Cold night, warm hearts

Community Featured

A very fitting team name was chosen by the Scotsburn/Lyons Brook Faith in Action group of over 20 participants for the Coldest Night of the Year 2019 walk — Cold Night, Warm Hearts.

Pat Carrigan, a member of the group, takes pride in participating every year with her large group. This year they came in third place of the teams, raising $2,210 for the cause. Holy Strollers besting them by only $9 for second place and Trinity and Toques came in with $3,575 to take top place for the second year in a row.

Stacey Dlamini set an objective to raise $50,000 this year for Roots for Youth as needed. Beyond feeding and housing struggling youth in this community, Roots for Youth staff also introduces them to services they otherwise wouldn’t have known about.

Focused around youth aged 16 to 24, Pictou County Roots for Youth is now able to offer two transition houses, one for males and the other for females, each including three beds for temporary relief.

In 2018 alone, 27 homeless youth were mentored and helped to find jobs and be reconnected with family and resources to offer hope and success. Through weekly employment workshops, a bed to sleep in and warm meals to eat, opportunities are made available for youth who feel lost and afraid.

Coldest Night of the Year is a major fundraiser that ensures this help continues to be made available. With 24 walkers signed up to do the 10 kilometer walk, younger participants, including toddlers, were encouraged to do the two- and five- kilometer options. Each walker not only received a warm toque for their efforts but were encouraged to be creative with their group name — Blueberry Bagels, Kay’s Caring Crew are among them.

A total of 285 walkers in 38 teams participated when Dlamini’s goal was set at 32 teams. The walkers included local politicians, clergyman, high school students and pre-schoolers all showing warmth through hugs, smiles and determination.

On top of the money raised by the walkers, numerous sponsors throughout the county raised funds totalling $11,000, surpassing the goal of $10,000. Friendly the Tiger and Giant Tiger staff took part in the opening ceremony to present their cheque of $5,000 from money raised since December simply by asking their shoppers for donations.

All of this wouldn’t be possible without a starting point and Christian Fellowship Church on Abercrombie Road helped in a big way with that. Opening their doors all evening to welcome registering participants and returning walkers for a hot meal donated by various local businesses. The 58 volunteers helped with everything from registration, manning stations throughout the walk and ensuring everyone remained safe.

At the end of the event on Feb. 23, the total amount raised was $48,247.85 which is the highest total to date and more funds are expected to be added before the official announcement is made.

Almost 300 people participated in the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser Saturday night, walking from Christian Fellowship Church on Abercrombie Road through downtown New Glasgow to the farmers market and back. Nearly $50,000 was raised. (Butland photo)