The fourth annual “Coldest Night of the Year” fundraising walk for homelessness drew more than 200 people out on a cold Saturday night in Langley City, including the mayors of both Langleys, City council members and a local MP.
Langley City mayor Ted Schaffer spoke at the start, saying participants should be “really be thankful for what you have” compared to people without homes.
Schaffer was accompanied on the walk by City councillors Gayle Martin, Val van den Broek and Paul Albrecht.
Township mayor Jack Froese, who has participated in previous walks, was unable to this year due to a previous engagement, but spoke at the start to praise the initiative as a “really commendable” way to raise awareness.
Cloverdale – Langley City Member of parliament John Aldag showed up with his own team of participants.
The walk to raise funds for the homeless in Langley began and ended at the Gateway of Hope Emergency Shelter and Meal Centre, located at 5787 Langley Bypass.
Gateway fundraising coordinator Krista Hannan said the event lets participants feel a hint of the challenge faced by homeless people during the winter.
Hannan said the interest in the Langley event has been increasing since it began four years ago.
“We get more and more support every year which is very exciting to see,” Hannan said.
She said the 65 volunteers who help coordinate the event deserved particular thanks.
Participants were able to choose from a 2 km, 5 km or 10 km route, with hot beverages served along the way and a hot meal of chili at the end.
Since 2011, the Coldest Night of the Year national campaign has raised over $12 million for homelessness intiatives with each location operated by a local, community-based registered charity.