The Coldest Night of the Year fundraising event returns Feb. 20.
Hosted by the Cloverdale Community Kitchen (CCK), the annual fundraiser is a family-friendly event that helps support the less fortunate, while at the same time raises awareness about homelessness in the Cloverdale community.
Courtney van den Boogaard, director of communications for CCK, said in a press release they are asking “residents to bundle up and raise cold, hard cash for the Coldest Night of the Year 2021.”
The nationwide event sees thousands of people take part in more than 100 communities across Canada.
Van den Boogaard said CCK will be hosting a hybrid-style walk this year.
“Cloverdale will be hosting a blended event with both a COVID-safe, outdoor-only event (if limits of assembly allow) and a virtual option where people can walk from home.”
She said so far the Community Kitchen has had an overwhelming amount of responses from people who want to participate. Average donations for this year’s walk are also up compared to last year at the same time.
“By walking together in the chill of the night (whether physically or in spirit), participants will better understand the experience of being on the streets during a cold Canadian winter, while raising funds to aid the work of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen in providing much-needed support to members of our community,” van den Boogaard explained.
She said the in-person Cloverdale walk—depending on what public health regulations will look like by the third week of February—will begin and end at the Community Kitchen. Walkers will be able to register, turn in results of their fundraising efforts, and return at the end of the evening to celebrate their achievements.
“The entire event will be outdoors with physical distancing and other safety measures in place,” she explained. “Participants will walk a 2 kilometre or 5 kilometre route, and will warm up with toasty drinks at rest stops along the way.”
There will also be virtual participants who may walk in their own neighbourhoods or elsewhere. Anyone who raises more than $150 ($75 for youths) will get a special CNOY toque prior to the event.
“This is Cloverdale Community Kitchen’s eighth year taking part in the Coldest Night of the Year, and (we’re) aiming to raise $100,000 for work with the homeless,” noted van den Boogaard.
She added they are still hoping to attract more sponsors. Sponsors who’ve already signed on include: Atkinson Landscaping, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Magnum Nutraceuticals, South Coast Growers’ Supplies Inc, and Sugar’d Cloverdale.
Van den Boogaard expects 500 walkers and 60 teams, including staff and friends of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen. She said because of COVID, most people will be expected to walk with their “family or bubble within their own neighbourhoods.”
“The Cloverdale Community Kitchen has been serving Cloverdale for 10 years and the funds raised in the Coldest Night of the Year will benefit (our) clients in a time of the year known historically for low levels of giving.”
The Cloverdale Community Kitchen is located at 5337 180th Street. For more info on Coldest Night or the Kitchen, visit mycck.ca.