July 17th, 2024

‘Coldest Night of the Year’ fundraiser open for registration

By Steffanie Costigan - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 12, 2023.

Submitted photo by Hannah Lemiski Participants in Wood's Homes "Coldest Night of the Year" fundraiser attend last year's event at Henderson Lake.

Local organization Wood’s Homes will launch its second annual fundraiser, “Coldest Night of the Year” at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden early next year.

“The event is aimed at raising funds for our core youth shelter in Lethbridge,” says Carie Dahl,Wood’s Homes fund development co-ordinator.

“It is an initiative that happens across the country and even to the States where organizations all get together and raise money for their different causes, mostly aimed at homelessness and providing services to those facing homelessness.”

Dahl says the event, which includes a walk around Henderson Lake, is a fun way to make an impact in the lives of others.

“It’s a 2k or 5k walk around Henderson Lake, with the evening wrapping up with some warm drinks and food. And all participants are given complimentary access to the last night of the winter lights festival in the Japanese garden.”

Dahl notes the event is a collaboration with the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, which also has a team that participates in the walk and is a big supporter “of all things Woods Homes.”

The first walk had 60 participants and Dahl hopes the number increases to at least 150 for the next event on Feb. 24.

“We just hope to grow on that and expand the reach and the impact that we can make in the community. It is a fairly new event and we’re definitely looking forward to it.”

Dahl hopes the number of partners and sponsors increase, as well.

“Last year’s event was definitely a fun event for our staff, and internally there was a lot of involvement. We had some exciting partnerships and sponsors come on board. But as it was its first year, we had lots of growing to do, so what we’re hoping to do this year is grow into it.”

Wood’s Homes began in Calgary but expanded its programs and services to Lethbridge and other areas in Alberta with the aim to help children, young adults and families with mental health needs. The organization was founded in 1914 by Reverend George Wood, and was originally an orphanage.

Anyone interested in participating in the Coldest Night of the Year event can register at https://www.woodshomes.ca/how-you-can-help/attend-our-events/coldest-night-of-the-year/.

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