Medicine Hat, AB - The Coldest Night of the Year event is back for its fifth go around in the Gas-City and organizers say they are looking for a few things heading into the walk on February 23rd.
Executive Director for the Hope Street Compassion Ministry Centre (CMC) Murray Kumm hashes out the details.
"I think we have about 12 teams so far, which is about 50 people," explained Kumm. "The goal this year was 20 teams and 200 people. That's a lofty goal. If we can get to 150 people, that makes a huge difference in the final tally."
The early-bird registration fee for the walk is $25 however, that amount will go up to $40 on February 18th.
"If you are an adult over 17 and you fund-raise $150, you do not have to pay the registration fee. If you are between the ages of 12-17 and you raise $75, you do not have to pay a registration fee. Children under 12 are free."
In addition to walkers, Kumm says they need more volunteers on the day of the event to help with things like setting up and holding signs to keep people on the proper walking path.
The Coldest Night of the Year is a 2, 5 and 10 kilometer walking fundraiser that will take place in 135 different locations across Canada.
"We have people who make teams if they can find individuals who have the same interests. Church groups and businesses would be a good example."
Last years event was comprised of 15 teams and 110 people, which raised $22,500.
Kumm says they aim to raise $25,000 every year, but they've fallen short of the target in each of the years that they've hosted the event.
"Our sponsorship is up 50% over last year. So, we're up over $7,000 in sponsorship's. Our $25,000 goal is well within reach this year."
Kumm explained that all the money raised will stay in Medicine Hat and benefit the less fortunate within our community.
"The money raised is for the hungry, the hurting and the homeless in our community. Anything raised locally stays local and goes to programs to help those people."
This fundraiser accounts for nearly half of Hope Streets operating budget for 2019.
"Homelessness isn't a huge issue in Medicine Hat, but poverty certainly is. This event is huge for Hope Street to keep the doors open and keep the food flowing for those in need."
The walk starts and finishes at the St. Barnabas Anglican Church in downtown Medicine Hat.
Doors open at 4:00 p.m. for registration with the opening ceremonies scheduled for 5:00. At 5:15, everybody is released to the route and Kumm says it usually takes about 2 hours for everyone to complete the route.
More information on the upcoming walk can be found here.
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