With a little over a week to go until the Coldest Night of the Year event, which is going virtual this year, the local chapter hosted by Woolwich Community Services has surpassed its fundraising goal.
WCS had receive 60 per cent of its $60,000 goal by the end of January, reaching it earlier this week. Now, organizers hope more donations continue to come in and help in their efforts as the walk draws closer.
Leigh-Anne Quinn says WCS is happy about exceeding their goal as they look forward to the event on February 20.
“We’re very excited and we’re very happy about that. I think the great thing about this event, so many things are cancelled, but we were able to still offer a virtual-only kind of walk-when-you-want-to event, which is great. And we have received great support from our community, which we’re grateful for,” said Quinn. “To us, it just means that people believe in the programs and services that we provide our community. They enjoy the event. It’s something that they can do with their family, it’s community-building, just a synergy around the entire event has been really, really great.”
This is the third year that WCS has surpassed its goal. Last year’s event brought in more than $100,000 in total.
With a virtual walk this year, Quinn says people can walk one of the suggested routes posted by WCS, walk on their treadmills, or just walk around their neighbourhood to take part. She also says that some people may just be taking part this year by raising money for the cause.
“What we’re saying is gather your COVID-safe bubble, or on your own, map out a safe two- to five-kilometre route, let someone know where you are, [and] bring your cell phone in case of an emergency,” she added.
Because of the pandemic, registration fees were dropped for this year’s iteration of the event, so, in order to get people their CNOY toques this year, they had to raise funds. Adults who raised $150 and those under the age of 17 who raised $75, will be able to pick up their hats February 16 or 18 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Quinn notes that contributions from local businesses mean the first 200 participants who pick up their toques will receive an appreciation gift from one of the many community sponsors.
So far this year, there are 24 teams and 164 walkers participating with the WCS walk. Quinn says that people will continue to sign up for the next week and they are invited to do so and take part.
The annual event which raises money for charities benefitting people experiencing homelessness, hurt and hunger, has run since 2011 in communities across the country.
Donations can be made online right up until the event is over.