we also have events running all year to help raise money for          Corrie Autenrieth, enjoys helping the kids out each year.

the Kids Cancer Ride.

Sometimes store staff, or people in the community, jump on a bicycle and join for a segment of the ride as relay riders.

“We actually have one of our store managers from Nanaimo, Thomas, doing part of the ride ands we also have a guy from Abbotsford, his name is Bob, who has cousin affected by cancer.”

Customers and staff donations raised through things like auctions and fixtures sold out the “back door” at the store are all run through the cash registers and go to a separate account.

“We’ve raised over $1400 for this event just over the last week or two,” Autreith said.

“I love it. I think its great and any little bit helps kids and it’s great to see. A lot of the riders have been touched within their lives with cancer so it means something to these riders to get out and ride, so it’s nice to see.”

“Each rider has to raise so much money themselves in order to get in”

“Sears, a lot of their focus is on kids, any after school activities, like we have our own local charity partner which is the YMCA for us in Chilliwack and all across Canada, all the charity programs are always focused on kids.”

Each semi truck sleeps 16, so by the end of a daily 150-250 kilometer ride, their bunk is waiting in the truck.

Steve Chapman, with SLH Transport in Kingston Ont., has been their volunteer driver for the last 5 years, and he told the Voice the riders are a very determined group.

“They give it their all,” said truck driver. “Lets face it, a bad day on the bicycle is the best day that most of these kids go through in a long time.”

He says driving on the Cancer Kids Ride is best thing he’s ever done.

“It’s a great time, it’s a great cause. It makes you glad to actually contribute. It gives us the opportunity to do what we do, which is drive, and help out.”

Local singer Larissa Blenkarn welcomed the riders with one of her own songs called “All About The Music”.

For more information, to register as a rider or a volunteer, or to make a donation, visit  or call 1-866-381-4446.


See more photos below.



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