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Six uniformed RCMP officers and one civilian female stand in a row holding a giant check.

RCMP cadets raise money for cancer during pandemic restrictions

A dozen training-inspired events tested cadets' skills as they raced against the clock. Credit: RCMP Depot


A day of teamwork and comradery at Depot, the RCMP's training academy in Regina, Saskatchewan, raised more than $25,760 for the Canadian Cancer Society.

The "Amuzing Race" took place in July, sending cadets through a dozen training-inspired events.

RCMP Cst. Melanie Vizcaino, who graduated Depot in September before joining the Surrey detachment in British Columbia, was inspired to organize the event after a friend and fellow RCMP officer was diagnosed with cancer.

"I couldn't visit because of COVID-19 and the restrictions, but wanted to do something to lift her spirits," says Vizcaino.

Obstacle courses, driving circuits and tugs-of-war challenged the cadets to work together, solve problems and demonstrate the RCMP Esprit de Corp.

"Being able to come together and have fun and support each other is important," says RCMP Staff Sergeant Major Janie Perreault, who works at Depot and helped organize the event. "You need teamwork to get through a tough situation but you also need teamwork throughout your career."

A favourite event was a pit inspection challenge, where cadets were presented with an unkempt dorm room and raced against the clock to get the bed properly made and uniforms hung under the watchful eyes of drill instructors.

Perreault sponsored a bonus push-up contest, giving cadets a chance to raise more money with the winner collecting three dollars per repetition. After completing 90 push-ups, the winner added $270 to their troop's total.

Each troop was tasked with raising $1,000 and asked friends and family for donations. Many surpassed that goal, some securing as much as $5,000.

"There was a lot of teamwork going on as the troops coordinated donations," says Vizcaino.

Prizes were given for the troop that raised the most money, the first to finish the race and for teamwork. A Big Heart Award was gifted to individuals who showed preparedness, perseverance and encouragement.

Many troops showed their team spirit by designing matching uniforms and demonstrated comradery by helping other troops that participated with less teammates.

The event went a long way in boosting spirits at Depot where many community building activities were put on hold during the pandemic.

"For me, the biggest thing is how much this brought us all together," says Vizcaino. "Masks and social distancing aside, it made things feel somewhat normal."

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