A woman with deep and long ties to this community is giving her best efforts to the cause of helping youngsters who are dealing with cancer.
Debbie Morley-Lamothe is a corrections officer in her mid-50s who has signed on as one of the 22-person Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley team.
The team will be riding some 900 kilometers over nine days, Sept. 24 to Oct. 2, from Tswwassen to Boston Bar and back. Every year the team of police and corrections officers cycles through the Fraser Valley, visiting many schools and businesses to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer research, as well as support programs and services for children, through the Canadian Cancer Society.
The team also raises funds for Camp Goodtimes, a program for children and families living with cancer, and team members also volunteer their time to assist with the summer program at Camp Goodtimes.
While the Tour de Valley team’s goal this year is to raise $465,000 overall, each team member commits to personally raise $5,000 each for the cause.
Each team member is also committed to physically train for the ride over the six months prior to the ride.
Both of these commitments are a daunting challenge but Morley says she has lots of moral support and is optimistic about the financial support.
“I’m into fitness,” says Morley.
“I taught fitness programs at Newland’s, W.C. Blair and Women’s World gyms before I went into corrections. I also taught pre-natal classes.
“I have a loaner bike from Cops for Cancer that I’m using to practice on now but before I got it I dusted off my mountain bike and Heath MacKenzie at Cranky’s Bike Shop was really supportive of my goal and helped me get my old bike roadworthy at a discount. That really helped.”
Morley also has the support of her husband, three grown daughters and two step-daughters, and the many friends she’s made here.
“I’ve lived in Aldergrove since 1986 and my daughters all went to North Otter and D.W. Poppy schools,” said Morley.
“I also volunteer at Langley Hospice Society. I took the ten-week course, it’s really an excellent course, and they’re such a great bunch of people.”
She has worked for the past 18 years in corrections and will be one of three co-workers participating in this year’s Tour de Valley.
“One of them has done it before so there is that moral support too. But still, raising $5,000 all by myself by September is a huge challenge for me… I’ve raised over $600 so far and that seems like a lot but I have a ways to go.”
Morley observes that it “costs $1,200 per kid to send them to Camp Goodtimes, and many of these families can’t afford it with all the other expenses they are dealing with. This motivates me to reach my goal and I will be going out to the camp in July. We will ride out there on one of our group rides too.”
Morley notes that organizers of the ride “really stress the ‘fun’ part of the team. I’ve been on two group rides — there is about one a month — and we have a couple of trainers, called Team Snap.
“Last week in Vancouver we had an escort on our group ride downtown, officers were stopping traffic for us over the 50 kilometers. It was a couple hours long, a very good time.”
Morley says she will be working on fundraising events over coming months to help her reach her $5,000 goal.
The public can also support her by pledging on her behalf (listed under her married name “Debbie Lamothe”) at the website: www.tourdevalley.ca/.