This year’s Tour de Rock will be heading though Lake Cowichan on Oct. 2. The team of cycling police officers, who, each year, travel 1,000 kilometres from one end of Vancouver Island to the other, will be stopping in at Lake Cowichan Secondary School at approximately 11:30 a.m. for speeches and a community barbeque.
This fundraiser for cancer research is known for inspiring individuals around the island to support the effort and do some pretty creative fundraising of their own.
Doug Liske, a Lake Cowichan resident, has decided that he will shave his head in honour of the event.
Liske has engaged Heads or Nails, Link Salon and Spa and Remedy Salon to help him collect donations leading up to Oct. 2, but he has also decided he will use the opportunity to spice things up a bit.
On Sept. 23, a week before Tour de Rock hits town, Liske is hoping to have his hair died and permed in the parking lot of Country Grocer. When you donate at one of the above salons, you can suggest a haircolour for Liske, who says that the most popular vote will be the colour he chooses.
Unfortunately this date is tentative as Liske is not 100 per cent sure he will be able to follow through with it. He is in and out of hospital at this time.
Liske also challenges local residents to get their own heads shaved, or even just have their hair cut, in support of the cause.
“Everyone needs to lend a helping hand,” said Liske. “We need to show those who are fighting cancer that they are not fighting alone.”
Liske says he was inspired to take this action because he himself knows what its like to be ill. Two years ago he spent 27 days in hospital, and spent a year in recovery.
“I was given a second chance. I didn’t think I was going to make it,” said Liske.
Over the last couple of years, he has known two people who have lost their lives to cancer, and one of his friends was lost to a sudden death.
“In the course of my one year recovery, [too many] people I knew died for various reason,” said Liske.
But he says that the moment of decision really came when the boyfriend of Liske’s girlfriend’s best friend was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. This friend found out the disease was terminal in July, and passed away on Thanksgiving.
“That’s when I decided to do this,” said Liske. He added that he has known kids who have shaved their heads in support of cancer research and have endured heckling and teasing. He figures that if they can do it, so can he.
The shaving will take place at the Tour de Rock barbeque at LCSS on Oct. 2, and Liske is hoping that others in the community decide to join him in showing their support for those who are suffering from the disease and helping to raise funds for cancer research.
There are other ways to donate if you are not inclined to have a haircut, or go so far as to have your head shaved.
At Country Grocer you can purchase a kilometre between Lake Cowichan and Duncan for $100. Your name and the kilometre you have purchased are featured on a banner at the front of the store.
There are a total of 28 kilometres up for grabs. Each kilometre will have two names assigned to it, meaning that there are actually 56 kilometres in total.
Each year the store tries to raise $5,600 through this initiative.
“Sometimes we make it, and sometimes we don’t,” said Jenn Pollner of Country Grocer.
The initiative has just gotten under way, so there are many more kilometres to fill before cyclists reach the finish line for Tour de Rock.
Donations for the kilometre fundraiser are tax deductible, but receipts are only available through the Tour de Rock foundation.
Kilometres can be purchased at any till at Country Grocer, and when the kilometres are sold out, the store will still take donations on behalf of Tour de Rock.
For more information on the tour, visit tourderock.ca.