The Coldest Night of the Year event aims to raise both money and awareness around the issue of homelessness in Canada. (Photo: cnoy.org)

Surrey groups gearing up for ‘Coldest Night of the Year’ fundraiser

The Feb. 23 event raises funds for the ‘homeless, hungry and hurting’ across Canada

More than $5,000 has already been raised, and almost 50 people have signed up to participate in Whalley’s iteration of the “Coldest Night of the Year” walk, an annual fundraiser held across Canada in February that has raised millions of dollars to help those living on the street.

Organizers of this year’s event in Whalley have set out to raise $25,000.

“We’re starting at city hall, and ending at city hall,” said one of the organizers, Jonquil Hallgate, chair of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Task Force. The group is partnering with Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society (SHHS) to host the fundraiser this year, for the first time.

“There will be two-, five- and 10-kilometre walks,” Hallgate said of the event, which is meant to give participants a short glimpse into what homeless people endure during cold, winter months. “We have extremely cold weather this year. So that half hour you’re outside, imagine if you were outdoors for 24 hours a day, every day, in this weather. What would that be like for you?”

See also: VIDEO: Surrey shelter ‘turning people away every night’ amid cold snap

See also: Surrey using civic space to house homeless for first time

The opening ceremonies will begin at 5 p.m. on Feb. 23 at Surrey City Hall (13450 104th Ave.).

Hallgate, who is co-ordinator of the Extreme Weather Response shelter program in Surrey, said she was saddened to learn this week that an 80-year-old woman was sleeping at one of the locations.

“A lot of people, especially older people, who made what was a decent wage 20 or 30 years ago, but didn’t have great pensions when they retired, that money doesn’t carry through meeting the costs today,” she said. “The reality is that many people are struggling today with economic challenges based on rising costs of everything, housing and food and what have you. Some of us are fortunate enough to maybe have enough to get by week by week and not worry too much about the fact that next month we won’t have a place to live.”

Hallgate said “every dollar counts” at the fundraiser and the funds go directly to programs, “not administration.”

“We’re really making a push for sponsorships and donors, and for people to walk and bring along friends.”

Hallgate also said she’s looking for volunteers to help out.

As of Friday afternoon, 48 walkers had signed up between 12 teams.

To learn more, to register or to donate, visit cnoy.org/location/surreywhalley.

See also: Cloverdale businesses challenged to step up on Coldest Night of the Year

Other Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) events are being held locally, including one in Cloverdale that will benefit Cloverdale Community Kitchen, and another in White Rock, being organized by Sources Community Resources Society.

Since 2011, CNOY events have raised more than $21 million in support of 132 charities serving the “homeless, hungry and hurting” across Canada.

Just Posted

Heritage Surrey launches time-lapse mapping tool

It matches local historical images to modern-day locations

UPDATE: Delta man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help finding missing 52-year-old

Police say William Michaels last seen on Feb. 19

Private school for hockey players pitched for Surrey’s Excellent Ice arena

Lark Group draws up expansion plan for facility built and operated by the Surrey company since 1999

White Rock to review tower heights in town centre

City voted Thursday to include the town centre in its official community plan review

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Two boys saved after falling through ice in Coquitlam

RCMP say a Good Samaritan pulled the kids to safety

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Most Read

l -->