Register to walk, volunteer, fundraise

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NEW GLASGOW — Volunteers are still needed — and welcomed — to the annual Coldest Night of the Year Walk.

There are just a few weeks to go before the fundraiser and one of the organizers says there are still plenty of opportunities to get involved, either by walking, fundraising, volunteering or sponsoring.

“We need volunteers to help register participants, serve hot chocolate, be at the turnaround and along the walk route,” said Stacey Dlamini, executive director of Pictou County Roots for Youth Society which is hosting the event this year. “And we have some great sponsors on board but we are happy to accommodate more.”

CNOY raised funds in past years for the Life Shelter, an overnight shelter for those in need, before its closure last fall. That created an opportunity for the walk to continue and for the society to have proceeds from it, Dlamini said.

“With the closure of the Life Shelter, the future of the walk was uncertain, so we applied to Coldest Night’s national organization,” she said. “It’s a pretty extensive process, but they decided we’d be a good fit.” Currently, 19 teams are registered to participate in the 2017 event.

“CNOY nationally said we’re on track with this time last year or we’re slightly ahead. I’d love to see that number doubled come walk day. This is our first time hosting so we just have to trust in the work we put into it.”

Dlamini said it’s difficult to estimate the amount of money that has been raised so far because many people who take part do not register online.

“Brian Carney, CNOY founder, said a lot of registration is done on the CNOY website, but Pictou County has the highest paper-based pledge forms of all, so most of the funds will not come in until the night of the walk,” she smiled. The goal this year is to raise $30,000.

This year’s walk will take place Saturday, February 25. As in the past, registration opens at
4 p.m. at Christian Fellowship Church on Abercrombie Road, where the walk starts and finishes. The walk begins at 5 p.m. The turnaround point will be the New Glasgow Farmer’s Market. A light meal will be available to participants and volunteers, beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m. Walks will be of three distances: two, five and 10 kilometres.

Individuals and teams can sign up for the walk, while adults who raise $150 for the event have their $25 registration fee waived. The threshold is $75 for youth.

Already several towns have signed up to participate – Dlamini mentioned Trenton, New Glasgow and Westville so far. “The Town of New Glasgow sent out challenge letters to the other municipal units and we would encourage other businesses and organizations to do the same thing and have fun with it. We have also received great support from the church. It’s shaping up to be a great event.”

The end result: the feeling of accomplishment and camaraderie, knowing you did a good deed and having fun with others who have the same goal.

Stacey Dlamini, executive director of Pictou County Roots for Youth Society, laces up her sneakers in preparation for the Coldest Night of the Year Walk taking place February 25. Roots House is hosting the event this year and will be the beneficiary of the funds. There is still time to register to walk, volunteer or sponsor. (Jardine photo)

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