The third annual Coldest Night of the Year Walk, to address the homelessness issue on the Comox Valley, takes place Feb. 24. Photo submitted.

Coldest Night of the Year Walk upcoming

Annual event takes place Feb. 24 nation-wide

The Comox Valley Transition Society (CVTS) and Dawn to Dawn (D2D) are teaming up to co-host the Comox Valley’s 3rd annual Coldest Night of Year Walk in Courtenay on Feb. 24.

The intent is to raise awareness of what life is like, on the streets, in the middle of the winter and to raise funds that can be used to assist the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless.

The Coldest Night of the Year Walk is a fantastically fun, family-friendly fundraiser that raises money for the hungry, homeless and hurting in 100+ communities across Canada. It is also a great team-building and social event for schools, faith groups, service clubs, businesses and institutions wishing to challenge one another and come out fun evening.

The Comox Valley walk begins and ends at St George’s United Church, located at 505 Sixth St. Courtenay, where walkers will register, turn in the results of their fundraising efforts, and return at the end of the evening for a hot bowl of chili. Donning iconic toques, participants will walk a 2 km, 5 km or 10 km route, in the chill of the early evening but with a toasty drink and rest stops along the way.

Locally, CVTS and D2D are looking to engage 40 teams made up of 400 or more walkers to brave the cold winter’s night. The organizers’ fundraising goal is $75,000, to be raised by walkers and community sponsorships. The funds raised here will stay here in the community and enable CVTS and Dawn to Dawn to continue to provide much-needed support to members of our community.

While progress is being made to reduce homelessness in the Valley, the issue continues. The local homeless population includes individuals suffering from mental illness and addiction, women and children fleeing abusive relationships, families, youth, and seniors.

The two local organizations are both well known inthe community for the service they provide. Both are members of the Province of BC’s Homeless Prevention program and the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness and are dedicated to assisting those who find themselves homeless or at risk of homelessness with housing and a variety of support services. The Comox Valley Transition Society has served the community for more than 30 years and Dawn to Dawn for the past nine years.

Feb. 24 will be an opportunity for residents of the Comox Valley to join with thousands of participants across Canada, walking together in the chill of the night, participants will better understand the experience of being on the streets during a cold Canadian winter, while raising funds to aid the work of CVTS and Dawn to Dawn.

To register to walk as an individual or with a team, or to pledge support for a walker, go to: cnoy.org/location/comoxvalley. To become a community sponsor, please contact Alisa Hooper at bridging@cvts.ca or 250-897-0511 ext. 112.

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