The Coldest Night of the Year is a family –friendly fundraiser that occurs every Feb. 25 across Canada.
This year the fundraiser walk will be hosted in Strathmore with the funds raised going to support the Strathmore Overnight Shelter.
Participants are walking to raise awareness about the homeless and hungry. Individuals have the option of walking 2 km, 5km, or 10 km.
The walk, which is held in winter, is also meant to help people realize what it’s like for a homeless person trying to live through the winter season. Since 2011, the event has raised over $12 million for local charities.
This year’s walk has a goal of raising $4 million. It has already raised $2,278,501 or about 57 per cent of their goal for 2017.
“Different organizations throughout Canada will do the walk and the majority of the money would go to the organization that hosts the walk, so in Strathmore it would go to the Strathmore Overnight Shelter,” explained Richard Rodgers one of the events organizers and Director of Outreach from the Strathmore Overnight Shelter.
A percentage of the funds goes towards covering administrative costs, he said.
The walk will start at the shelter at 4 p.m. Up until that time, participants can gather pledges. People can also drop in, play the registration fee and everyone will start the walk together.
The route for the walk will be from the shelter, into downtown, around Kinsmen Park and back in a loop.
Individuals who register for the walk will also receive a toque and a hot dinner.
“We will all walk together,” said Rodgers, who highlighted that the walk to mainly used to help raise awareness.
“Anyone that wants to stop by and walk with us, that’s fine too,” he said.
There’s a $25 registration fee for the walk.
Rodgers said he hopes that the walk will be organized as a yearly event in Strathmore, this year organizers only had two months to prepare for the event.
“It’s experimental. I’ve never tried it in my life, there are a lot of working parts,” he said.
For more information about the Coldest Night of The Year walk, visit canada.cnoy.org.
By Monique Massiah, Strathmore Standard