Walkers (some in costume) take part in the 2017 Coldest Night of the Year. NEWS FILE PHOTO

Albernians bundling up for Coldest Night of the Year event

Family-friendly event raises money for the homeless, hungry and hurting

Get ready to bundle up for the Coldest Night of the Year on Saturday, Feb. 24.

The Coldest Night of the Year is a family-friendly fundraiser that raises money for the homeless, hungry and hurting in the community.

All proceeds for this event will be going to Alberni Community and Women’s Services (ACAWS) for programs such as counselling, outreach and victim services.

Last year, the first-ever Coldest Night fundraiser in Port Alberni raised more than $25,000 for ACAWS, surpassing its initial goal of $20,000.

“We had a great event last year,” said ACAWS executive director Ellen Frood. “We decided to make it an annual event.”

This year, the goal has doubled: Frood says they are hoping to raise more than $50,000.

The event is pledge-based, so even those who cannot walk can still sponsor a team, or start a team of their own and fundraise. Groups like the Port Alberni RCMP, the fire department and city council have already formed teams to compete against each other.

The registration fee is $40 as of Monday, Feb. 19. Anyone who pays the registration fee will receive a “Coldest Night of the Year” toque.

The walk will start and finish at the Alberni Athletic Hall (3737 Roger St.). Registration opens at 4 p.m. and the walk begins at 5:15 p.m. Walkers can choose between a 2 km, 5 km or 10 km walk, with rest stops available along all routes.

Bring your cash or cheques (made out to “Coldest Night of the Year”), a completed pledge form and a signed waiver form, good walking shoes and warm clothes.

Between 6-8 p.m., a meal will be served to all walkers and volunteers. The “Red Hot Chili Preppers” will be on site for the second year in a row to provide warm bowls of the tastiest chili ever made.

Frood emphasized that this is a family-friendly event that all ages can enjoy.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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