Pictou County Roots for Youth Society is preparing for a cold night, this Feb. 24 – the Coldest Night of the Year, in fact. Registration for the walkathon event to combat homelessness has begun, with 11 teams and 45 people, in total signed up.
Stacey Dlamini, executive director of the Pictou County Roots For Youth, said the goal by the end of the month is to have 75 per cent of the participating teams for this year signed up. Currently, there are 11 teams – and 54 walkers – signed up, “and we would love to hit 25 before the end of the month.”
This year, financial support is also growing steadily. As of publication time 14 per cent (just over $6,200) of the local fundraising goal of $45,000 has been raised.
Like last year’s event, this one is hosted by the Pictou County Roots for Youth Society. Wherever a walk happens in Canada, the funds raised stay in the community, to help in local efforts to combat homelessness.
“There are a lot of people who participated in New Glasgow last year, and this year will mark the second time that Roots For Youth has hosted it,” said Stacey Dlamini, executive director of Roots For Youth.
Last year, the Coldest Night of the Year attracted “well over 300 walkers,” organized into 36 teams – a number Dlamini hopes the event will exceed this year.
The event starts and ends at the Christian Fellowship Church on Abercrombie Road, and participants have the choice of one of three routes: a two-kilometre route, five kilometres or 10 kilometres.
Registration begins at 4 p.m. at the Christian Fellowship Church, with participants receiving a toque, taking photos at photo booth, enjoying the music and gearing up to walk.
Before the walk officially commences, members of Roots for Youth will outline their progress, and plans, as an organization before the walk. Dlamini emphasized that Coldest Night of the Year is an event for everyone, and that “there are parents, small children, older people, colleagues from work together on teams, young people from the church, and schools. The teams are varied in terms of where they come from, and represent.”
Along the route, walkers will be guided by route marshals and offered hot chocolate to keep up their morale, and to keep away the chill of the night. Upon returning to the starting point at the church, participants will be served a hot meal.
“People in Pictou County like to wait until the last minute,” said Dlamini, “So we are encouraging people who know they want to do this to register as soon as possible, so we can make our plans accordingly.”
To register individually, or register a team for the Coldest Night of the Year 2018, visit CNOY.org – or call (902) 695-3241 for more information.