Close to 120 Port Alberni residents walked for the Coldest Night of the Year, raising more than $33,000 for Alberni Community and Women’s Services (ACAWS), surpassing their goal of $25,000.
The inaugural event for Port Alberni is a Canada-wide fundraiser that took place this year on Saturday, Feb. 25. Volunteers walk a 2 km, 5 km or 10 km route to raise funds for the hungry, homeless and hurting in more than 100 communities across Canada.
“We’re just thrilled with how everything went. It was fabulous,” said Ellen Frood, ACAWS executive director.
Teams from the City of Port Alberni, the RCMP, local fire departments, First Nations groups and other local businesses took to the streets to walk for ACAWS. Walkers began their routes at the college.
The money raised, Frood said, will go towards ACAWS programs and services, priority needs for women and children in the Valley who are impacted by domestic violence and the 24-hour shelter.
She said the community support was incredible.
“There were great teams and great volunteers, I’m just thrilled and proud of everyone,” Frood said.
Planning has already began for next year’s event.
Since 2011, the Coldest Night of the Year has raised more than $12 million across Canada working with select charity partners.
“I did hear that Naniamo raised about $22,000 and we did raise about $33,000 for the community, that’s pretty awesome,” said Port Alberni city councillor, Chris Alemany, at a Feb. 27 council meeting.