File photo All are invited to participate in Saturday’s Coldest Night of the Year event in White Rock.

TODAY: Walk on the Coldest Night of the Year

Annual fundraiser supports those struggling with poverty and homelessness in White Rock

The White Rock Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser, which benefits Sources’ rent bank, is continuously one of the most successful Coldest Night events in the country, and this year is proving no different.

To date, the event has raised more than $53,000, placing it 12th out of more than 120 participating locations. As of Thursday morning, it was the most financially successful in the province, and last year raised more than $100,000 for the cause.

That cause, according to organizer Abby Gemino, is to advocate for people at risk of becoming homeless, whether that’s through social or monetary support.

The annual event fully funds the SourcesBC Rent Bank, which provides one-time crisis-loans to people who are at risk of becoming homeless.

“Our advocate group also works with individuals to negotiate with their landlords and the (Residential Tenancy Branch) if they’re having issues. We become advocates for these people,” Gemino said.

Last year was one of the coldest winter’s in recent memory, which Gemino speculated may have contributed to last year’s Coldest Night’s success.

Gemino said SourcesBC has divided itself into teams, and there’s now a friendly competition brewing.

Sources executive director David Young’s team is leading the charge, having raised more than $8,330. Homelife Benchmark Realty is trailing in second place at $4,245 and Sources housing and prevention programs manager Soraya VanBuskirk’s team follows at $2,850.

Registration for the event – which starts at Sources Community Resource Centre (882 Maple St.) – starts at 3 p.m. Saturday. Opening ceremonies begin at 4 p.m. and the walk starts at 4:15 p.m. There’s a meal service from 5-7 p.m.

More information on the White Rock event can be found at https://cnoy.org/location/whiterock

A record number of people have signed up for Cloverdale’s Coldest Night event, which also takes place this Saturday.

Last year, Cloverdale’s walk raised around $35,000 for the Cloverdale Community Kitchen, which feeds, shelters and provides a place of safety and support for those who are in need. Every week, the Cloverdale Community Kitchen serves more than 200 meals – nearly 10,000 a year – to “anyone who needs a meal,” according to organizer Matthew Campbell.

More than 200 people have registered so far. Campbell explained that the walk usually doubles that number during the last week of registration, and that he’s expecting around 400 walkers in total.

The Cloverdale Community Kitchen also hosts Cloverdale’s only extreme weather shelter, providing a warm place to sleep for up to 15 people during times of extreme cold weather, and organizes the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper program, which provides hampers of food and presents to more than 300 families every holiday season.

As of Thursday morning, 284 walkers had raised more than $43,000 for this year’s walk. Their goal is $45,000, as the kitchen is in need of a new dishwasher and a new stove.

The walk will begin at the Cloverdale Community Kitchen, located at the Pacific Community Church at 5337 180 St. Registration begins at 4 p.m. and the walk begins at 5 p.m. There are three route options offered at lengths of 2 km, 5 km and 10 km, and a hot chili supper will be served from 6-8 p.m. to all walkers and volunteers.

All routes will be well marked and will have rest stops and there will be route marshals and drivers along the routes available for support.

For more on Cloverdale’s Coldest Night, visit cnoy.org/location/cloverdale

CloverdaleColdest Night of the Year

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