Organizers hope to raise $121,000 at the 2021 Coldest Night of the Year event in the Comox Valley. Photo supplied

Organizers hope to raise $121,000 at the 2021 Coldest Night of the Year event in the Comox Valley. Photo supplied

Annual fundraiser incorporates new look in Comox Valley

The Strathcona-Sunrisers hold a slight edge over Heather’s Hikers while St. George’s United Church is holding down third spot.

These are three of the teams participating in the next Coldest Night of the Year walk in the Comox Valley. The event is part of an annual nationwide initiative to raise money for charities that serve hungry, homeless and hurting people.

Past events have run out of St. George’s United Church in Courtenay. Next year, however, will look quite different as participants will walk wherever and whenever they choose from Feb. 12-21.

“We’ll be ‘walking apart’ while ‘working together,’” said Michele Vanderwoude, event director of the local walk. “People can walk in Comox, Courtenay or Cumberland, or anywhere else they enjoy walking. They can walk their dog, they can walk on a treadmill, or just go for a walk on the beach.

“It won’t be the same, but it will still be fun,” she added. “We will be doing a lot more virtual engagement, we’ll have some fun opportunities for people along the proposed walk routes, and we’re encouraging folks to share their photos and videos of their walk.”

For the past five years, Vanderwoude said the event has received “incredible support from the community,” exceeding fundraising goals in the last two years. The Comox Valley has been among the top 20 fundraising communities across Canada — out of 140 — and top five in B.C. for the event.

The 2020 walk raised more than $100,000. The goal for 2021 is $121,000.

“We know next year’s fundraising goal is lofty, but we believe we can make it happen, together,” Vanderwoude said. “We have some great community partners working with us, and we know some of the past years’ participants are coming up with very creative ideas for walking and fundraising. I think we are going to see something quite unique in the Comox Valley.”

Since 2018, she said there has been a 13 per cent increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness in the Comox Valley. A greater number of unhoused individuals are women, youth and seniors. Because of the pandemic, the demand for services and assistance has never been greater.

“We need to work together, as a community, to help put an end to homelessness,” Vanderwoude said.

All funds raised are shared between the Comox Valley Transition Society and the Dawn To Dawn Action on Homelessness Society. The money supports programs that provide housing and other supports to the most vulnerable people in the community.

Registration is by donation. Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $20 and more.

Walkers will still receive a touque. There be some socially-distanced touque distribution opportunities starting early February.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Flowers poke through the snow in Courtenay as the area got a taste of winter weather this week. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Valley not out of the winter woods quite yet: meteorologist

“It’s winter; we’ve got to get through it together.”

The Village of Cumberland is moving ahead on bringing in possible speed limit reductions. Record file photo
Cumberland council moves on slower speed zones

Mayor says goal is to have ‘blanket zone’ in place by summer

Wind turbines are seen on a dike near Urk, Netherlands, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. A group of scientists, including five Nobel laureates, called Friday for more action to adapt the world to the effects of climate change, drawing comparisons with the faltering response to the coronavirus crisis, ahead of a major online conference on climate adaptation starting Monday and hosted by the Netherlands. (AP Photo / Peter Dejong)
Comox Valley groups host course on actively implementing solutions to climate change

The Sustainable Action group for the Environment (SAGE) and the Comox Valley… Continue reading

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox set to apply for two infrastructure grants

Sanitary sewer, sidewalk extension in the town’s plans

The Pachena Bay shoreline in 2013. (Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
This week in history: 9.0 magnitude quake struck under what is now called Vancouver Island

According to First Nations elders, the 9.0-magnitude quake in 1700 CE kick-started a tsunami

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple who travelled to Yukon for COVID vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until summer

The province is ensuring those eligible to receive the vaccine get the second shot within 42 days

Mask dispute in court leaves Vancouver cop with broken leg

Man allegedly refused to put on a mask and resisted arrest

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

Most Read