The Comox Valley has raised 94 per cent ($114,283) of a $121,000 fundraising goal for the annual Coldest Night of the Year walk. In this year’s virtual event, participants choose when and where to walk from Feb. 12-21.
There are 379 walkers registered for the sixth annual event, co-hosted by the Comox Valley Transition Society (CVTS) and the Dawn To Dawn Action on Homelessness Society. Proceeds pay for programs that provide housing and other supports to vulnerable people in the community.
“Step outside and you’ll feel that it’s cold out there,” said Courtenay Coun. Doug Hillian, who is taking to the streets Saturday with other members of Team Bigfoot. “We are so fortunate to have warm, safe homes, but sadly the reality is different for many in our community.”
Having raised $7,888, St. George’s United Church is the leading fundraiser among 69 registered teams. Comox & Crew is in second place at $6,701, MHSU is third at $5,883 and Heather’s Hikers is holding down fourth place at $5,590.
“The needs of those most vulnerable seems to have been amplified during the pandemic, and for some the opioid crisis is an added stressor and risk to their well-being,” said Heather Ney, CVTS executive director and captain of Heather’s Hikers.
Coldest Night of the Year is a nationwide initiative to raise money for charities that serve hungry, homeless and hurting people. So far across Canada, 20,959 walkers have raised $6.476 million — 92 per cent of a $7 million goal.