Hurt, hunger and homelessness are at the forefront Feb. 24, as the Coldest Night of the Year returns. The annual two or five kilometre event is a family-friendly walk around Henderson Lake, to raise funds for Wood’s Homes’ core youth shelter.
“This is Wood’s Homes second year hosting. We’re partnering with Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden again. All of our walk participants are going to be given complimentary access to the final night of the Winter Lights Festival. We’re also partnering with the Lethbridge Bulls. The Bulls and their mascot will be at the walk,” says Carrie Dahl, fund development co-ordinator at Wood’s Homes.
Dahl says the Bulls will have a pitching station at the event and there will also be photo ops for fans. “People can compete and guess their pitch speed and win some prizes.” There will also be a warm meal afterwards, which will feature a potato bar.
Since 2024 is only the second year Wood’s Homes is hosting the event, “we’re trying to pick up momentum in the community,” Dahl says. “It’s a good opportunity for families to get out and learn about what we have available, should they ever need them.”
According to Dahl, the theme of this year’s event is the kaleidoscope – “things aren’t always what they seem or what they appear as.”
“There’s a lot more under the surface than people realize when it comes to the people out on the streets.”
All the funds raised, Dahl notes, will be going directly to the organization’s core emergency youth shelter program. “Which is an eight-bed facility that provides private sleeping areas, meals, laundry facilities, showers, clothing and counselling for youth who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless.”
Each year in February, tens of thousands of Canadians step outside the warmth and comfort of home to shine a light of welcome and compassion in their communities. Since 2011, the Coldest Night of the Year has raised over $96,000,000 across Canada in 190 Canadian communities with 100 per cent of net proceeds staying local.
Check-in for the Coldest Night of the Year begins at 4 p.m. and the walk starts at 5 p.m. Register at cnoy.org/location/LethbridgeHenderson.