Coldest night fundraiser collects record amount

NANAIMO – Island Crisis Care Society says about $38,000 raised.

Island Crisis Care Society saw a record amount of money raised during its 2017 Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser.

The walk took place Saturday evening, beginning at John Barsby Secondary School, and according to Michelle Authier, society operations manager, approximately $38,000 was raised the most ever. About $34,000 was raised at last year’s event, she said.

“It just keeps increasing every day, but where we’re sitting right now is just under $38,000 they have until the end of March to put all their remaining pledges on,” said Authier.

Any amount over $35,000 would have been just fine for the society, but it at least wished to exceed what it normally brings in, which is usually anywhere between $30,000 and $35,000, Authier said.

While organizers were expecting fewer participants, due to Hometown Hockey festivities which were also taking place, 242 walkers participated, similar to last year’s 245.

“I was concerned a little bit, but we had 190 that were registered beforehand and it’s typical that we would get 40 to 50 that would walk up and pay the registration fee and walk and that was the case again. I was a little surprised, but not everybody’s a hockey fan,” said Authier.

Money raised will go toward the society’s programs.

“A lot of [our programs] are government funded and so we’re not seeing increases in our government funding and so this helps offset the cost as a whole,” said Authier.

Samaritan House women’s shelter and Crescent House sobering centre are examples of programs which will benefit, she said.