Saultites gathered at St. Vincent’s Place on Monday evening to take part in the launch party for the annual Coldest Night of the Year event, which takes place on Feb. 22, at 4 p.m.
This launch party was an information session for anyone who had questions about the event or wanted to know more about it before signing up.
Currently, 13 teams (33 walkers) are signed up. St. Vincent’s Place Volunteer Event Director Jennifer Sarlo said she hopes the launch party will help push that number up.
“After the Christmas holidays, things tend to ramp up over the next six weeks, so we’re looking forward to that,” Sarlo told SaultOnline. “It’s only 40 days away now.”
Last year, there were 29 teams and over 200 walkers, raising over $89,000 for St.Vincent’s Place. Sarlo said she hopes to see numbers like that again this year.
“The teams are really the money makers for us; they’re the fundraisers,” she said.
“We have lots of great business sponsors as well and that’s really helpful, but those who come out and walk and fundraise are making the big difference.”
Coldest Night of the Year Honourary Chair Luke Dufour was a speaker at the launch party, talking to the crowd about why he volunteers with St. Vincent’s Place.
“(Being able to help the community) means a lot to me. What I do here in Sault Ste. Marie is because I want to live in a nice city and I want to pass on a nice city to my son and to the next generation,” Dufour, who’s also a volunteer for St. Vincent’s Place, told SaultOnline.
“I don’t think that places like downtown Sault Ste. Marie can survive and can grow without places like St. Vincent’s. We have a lot of challenges in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, we’ve been through a lot of hard times, and it’s the community spirit that you get developed in places like St. Vincent’s that helps people get through those.”
For more information, or to register for coldest night of the year, click here.