The White Rock Coldest Night of the Year virtual event raised more than twice its target over the weekend, bringing in $220,000 for homeless prevention services on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.
Asked for his reaction to the success of this year’s event, Sources CEO David Young offered one word: “overwhelmed.”
The virtual event in support of Sources kicked off Feb. 19 and ran through Feb. 21. Anytime during that three-day period, participants were encouraged to complete either a two- or five-km walk close to home and “with their household or safe bubble, following the recommendations of our Provincial Health Officer and local health authorities.”
Nearly 150 communities across the country joined this year’s event. In total, more than $9,360,000 was raised.
“It’s incredible, not just locally, but across the country. We’ve seen tremendous engagement and support for the event… it’s just been heartwarming to see,” Young said.
The Virtually Virtuous team, created by Young, raised the most out of any team in the country, collecting $61,417. A major contributing factor to the team’s success were the efforts of Deanna Kratzenberg, who raised $48,887 – the most of any single walker in Canada.
Young tipped his hat to Kratzenberg, who he referred to as a “local champion.”
In an email to PAN, Kratzenberg said the cause is “deeply personal” for her and her son Mitchell.
“Several years ago we lost a family member in tragic circumstances. During his troubled life, Norman received support from community agencies, agency staff and volunteers and we know this support sustained him through the most difficult of times. Mitchell and I walk in Norman’s memory but also with confidence that all of our efforts will provide hope and healing for others.”
Nationally, the White Rock event raised the third-most in the country with $220,453 as of Monday morning, behind Surrey-Cloverdale ($220,838) and Kitchener/Waterloo ($225,403).
The White Rock Pride Society raised $16,525; Rotary Club of White Rock raised $15,000; White Rock Baptist Church raised $8,390 and Team Kerry-Lynne Findlay raised $6,045.
While it’s nearly impossible to confirm, Young said he believes COVID-19 may have encouraged more participation in this year’s event.
“People had more space in their lives to participate. And the way it was structured, they could walk at a time that worked for them,” Young said, adding that Sources may have been able to capture more of the public’s attention than previous years.
Young said the money will help Sources support the mental health, food security, and housing needs of people living on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.
Last year, the event raised about $106,000.