It was her father’s cancer diagnosis that spurred Peninsula resident Julie Harman to start volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society and since then she’s dedicated much of her time to rallying for the cause.
Most recently, Harman was an integral part of getting the Saanich Peninsula involved with Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock 15 years ago.
In 1997, Harman saw a need in the community to help raise money for families battling cancer and became the organizer for the Tour de Rock Sidney event. She spent many long days organizing and preparing for the event each year and she even helped to support a local family who’s young son, Henry Down, was undergoing cancer treatment.
“Cops for Cancer was always something I supported because as a parent of three, you know you could have so easily been one of those families dealing with a sick child,” explained Harman.
“I enjoyed helping the kids and giving back because we were fortunate enough to have three healthy children. A lot of what Cops for Cancer does is show people there is hope for these kids.”
Not only did Harman contribute many years to the Tour de Rock but she also spent 10 years volunteering in the office of the Canadian Cancer Society after the death of her father.
“Volunteering in the office doing administration work and as a volunteer driver for cancer patients was a way for me to give back to the society which helped us during the time my father was dealing with cancer,” said Harman.
But Harman’s volunteering hasn’t only included the Canadian Cancer Society. Prior to volunteering with that organization, she was heavily involved in baseball, which her sons played and her husband coached.
“When your kids get involved in baseball you do to,” she laughed.
Harman spent many years coaching t-ball, as a member of the executive for the Sidney Little League, as the concession manager at the Rotary Park Field of Dreams and as the manager of the concession at the Babe Ruth Ball park in Central Saanich.
“It was always busy but volunteering was just something I did,” said Harman.
Harman now works as a medical office administrator and volunteers regularly, even after announcing she was stepping down as the Tour de Rock Sidney organizer, a role that will be taken on this year by Laura Lavin.
“This spring I’m looking forward to volunteering with the World Men’s Curling,” said Harman, an event she’s volunteered for before when it came to Victoria in 2005. Harman also volunteered with the Scotties Tournament of Hearts when it came to Victoria. Although Harman stepped down from her position as organizer of the Tour de Rock last fall, she still intends on staying involved.
“I will definitely be there to help out in one way or another,” said Harman of the event. “I’m not going to disappear, that’s for sure.”