Boundary Family Services (BFS) hopes to raise $25,000 for the hurting, hungry and homeless through this month’s Coldest Night of the Year campaign (CNOY).
CNOY is an annual fundraiser for charities that serve vulnerable people in communities across Canada, according to the national campaign’s website. The event is held in late February, when registered walkers are called to brave freezing nighttime temperatures along designated neighbourhood routes.
“It’s just good to help people,” BFS’s Rachel Warriner said Thursday, Feb. 10. Every night is the coldest night of the year for too many across the Boundary.
“Coming out for the walk is a great way to experience and understand a little bit of what that’s like,” she explained.
This is Warriner’s second year co-ordinating CNOY across the Boundary, where walkers raised over $23,000 last year. BFS wants to crack $25,000 in time for this year’s launch at Grand Forks’ Gyro Park Saturday, Feb. 26.
“It’s going to be a good year,” she said, inviting registered walkers to join her for hot chocolate at the park, courtesy of Grand Forks Rotary Club. CNOY 2022 will offer two and five kilometre routes through the city’s downtown core. Bathrooms will be provided and city hall has pledged to ensure both routes are safe to trod, she said.
As an added bonus, BFS will be handing out brightly coloured CNOY toques to adults who bring in $150 or more and to under-18’s who bring in $75 or more.
Proceeds will go to a host of deserving causes approved by BFS’s management and board of directors, Warriner said.
Last year’s funds went to programs and services like the Boundary Community Food Bank, the Rock Creek Food Share, the food hamper program and Whispers of Hope in Grand Forks. Money also went towards winter clothing for people experiencing homeless and to Boundary families facing eviction because they couldn’t afford rent.
With 16 days to go before the big night, Warriner said 51 walkers from Christina Lake through Greenwood had signed up for CNOY, bringing in around $5,300.
Walkers can sign up individually or in teams at cnoy.org/location/boundarycountry.
Dogs are welcome at CNOY, but owners are encouraged to keep their four-footed friends on-leash, Warriner said.