B.C. Youth Parliament team member Nathan Waatainen, left, stands with teammate Zach Authier, volunteers Wes Authier, Dennis Authier, Richard Powell, captain of the Rambling Amblers and Paddlers, and Patricia Anderson, event director, in front of the Salvation Army Church on Eighth Street.

B.C. Youth Parliament team member Nathan Waatainen, left, stands with teammate Zach Authier, volunteers Wes Authier, Dennis Authier, Richard Powell, captain of the Rambling Amblers and Paddlers, and Patricia Anderson, event director, in front of the Salvation Army Church on Eighth Street.

Cold night walk benefits Nanaimo’s homeless

NANAIMO – Goal to surpass last year's fundraiser and collect more than $50,000.

Nanaimoites will bundle up, brave the cold weather and join thousands of other Canadians nationwide for a walk that raises money for a good cause.

On Saturday (Feb. 20), beginning at 5:15 p.m., hundreds of individuals will descend on Nanaimo’s Harewood neighbourhood for the 6th annual Coldest Night of the Year Walk, where they will walk either a two-, five- or 10-kilometre route in an effort to help the homeless. Unlike past walks, this year the event will begin and end at the Salvation Army Church on 505 Eighth St.

The walk is a fundraising event hosted by Island Crisis Care Society, a non-profit organization that provides

services to the homeless and those at risk of being homeless. Money raised will help the society provide services and support locally.

Patricia Anderson, location director for the Island Crisis Care Society, said approximately 40 teams and 300 walkers expected to participate in the one-night walk.

“It’s family-friendly, it is a fundraiser, it benefits the neighbourhood and helps people who need the help,” she said.

ABOVE: The Coldest Night of the Year Walk’s five-kilometre route map.

Island Crisis Care Society has been involved in walk for the past four years, raising more than $125,000. Last year, walkers managed raise $35,000 for the society and this year the Nanaimo-based organization is hoping to raise $50,000.

Those who are interested in participating can still sign up. Anderson said the organization needs still needs volunteers to help out on the night of the walk.

“It is an easy way for people to support us. They can come out and walk, they can donate, they can volunteer,” Anderson said. “All of the efforts that people make will benefit the folks that are struggling with homelessness.”

The Coldest Night of the Year Walk is nationally organized by Blue Sea Philanthropy, a charity based in Kitchener, Ont. that began in 2011. Since then, the one-night event has raised more than $7 million nationwide.

For more information about walk, please visit https://coldestnightoftheyear.org/location/nanaimo.reporter2@nanaimobulletin.comTwitter: @npescod

Nanaimo News Bulletin

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