WOODSTOCK, Ont. — The father of an eight-year-old Woodstock, Ont., girl who vanished in April plans to cycle to Edmonton to raise funds for the charity Child Find.
Victoria Stafford’s disappearance touched off a massive search for the girl in and around the southwestern Ontario city.
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However, Tori was never found and a Woodstock man and woman await trial on first-degree murder and kidnapping charges.
Rodney Stafford says he will embark on his 3,400-kilometre bicycle ride to Edmonton, dubbed “Kilometres for Kids,” on Aug. 2.
Stafford says he hopes to travel more than 100 kilometres each day and will try to make it to the Alberta capital in about a month.
From there, says Stafford, he’ll go by vehicle to a mountain his daughter once visited to release one purple balloon. Stafford says Tori loved that colour and this will be his way of saying goodbye.
Tori would have turned nine next Wednesday and Stafford says the family doesn’t have anything special planned for the day.
“Just because it’s her birthday doesn’t really make it that much different because she’s still not here,” he said.
“She’s in our hearts and thoughts everyday.”
Stafford didn’t say how much he hopes to raise for Child Find, an organization which works to protect, and locate missing children.
“It’s not just about Victoria, it’s about all the children,” he told London, Ont., radio station AM980.
“I tried to figure out a way I could turn this into something for everybody along the way, and that’s what I’m doing.”