Long Ride for Sick Kids

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 2:18 p.m. May 26, 2014
Updated: 2:22 p.m. May 26, 2014

For the second straight year, Sergeant Patrick Meehan will be on the road cycling for charity.

A row of men and women in bicycle uniforms holding bicycles by their side
Riders assembled at the Hospital for Sick Children to celebrate the first day of their ride

He’s a among a group of nine 31 Division officers and two civilians taking part in the Cops Cycle For Kids fundraiser from the Hospital for Sick Children to the Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

The group left on May 26 and is expected to arrive in the Windy City five days later.

“We just can’t wait to get to Chicago,” said Meehan, who turns 54 on May 28. “We just want people to know that Sick Kids is a great hospital with remarkable health-care practitioners taking care of children from around the world. Kids are our future and a treasure. We are really proud to be affiliated with Sick Kids and happy to be doing this.”

The riders plan to raise $25,000 from this event for Sick Kids.

“We value our relationship with Sergeant Steve Hicks and his crew, and what they have done over the years to promote our hospital and raise funds,” said Sick Kids Foundation development officer Eva Avramis. “The funds they raise this year will go towards paediatric advanced care teams that support children with life-limiting illnesses to ensure they have the best quality of life.”

The 31 Division officers have raised nearly $100,000 for the hospital in the last nine years.

“The money has been used for various things, including a bereavement room and therapeutic clowns,” Avramis added.

In the past, the officers have cycled to Hamilton, Calgary, Boston and New York.

Three men on bicycle ride on a driveway
Riders start out from the circular driveway at the Hospital for Sick Children

Constables Greg Vanspall, Mike Adams and John Saul are the Division’s first-time riders.

“I am really excited,” said Vanspall, who joined the Service five years ago. “I have friends and family who had relatives hospitalized in Sick Kids. What we are embarking on here is for a great cause. I am a recreational rider and this is going to be a long ride, but I am looking forward to it.”

The civilian riders are 21-year-old Brock Hicks – the son of Sergeant Steve Hicks – and Monsignor Fraser College Norfinch campus guidance counsellor Phyllis Puopolo.

“Our school has a close relationship with 31 Division, which is right across the road from us,” said Puopolo. “When Steve invited me, I couldn’t turn this opportunity down. I like giving back, especially to an institution like Sick Kids.”

The other riders are Sergeant Andrew Kis and Constables Marcelo Rossi, Dave Christian and Glenn Jones.

“This is the third ride for me,” said Jones, who has pedalled to Calgary and New York. “I am a mountain bike kind of guy. This is going to be different and quite a challenge.”

Hicks said the group will cycle around 160 kilometres daily, during the 981-kilometre journey.

Last year, the riders raised approximately $20,000 for Sick Kids from their ride to Boston.




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