Northern cities surpass fundraising targets with 'Coldest Night of the Year' events
Regardless of where you live in Canada, today is the "Coldest Night of the Year."
It's a nation-wide fundraising event that helps support people experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger.
There are one-hundred and forty-nine locations taking part, including cities in northeastern Ontario.
Anti-Hunger Coalition Timmins is hosting this event for the fourth time and said for the first time, it has surpassed its forty-thousand dollar goal, reaching over fifty-eight thousand dollars.
"Participants seem to be really into the aspect of our virtual only event so they have the opportunity to do the walk however they wish to do it: skating, running, walking with their furry friends," said Amber McLaughlin, Good Food Program manager for Anti-Hunger Coalition Timmins.
She said this event supports all of its programs that stave off food insecurity, including a new mobile food van hitting the streets soon.
"So that will eventually be a mobile market that will go to targeted areas identified as food deserts where people have limited access to a grocery store or affordable food," said McLaughlin.
One of the one-hundred and fifty-five walkers who is getting outside to experience the cold is Caelan Hutchison. She is also part of the local Crimson Dawn - Klingon Assault Group.
She proudly dons the 'Coldest Night of the Year' headwear over her commander "Tlharnoq" costume. She said she has had to rely on community resources in the past, so she understands the need first hand.
"As Klingon cos players we try to do things that stand up to the ideals of Star Trek and the Klingon Empire and there is a saying in Klingon: nItebQobqaDjup 'e' chaw'be' SuvwI', which means a warrior does not let a community member face danger alone. So together we can make a difference and this is one way we can do it," said Hutchison.
The Gathering Place in North Bay is also celebrating beating its goal this year, however organizers miss seeing all the participants in person.
"But as far as organizationally, it’s pretty slick...we have five more teams than we had last year so there’s a lot of teams that were really interested cause they want to get out and walk," said Dennis Chippa, executive director of The Gathering Place.
North Bay had a total of thirty-one teams with one-hundred and seventy walkers, raising more than forty-eight thousand dollars while Timmins had the same number of teams, but fewer registrants.
The Living Space Homeless Shelter was the top fundraiser in Timmins this year, collecting more than six-thousand dollars on behalf of Anti-Hunger Coalition Timmins.
Going the (Social) Distance in North Bay garnered the most with nearly forty-five hundred dollars.