Photo Credit: Barbarich Photography

Over 230 individuals on 42 teams registered to walk for the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser on Saturday, Feb 24th to support the community and boy did they raise funds. The community pledged an almost record-breaking $99,447 with a few pledges still to come in. What an amazing show of support! Nelson CARES Society wants to thank all the volunteers, walkers, donors and sponsors of this event.
The walkers were greeted by the enthusiastic sounds of the Moving Mosaic Samba Band and hit the streets after a few encouraging words from Nelson CARES Society Board Chair Ron Little, Nelson CARES Society Executive Director Jac Nobiss, Nelson CARES Housing Support Worker from Ward Street Place Noa Dagan, Nelson-Creston MLA (and CNOY volunteer) Brittny Anderson and Acting Mayor Rik Logtenberg (and CNOY volunteer) – delivered from the deck of a donated Home Hardware flat-deck truck.
“This is truly a community achievement” said Ron Little. “It is the sponsors and donors that have made the success of Ward Street Place possible; thanks to all of you.” After a brisk 2km or 5km walk, all coordinated safely by a crew of volunteer route marshals and support vehicles (with a quick Rest Stop at the Kootenay Co-op), everyone ended up back at St. Joseph’s School for a lovely bowl of warm veggie chilli, cornbread, cookies, and warm cranberry beverage prepared by the Post Graduate Hospitality Management program students at Selkirk College under the instruction of David Havemann. The bulk of the ingredients were donated by the Kootenay Co-op Store, Safeway and Save On Foods. The leftover chili and fixins were sent to Stepping Stones Emergency Shelter.
The Nelson Coldest Night teams knocked their fundraising out of the park. The ‘Chili Champions’ raised $19,320 followed by ‘a home for everyone!’ at $6,003. Teams ‘Kootenay Kids Society, ‘Hemlock Homes’ (who are also a sponsor), ‘Erica’s Avengers’ and ‘Kootenay Rhythym Dragons rounded out the top six with over $2,800 each. Joanne Motta raised the most of any individual walkers with $18,000, with Aysia Lowell-Guy and Andrew Murry at over $3,100 each followed by Randy Richmond at $2,250 who also cross-country skied over 100km in support of the event. Donations will be accepted at until the end of March.
The Coldest Night of the Year is a walk-a-thon fundraiser that raises awareness and funds for the most vulnerable individuals in our community. The funds raised by the teams, individuals, and sponsors stay in the community to fund the Ready for Home Program operating out of Ward Street Place. The Ready for Home program supports those residents to navigate healthcare, government documents, and many other challenges that allow them to remain safely housed. Nelson CARES Society looks forward to celebrating a decade of community support and hosting the 11th annual Coldest Night in February 2025.

Nelson CARES Society