Jeep fans gather in Comox Valley to celebrate their vehicles, raise money for cancer research
They came from far and wide but they all came because of their common love – for everything Jeep.
More than 700 participants from as far away as Southern Ontario and Utah were in the Comox Valley over the May long weekend, taking part in this year's "Jeepapalooza."
A private airstrip was the base of operations for drivers who camped in the evenings and spent their days on various excursions through the back roads of the valley.
"They're out there getting dirty, they're having a blast making memories, making friends and they're going to come back and they're going to raise money," said event emcee Paul Vincent.
Vincent said Jeepalooza events are held all over the world with each having its own charity to raise funds for. For the Vancouver Island event, funds were being collected for the Canadian Cancer Society.
The weekend event raised over $36,000 and the amount is continuing to grow.
The caravan of vehicles drove through some of the valley's roughest terrain, testing not only the durability of the vehicles but also the bravery of the drivers.
"There's nothing like climbing that mountain to the top and looking over. It's just an escape. It's just so peaceful," said participant Carylynn Leonard, who travelled from Edmonton for the weekend event.
Lynda Loiseau also made the journey from Edmonton to participate and help celebrate Jeep ownership.
"They are just the funnest vehicle around. Freedom, fun, friends.. They come standard with friends and bragging rights when you take on a challenge and win it," Loiseau said.