Parksville’s Coldest Night walk gets warm reception

More than 100 participants raise more than $29,000 for the homeless

The Coldest Night of the Year walk to fundraise for those without homes saw about 150 people participate in Parksville, and about 50 volunteers help out on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Walking in the evening to get a small taste of what it’s like to have to stay out on the street after the sun goes down, the participants left from Knox United Church on two-, five- and 10-kilometre walks. Organizers reported Monday morning, Feb. 26, that the walk raised $29,383.

Another $35,931 was raised by the Coldest Night walk in Nanaimo. Both walks were held in support of Island Crisis Care Society.

“The community response is excellent,” said Patricia Anderson, Oceanside Community Services manager and a lead organizer of the event.

Coldest Night walkers got another perspective into life without a home from Lynne Robinson, who spoke to the crowd about her journey, her struggles after surgery and with mental health, and how local support services have helped to get her into a clean, rent-subsidized trailer in Errington.

“I feel so grateful to be part of the program I am in,” Robinson said.

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From right: Noah Loder and Ezekiel Wagner are just a few of the kids taking part along with parents in the Coldest Night of the Year walk in Parksville on Saturday, Feb. 24. — Adam Kveton Photo

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