February 12, 2014 - 1:34 PM
KAMLOOPS — It may not be the 'coldest night of the year' according to the mercury but the New Life Mission is still hoping a fundraiser by that name will bring in enough money to provide services to those living out the coldest nights of the year on the streets of Kamloops.
Coldest Night of the Year is a fundraiser for programs and services aiding the less fortunate. It'll take place in more than 60 cities nationwide Feb. 22. Nearly 110 walkers have already registered online in Kamloops for the third annual event and are reporting more than $9,000 in pledges. In 2013 an estimated 280 people took part, raising around $25,000. The goal for this year is $50,000 and organizer Carol Paulsen believes doubling totals from last year is doable.
"A lot of people don't register online.... we're already further ahead this year," she says. "We keep growing year after year."
She adds the hope is to move to two or three large fundraisers a year, instead of all the small ones New Life Mission currently does, and that this walk will be one of them.
Walkers will take part in the five kilometre or 10 km walk, which both start at 5 p.m. after the opening ceremonies. There will be two rest stops with shelter, heat, snacks, bathroom and warm drinks along the route, which loops through several main roads downtown. The route will close at 8 p.m. and a light meal will be served to help everyone warm up afterwards.
People taking part are asked to bring good walking shoes or boots, something for their head, gloves, scarves and a wind-breaking jacket or sweater.
A dental program, daily lunches, regular dinners and beds for addiction recovery are the key programs, though many New Life Mission offers a variety of services and programs to help those facing addiction and poverty in Kamloops.
In total 14 B.C. cities are taking part in the fundraiser, including Kelowna (the Kelowna Gospel Mission), Salmon Arm (the Lighthouse Shelter/Second Harvest) and Vernon (Upper Room Mission.)
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-This story was updated at 1:30 p.m., Feb. 12, 2014
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