White Rock Pride Society’s Coldest Night of the Year team participates in the 2021 event. (Gord Wait photo)

White Rock Pride Society’s Coldest Night of the Year team participates in the 2021 event. (Gord Wait photo)

White Rock-South Surrey ‘Coldest Night’ event goes fully virtual again

Walkers to log their routes online due to continuing Omicron fears

SOURCES Community Resource Centres’ successful fundraising walk, the White Rock/South Surrey Coldest Night of the Year, is going fully virtual again for 2022.

The organization’s CEO, David Young, and event planner Abby Gemino made the official announcement at White Rock council’s most recent meeting, on Jan. 24.

The 2022 walk, set for Feb. 26, was originally supposed to be a blended event, featuring a physical walk along the usual route from Memorial Park along the White Rock waterfront along with an option for teams or individuals to participate online, by logging a walk online done any day in February – and, theoretically, from anywhere in the world.

A fully virtual event in 2021 – due to COVID-19 restrictions – proved it was still possible to engage walkers, donors and sponsors, ultimately raising $229,000.

READ ALSO: Brrr-ing on 2022 White Rock/South Surrey Coldest Night of the Year

“We considered many factors, including the transmissibility of the omicron variant, the pressures on our health care workers and hospitals, and how we were able to successfully pull off a virtual CNOY event in 2021 which ended up being our most successful year yet,” Young told council.

“So, in consultation with both the SOURCES Society and Foundation boards of directors, we decided to make the switch now, with a month to go, to host this year’s CNOY virtually.”

The family-friendly winter event is designed to raise awareness – and funds – for charities supporting people who are hungry, homeless and hurting. Funds raised locally will support community programming including SOURCES’ Homelessness Prevention Services, and its Rent Bank (which is completely funded by CNOY).

Participants can now complete their 2 km or 5 km walk anywhere they wish, during ‘Walk Weekend’ (February 25-27), or at any other time in February.

Like last year, there will be a yet-to-be-scheduled drive-by day in February for team captains to pick up walk kits – which include CNOY toques for participants who have raised $150 or more (for adults 18 and older) or $75 (for youth 17 and under).

A virtual opening ceremony is planned for Friday, Feb. 25 with a virtual closing ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 27.

“We’ll miss seeing everyone together down at the waterfront for another year,” Gemino said.

“But the virtue of being virtual is we can expand our reach and more people from other parts of the province can participate. Last year, we had supporters fundraise and walk for us in Calgary, Toronto and even Portugal, which was incredible.”

A number of other initiatives to engage walkers and sponsors will include a series of contests every week in February and a Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/sourcescnoy) to receive updates, share fundraising tips and ideas for where to walk.

Teams and walkers can register online to set up their fundraising page. All are welcome and there is no registration fee.

To register to walk, volunteer or donate, visit https://cnoy.org/whiterocksouthsurrey



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

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