A Merritt RCMP officer is preparing himself to take part in the annual Cops For Kids bike ride in September this year.

Cops for Kids is a charitable foundation that raises money to support children in medical crisis in the communities served by the South East District RCMP.

For Corporal Jon Puterbough with the Merritt RCMP detachment, his biggest motivation in participating is helping the families and the kids.

“My wife and I (had) our youngest and he had some medical challenges when he was first born and fortunately because of the position that I’m in and the support that we have, it was not that much of a burden for us,” he said. “I wanted to be able to support the families that weren’t able to be supported as well as us. So just kind of a way of just helping the community and giving back a little bit.”

This year will be his fifth time participating in the event, but Puterbough said that his motivation stays the same after all these years.

He said that his favourite part about participating in the bike ride, besides helping with the cause, is the opportunity to meet community members and the kids they help along their route.

“In the following years that I did the ride, that was really the piece that I really enjoyed was going into the community, like finishing the day, getting into the community and there’s a crowd waiting for you,” Puterbough added. “When you get to meet some of the kids that you’ve helped … and you kind of see these kids as they’ve grown. It’s just kind of cool to see how they’ve been, how their health has improved.”

Puterbough added that those who wish to help the cause can donate or get tickets to the regimental ball being hosted by the Merritt RCMP this summer.

“That’s the biggest thing that people can do, because these kids definitely need, these families need the help.”