Even with all the changes needed to accommodate a public event during a pandemic, Woolwich Community Services managed to raise $92,000 through last weekend’s Coldest Night of the Year.
That total surpassed the local organization’s goal by some 150 per cent.
“We are feeling very grateful to our community for the support that we receive to those who walked and raised money for us. And for all the companies that sponsored the event,” said WCS’ Leigh-Anne Quinn, who coordinated this year’s iteration.
Ironically, the good weather was a big contributor to an event called the Coldest Night of the Year.
“The weather was beautiful. We couldn’t have picked a better weekend,” she said of a reprieve from the previous cold, snowy conditions.
Those taking part set out to walk two to five kilometres, on their own or with people from their COVID bubble. Unlike past years, the walk could be made at any time rather than as a scheduled group time.
Although the event was ultimately moved to virtual rather than the typical in-person version, the support was strong, with 206 walkers in 26 teams.
Top teams this year included Woolwich Community Walkers, raising $13,005, MAC LLP, raising $8,380, and Emmanuel Trekkers, which collected $5,797. Other top-raising groups included Menno Walkers, Gale Force and LC3 –Woodside.
The total of $92,765 was 90 per cent of the previous year’s outing, though with just two-thirds of the 310 participants in 2020. In 2019, $82,743 was raised.
For a small community like Woolwich Township, this year’s numbers were impressive, said Quinn, adding she is grateful to everyone that participated and supported the campaign.
“Thank you to everyone who supported Woolwich Community Services.” she said, adding she hopes next year’s event can be a return to in-person, closing the event with the annual shared meal.
“The fundraising efforts will be directed to several areas in our community… our food hamper program, our family programs, community support program, which helps individuals facing a variety of needs in the community. And we also started a rent support program this past year, which is a pilot program. So, there’s lots of ways that people’s money will be redirected back in helping those in our community,” Quinn explained.
Neighbouring communities that took part in CNOY also raised money for the cause. Kitchener-Waterloo raised $226,693 for their campaign organized by the Ray of Hope community centre and Guelph raising $149,206 through HOPE House. Wilmot raised $23,432 supporting the Wilmot Family Resource Centre.