Give Where You Live is a joint partnership between officers with the Belleville Police Service and local Ontario Provincial Police detachments, bringing together a renewed dedication to helping our local community, families and charitable organizations succeed.
The fall of 2017 during a two-week cycling event involving local police officers stops at approximately 30 local elementary schools, offering – as expected and anticipated – a dynamic, fun-filled school assembly and a positive message of hope to thousands of students across Hastings and Prince Edward counties.
The Pedal for Hope movement began several years ago by members of the Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service.
Since, the program has raised more than $1 million to fund pediatric cancer research by benefiting the Canadian Cancer Society.
In 2011, members of the Peterborough police service approached officers with the Belleville Police Service and local Ontario Provincial Police detachments in the Quinte region looking for interest in starting up a similar initiative in this area to improve the lives of children living with cancer.
The ‘Pedal For Hope Quinte’ team quickly established itself as an annual cycling tour throughout communities in Hastings and Prince Edward counties. Beginning in 2012, police officers from the Belleville Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police Service embarked on a cycling tour that cruises through areas including Prince Edward County, Belleville, Quinte West and Centre Hastings.
The purpose of this cycling tour is to raise money and community awareness for Pediatric Cancer Research as a third party fundrasing event.
The first year of the event, which was inspired by the Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service, raised upwards of $15,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society – and a subsequent one-day spinoff event, the Battle in the Saddle, also raised upwards of $16,000.
Starting on April 28, 2014, our team headed to the first of about 30 elementary schools in Hastings and Prince Edward counties. We cycled from school to school, and at each spent about an hour doing an interactive, energetic assembly – we shaved heads, ate ice cream and made absolute fools of ourselves. The kids loved it, and at the end of the assembly present us with a cheque for the money they raised in the weeks before our arrival.
The tour started on April 27th at Bayside Public School with 13 riders and 8 support staff they cycled to 30 other schools in Hastings and Prince Edward counties.
Gearing up again, the message of hope an encouragement the tour brought to thousands of students was embraced by the community at large.
In 2016, our tour hit the streets of Hastings and Prince Edward counties, cycling approximately 1,000 km over the period of two weeks. From the five tours between 2012 and 2016, our team raised upwards of $430,000 for our third party beneficiary. But more than that, we had established lifelong relationships with the families of children who are battling cancer and have continued to spread a message of hope.
At the completion of our fifth year as Pedal for Hope Quinte, our team wanted to continue providing an incredible event for the Quinte region – but one thing over the years that was lacking from our program were tangible local benefits. We heard that message loud and clear from our schools, community and families we supported. So we started moving down the road to establishing our own, original, program – Give Where You Live – in an effort to showcase to our community where any funds we raise are headed, but also to distinguish ourselves from perceptions of any links to other fundraising efforts in the province. To date, we have heard nothing but positive comments about our change – which is aimed at growing into more than a simple cycling fundraiser… we want to start a GWUL movement in Prince Edward and Hastings counties.