Cloverdale paramedic Will Rogers has completed his 2011 Million Dollar Journey as part of his battle against the sexual exploitation of Surrey youth.

Ironman battles exploitation

Cloverdale’s Will Rogers runs, bikes and swims to aid Surrey youth

Colin Oswin

Black Press

Cloverdale’s own Ironman ran through town late last month during his fundraising battle against sexual exploitation.

Veteran paramedic Will Rogers, 52, passed through Cloverdale on July 21 as he neared the finish line on his 1,000 km trek – this leg a 490 km run from Penticton to Victoria – in support of the Servants Anonymous Society of Surrey (SAS).  He also swam the Georgia Strait from Galliano to Tsawassen on June 27 (that’s 24 km), and biked from Victoria to Penticton over the Canada Day long weekend (another 490 km).

The run began on July 9 and wrapped up on July 23, with Rogers budgeting for roughly 32 kilometres each day.

SAS supports women and victimized youth who are looking for a way out of the sex-trade industry. The society runs safe homes, provides schooling and life-skills training, and helps sexually exploited teens rebuild their lives – building up their self-esteem and offering practical life and occupational skills training.

Rogers says SAS is a great charity to support because it saves the lives of women and children and also takes them out of the social safety net.

“Exploitation like this is a huge issue in B.C., and it also creates a lot of cash flow for organized crime,” he says. “Sometimes, people are trafficked through B.C. for this very reason.”

He’s ultimately hoping to sign up 10,000 people who will commit $20 a month for 24 months, raising $5 million to provide SAS with ongoing funding. It would also allow SAS to expand – or bring the program to another community. The charity currently has 10 young women in 24-hour care, with seven others who attend school at SAS during the day.

Rogers says the charity needs to build capacity to house and educate more women and girls and make sure space is available when they need it.

“It’s important to be there for them when they make that decision,” he says. And that requires “solid, sustained funding.”

After running through Surrey toward Vancouver, he passed over the Lions Gate Bridge toward the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay.

He says people will always ask if he plans to jog around the ferry deck to keep his energy going, but that’s not how it goes down.

“I sit back, have a sunshine breakfast and put my feet up,” he says.

After arriving on the Island, he ran alongside the Trans-Canada to Victoria and the finish line, completing his fourth mega-endurance challenge in support of SAS in as many years.

“I enjoy it,” he says. “It’s a fundraising challenge and a physical challenge. The fundraising challenge is sometimes harder than going out and running every day.”

Donations can be made at www.sasurrey.ca, at www.willrogers.ca, by calling 604-590-2304, by cheque to SAS at #201 7400 132 St. Surrey, B.C. V3W 4M7, or at any Bank of Montreal branch (account No. 706-8097584).

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

Just Posted

Man rescued from overturned sailboat near Crescent Beach

‘Luckily he had a lifejacket on, that’s the only thing that probably saved his life,’ rescuer says

BC ACORN to release Surrey housing report on Thursday

Organizers say the report contains steps on how the City of Surrey can “ease” the city’s housing “crisis”

White Rock Library re-opens with COVID-19 safety protocols in place

Fraser Valley Regional Libraries open with a number of new health-and-safety rules

Surrey firefighters battle truck, trailer fires in Brownsville

One man was take to Surrey Memorial Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation

‘We want to help’: As overdose deaths spike, beds lay empty at long-term Surrey rehab centre

John Volken Academy searching for ‘students’ to enlist in two-year residential treatment program

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

UPDATE: Man injured in targeted shooting in Maple Ridge

Shots fired from one vehicle into a white Hyundai

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Wildfire near Harrison Hot Springs fire ‘out of control’

Blaze grew from 1.5 hectares to 10 hectares overnight

Anonymous letters tell Vancouver Island family their kids are too loud

Letter said the noise of kids playing in Parksville backyard is ‘unbearable’

Most Read

l -->