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Coldest Night of the Year returns to Port Alberni with new venue for 2024

Community walk will take place at Char’s Landing on Feb. 24
Walkers proceeded through a balloon arch and up the alley behind Sage Haven Society to kick off the Coldest Night of the Year walk in Port Alberni on Feb. 25, 2023. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Coldest Night of the Year is returning to Port Alberni for the eighth consecutive year.

The community-focused walk, organized by Sage Haven Society, will take place Saturday, Feb. 24 at Char’s Landing. The event will bring together local residents, businesses and nonprofit organizations in support of Sage Haven’s housing programs and drop-in centre.

Both the emergency short-term housing for women and children impacted by intimate partner violence and the drop-in centre provide warmth, acceptance and shelter from the cold, says Sage Haven executive director Ellen Frood.

“It’s a good gathering of the community, about bringing people out of the cold and into the warmth,” said Frood.

More than 20 teams and more than 100 walkers have already registered for the event, and Sage Haven has already raised almost 90 percent of its $40,000 goal. According to Frood, there has been increased participation from local nonprofit organizations this year, with registrations from teams representing the West Coast General Hospital Foundation, INEO,and the Salvation Army.

“We’ve had a much more active social media campaign this year,” said Frood. “And there are lots of returning teams from last year. People are really coming forward and I have no doubt that we’ll meet and exceed our goal this year.”

Check-in begins at 4 p.m. at Char’s Landing on Saturday, with the walk starting at 5 p.m. Participants can choose between a two-kilometre and five-kilometre route. Warm food will be provided by Salvation Army volunteers, while beverages have been donated by Tim Hortons. Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Josie Osborne will be distributing popcorn while cheering on the walkers.

Walkers can pre-register online at Even people who aren’t able to walk can still take part in the event by donating to a team or by forming a team of their own.

While the Coldest Night of the Year addresses a serious cause, it has been designed as a fun community event.

“We’re so grateful to the people who come out year after year,” said Frood. “And to the new ones coming on board and helping.”

Elena Rardon

About the Author: Elena Rardon

I have worked with the Alberni Valley News since 2016.
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