Hundreds of walkers gathered Saturday at St. George’s United Church for the Coldest Night of the Year Walk — a family event that raises money in an effort to end homelessness.
As of Tuesday, more than $88,500 had been raised. The money will help to shelter, feed and support families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“The totals won’t be final until the end of March, but it’s looking like we will achieve our fundraising goal of $100,000 this year,” event director Michele Vanderwoude said.
The Comox Valley Transition Society and the Dawn to Dawn Action on Homelessness Society co-hosted the fifth annual event. As in past years, there was a two-, five- and 10-kilometre option.
The team from St. George’s is the leading fundraiser at $9,073. Heather’s Hikers is next at $8,810, followed by the Letz Sing Choir at $6,086.
A total of 471 walkers and 58 teams had registered online before the event. Others registered in person Saturday.
The annual event is part of a nationwide initiative to raise money for charities that serve hungry, homeless and hurting people. Saturday at events across Canada, more than 23,000 participants raised $5.8 million. The goal is $6 million.
Among B.C. communities, the Comox Valley ranks number three behind Cloverdale and White Rock in terms of fundraising totals. Across Canada, the Valley is number 17 out of 144 communities.
“Pretty amazing for our small but might community,” Vanderwoude said.
Since 2011, Coldest Night of the Year has raised $27 million that has supported 133 Canadian communities.