Residents across Langley and beyond have pledged to walk or run for at least two km in an effort to collectively raise at least $40,000 for community causes. The upcoming event, part of Langley Salvation Army Gateway of Hope, is an annual fundraiser called the Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY).
To be held on Saturday, Feb. 25, this year’s event is particularly significant as it will be the first in-person event after the pandemic. The campaign encourages participants to walk or run a two or five km route, with the event starting at 5:15 p.m., followed by a meal and socializing.
Julie Gilfillan, operations manager at Salvation Army Gateway of Hope, said her team is excited to welcome people back to their building where the walk will start.
“This is a great community event and allows members of the community to walk in the shoes of those who are less fortunate,” Gilfillan added.
The funds raised from the event will be used to support local programming such as the Community Meal Centre, which serves 110,000 meals per year, as well as programs for children in the community, emergency food hampers, Christmas food hampers, material assistance, and the shower as well as the tax programs.
She further shared that Salvation Army Gateway of Hope has seen a drastic increase in need in the community since it opened in 2009 and that the biggest challenge has been “to create more awareness for the needs in our community and generate more community support as well as involvement.”
With support from sponsors such as Kal Tire, Envision Financial, Save on Foods, and BC Housing, the organization is hopeful that this year’s Coldest Night of the Year event will bring more awareness and attract more participants.
To make the campaign more interactive and engaging, the organization is even keeping a record of the amount each participant is bringing through a national scoreboard, which is available at cnoy.org.
In total, about 81 walkers and 18 teams participating this year. Currenlty, Langley’s HomeLife Benchmark Realtors and Living Waters Church are leading the donation chart, raising $1,945 and $1,355 respectively so far.
Gilfillan said her hope is to raise more awareness for the present needs in our community through the friendly competition.
“We want to continue to grow Coldest Night of the Year with more walkers and more participants.”
Community members can support the Salvation Army Gateway of Hope beyond this event by donating, volunteering, or participating in one of its many events. Those interested can reach out to the fundraising coordinator, Nicholas Ivey or the volunteer coordinator, Rachel Martin for more information. Their emails are available at gatewayofhope.ca.
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