Oak Bay High raises over $51,000 for Tour de Rock despite COVID-19 restrictions

Oak Bay High twins, John and Chris Horwood, reveal the school’s total fundraising amount for 2020’s Tour de Rock. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Tour de Rock alumni riders enter onto Oak Bay High’s field to hear how much the school has raised. (Jane Skrypnek)
Oak Bay High students John Horwood, Ian Carmichael and Chris Horwood (left to right) all shaved their heads for the Tour de Rock fundraiser. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Tour de Rock alumni riders enter onto Oak Bay High’s field to hear how much the school has raised. (Jane Skrypnek)
Oak Bay High principal, Tom Aerts, welcomes Tour de Rock alumni riders to the school. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
An Oak Bay High student holds a poster in support of the 2020 Tour de Rock. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
An Oak Bay High student holds a poster in support of the 2020 Tour de Rock. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Oak Bay High students hold up posters in support of the 2020 Tour de Rock. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Oak Bay High students hold up posters in support of the 2020 Tour de Rock. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)

Oak Bay High students revealed they raised $51,700 for the Tour de Rock on Friday morning, despite the many restriction of a global pandemic.

Running a fundraiser in the midst of COVID-19 was a lot of work according to Oak Bay High student, John Horwood.

“But,” he said, “when the riders came in and we revealed the cheque, it was all worth it.”

Instead of the school’s usual massive celebration inside its gym, Oak Bay High students and faculty welcomed Tour de Rock alumni riders with posters and cheers outside their front entrance and onto their field.

Oak Bay High principal Tom Aerts, said an incredible number of students wanted to be outside welcoming the riders, but they had to limit the number to 50.

“We had to just think creatively around things,” Aerts said.

The school managed to run the majority of its regular events thanks to that creative thinking.

For the car wash, students were grouped into washing cohorts and distanced from each other. During the school’s bottle drive, students had people stay in their cars and just pop their trunks for students to remove the bottles. The annual auction was run online and the annual head shave was done in small groups.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay High students do their best for COVID-19 Tour de Rock

“It was amazing how hard and dedicated the students and the community were still supporting it,” said Aerts.

Students who participated in the fundraising events said they felt proud.

“It’s so impactful to so many people’s lives. It’s something that we should never stop doing,” said Ian Carmichael, one of several students who had their heads shaved.

Grade 12 twins, Chris and John Horwood — who presented the school’s cheque — also made the gutsy choice to let their hair go. Their motivation, they said, comes from the many losses their family has suffered at the hands of cancer.

John explained that another motivator for him to shave his head for the first time was talking with a fellow Oak Bay High student who is currently undergoing cancer treatment at B.C. Children’s Hospital.

“Things like that really make it worth it,” he said.

For Chris, this was the fourth time he has shaved his head for the Tour de Rock fundraiser. He said this year’s restrictions have made it a memorable one though.

“You never know what you can accomplish despite things going on around you,” he said.

READ ALSO: Abbreviated Tour de Rock rolls into Sidney on Thursday


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

fundraiseroak bayOak Bay High SchoolTour de Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Norm Scott, president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch no. 91 in Lanford, pins the first poppy to launch the annual Poppy Campaign on George Baker, who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1953 to 1989. Baker said it was an honour to be chosen for something so significant for veterans everywhere. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Poppy campaign launches in Langford with pinning ceremony

The poppy campaign is officially underway with the first of the pins… Continue reading

Cat owners are being warned to keep their pets indoors after a threatening note was found posted in a North Saanich neighbourhood. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
ROAM warns Peninsula cat owners after threatening note posted in neighbourhood

Note writer doesn’t want cats pooping in their yard, threatens to trap them

Police are looking to identify suspects in an Oct. 10 report of mischief in at a construction site in the 2800-block of Peatt Road in Langford. (West Shore RCMP handout)
West Shore RCMP seeks suspects after trio spray paints Langford construction site

Three individuals caught on camera hopping a fence on Peatt Road

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read