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VIDEO: Langley’s Coldest Night walk raises more than $32,000

Charity event raises money to support local homeless population

Clouds were in the sky on Saturday, Feb. 24, threatening rainfall leading up to the 10th annual Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser walk in Langley.

Despite the possible wet weather, more than 200 people braved the chill to participate in the charity event hosted by the Salvation Army Gateway of Hope, and participants raised $32, 573 – just a couple thousand shy of the $36,000 goal.

The Coldest Night of the Year is a Canada-wide initiative that encourages people to walk through the cold and dark either on a 2 km or 5 km route to better understand what it’s like to experience homelessness and to raise money and awareness.

The charity event is a family-friendly walk to raise money for organizations serving people experiencing “homelessness, hurt, and hunger.”

Justin Napier, executive director, called it “a great turnout.”

“It’s so cool to see so many familiar and [new] faces… We’re all here because people are at risk of losing their houses, people are at risk of homelessness, and there are people without homes right now – that’s a reality,” he said.

Gateway of Hope provides services such as emergency shelter, transitional housing, family services, school supplies, and more than 100,000 meals per year, explained fundraising coordinator Nick Ivey.

“Each season presents its own challenges. We will continue to assist all those who come through our doors with dignity, compassion, and care of service to the best of our abilities,” he said.

Ivey added that the Coldest Night event is a great opportunity for people to “get involved on a local level with the immediate needs of the community.”

“I think people don’t necessarily understand why people are on the streets. They could be on the streets because they just lost their job, made a bad investment, or maybe their landlord wants to renovate their home and now they can’t rent that space anymore, so finding housing is a bit more difficult,” explained Julie Gilfillan.

Langley Township councillors Tim Baillie, Steve Ferguson, Barb Martens, and Margaret Kunst attended the event.

“I’ve never missed this event,” Baillie said. “It’s one of the events that really draws an awful lot of attention to homelessness, so thank you all.”

MLA Andrew Mercier, MP Tako van Popta, and Langley City Mayor Nathan Pachal were also in attendance.

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Kyler Emerson

About the Author: Kyler Emerson

I'm excited to start my journalism career in Langley and meet our community.
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