St. Vincent Place thanks Sault Ste. Marie for their generous support of the Coldest Night of the Year Walk! The event rose over $50 000 in donations. The local WALK was part of a nation-wide event, held on February 24 in 121 cities across Canada, which saw over $4.3 million raised to help the homeless and hurting in our communities.
Donning the iconic Coldest Night of the Year toques, 175+ walkers of all ages, supported by 50 volunteers, got a small taste of the experience of surviving on the streets during a cold Canadian winter as they walked 2km, 5km or 10km routes in the downtown core, while raising funds to aid the work of St. Vincent Place. The weather was unseasonably warm which made the walk wet, but enjoyable. Walkers returned to St. Vincent Place for a warm bowl of chili.
The energy at the opening ceremonies was incredible as teams gathered to turn in their sponsorship donations. Teams made of up church groups, service organizations, work groups, businesses, friends and families were thanked by the organizers and board members for their generosity and commitment. Algoma Insurance, Assante Capital Management, Avery Construction, BDO Accounting, Dawson and Keenan Insurance, McDougall Energy, Maitland Ford Lincoln, S&T Group were thanked for their event sponsorship. Savoy’s Jewellers were thanked for their distance sponsorship and Sootoday was recognized as a media sponsor. Organizers recognized the support of all media outlets in the city for their coverage as a key contributing factor to its success. Summit Community Church and the Seniors´ Drop In Centre hosted welcoming rest stops along the way and Tim Hortons Bay St. contributed hot chocolate while Northwood Funeral Home and David’s Tea provided refreshments post walk. Brohart Family photography chronicled all the fun in pictures.
St. Vincent Place has been serving Sault Ste. Marie for 15 years, and the boost in funds resulting from the Coldest Night of the Year walk will benefit their clients in a time of the year known historically for low levels of giving. This year marks the sixth year of participation in the Coldest Night of the Year and the event has become their primary fundraiser. The proceeds from the Walk will help St. Vincent Place serve the homeless and poor in our community by providing them with shelter, clothing, food, household essentials and compassionate attention through a dedicated group of volunteers and staff. They provide this service daily through the operation of a men’s shelter, soup kitchen, food bank and thrift store.
Contributions are still being accepted and can be made online at https://cnoy.org/location/saultstemarie or in person at St. Vincent Place with any cheques made out to Coldest Night of the Year.
Thank you to all who participated in the success of this event! It’s a little walk for a big problem.