Delta’s inaugural Coldest Night of the Year event saw more than 100 people come out to join the walk. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Coldest Night of the Year returns to North Delta

The walk is meant to raise awareness and funds for hungry and homeless in the community

North Delta’s Coldest Night of the Year walk is back for its second year.

On Feb. 23, participants will be able to experience for a brief instant what winter nights are like for many living on the streets as they walk to raise awareness about homelessness and hunger in the community.

The donations collected go to charities that serve the hungry, homeless and seniors, according to Lorraine Yates, manager of operations at Deltassist. The organization is once again hosting the walk.

Yates suggested people register ahead of time so they can contribute more money than they would by simply paying the registration fee on the same day as the walk.

“The whole point of the [walk] is not just to raise awareness to hunger and homelessness, it’s also to fundraise,” Yates said. “We prefer people would fundraise instead of just registering.”

The funds collected first go to CNOY national headquarters, where they are redistributed back to the local organizers such as Deltassist once all cheques and credit card transactions have cleared. Some of the money stays with the national organization to cover administration costs.

“What the national organization does is they pay the host agency back a percentage, depending how much we raise. The more we raise, the higher the percentage of what we get,” Yates said.

“As a small non-profit, we do not have the same resources to put on fundraisers like this. They send us toques, pins, registration packages … we have training seminars. They give us letter templates to send out to sponsors.”

She also said Deltassist has staffed the walk-a-thon with about a dozen people, but is still looking for four more volunteers to help guide walkers on the night of.

Walkers, donors and volunteers can all find more information at Registered participants can also then set up a fundraising website at the same page.

Registration is free for kids 10 and under, and youth between 11 and 17 years of age can either fundraise $75 or pay the $40 registration fee. The same goes for those 18 and older, except they need to fundraise $150 to qualify for a fee waiver.

Participants have two routes to pick from: a two-kilometre and a five-kilometre walk that start out at New Hope Church (11838 88th Ave.). Those who feel extra brave have a third option of walking the five-kilometre route twice.

On-site registration starts at 4 p.m. and closes at 6 p.m. The walk itself begins at 5:15 p.m. after opening ceremonies at 5. Everything is planned to be done by 8 p.m.

A light meal will be served to all walkers and volunteers between 6 and 8 p.m.

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The Coldest Night of the Year is a national event aims to raise both money and awareness of homelessness in Canada. (Coldest Night of the Year photo)

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