Now in it’s 3rd year, Coldest Night of the Year brought together teams of local residents, in an effort to raise funds for St.Vincent Place. Mike Barker, long-time volunteer & member of Volunteer Board for St.Vincent Place, has even delayed a vacation to a much warmer,sunny locale, until he has walked with his team ‘Barkers Blessings’ “All the members of Team Barkers Blessings are great fun, and we’ve been looking forward to this event.”
Jennifer Sarlo, event coordinator, shared “This year, we have 26 teams registered, and over 210 walkers.” adding “Teams can choose to walk 10 kms,5 kms,or 2 kms.”. Planning for Coldest Night of the Year started in December 2014, registering teams, and developing sponsorships. “2.7 million dollars has been raised nationally for organizations that serve homeless and hungry people.” Team members raise funds for Coldest Night through online donations, and pledges from family,friends,co-workers. A goal of $50,000 was set for Sault Ste Marie. “We are close to the 2015 goal in dollars”shared Jennifer Sarlo. “We’re sitting at $46,000 as we begin the Coldest Night walk”.
Team ‘Frozen Chosen’, included members of Bethel Bible Chapel. “walking for homeless and hungry people in our community is the right thing to do.” shared a team member.
Team ‘City-zens’, was made up of 17 City of Sault Ste. Marie employees, including Mayor Christian Provenzano. Team captain, Colleen Murphy came up with the clever team name.
Team ‘United Effort’ included members from the United Church of Canada, Rev.David and Susan Zub, Nancy Rouble, Audrey Grasley, Pat & George Burkle.
These are just a few of the teams who numbered over 200 people collectively. General Manger,Nat Cicchelli, shared a thank you on behalf of the organization, St.Vincent Place, saying “We are blessed with all of the people who have come out today to help us raise funds.” adding “Your support and resources help us with building maintenance, food cost and more.”
Members of each team were given a special Coldest Night of the Year toque. After opening ceremonies, walkers of all ages headed out, into the cool crisp air to raise funds for social justice.
Kudos to everyone who walked and raised funds for this important community organization.
Now in it’s 12th year of incorporation, St.Vincent Place continues to provide shelter for men over 18 yrs. The food bank is accessible for all needy individuals and families, and is supported through donations. Meals are provided throughout the week, with Wednesday suppers and Saturday lunches being offered by volunteer groups, including from faith community, service clubs, students, and more. The Thrift Store, which also operates through donated items, is open Mon – Fri. 11 am – 3 pm. St. Vincent Place has 10 paid staff members. A general manager, a transferable skills case manager, 5 shelter attendants,2 cooks and 1 receptionist/bookkeeper. (http://vincentplacessm.ca/faq/)
To learn more about Coldest Night of the Year, visit the following link https://coldestnightoftheyear.org/home