Coldest Night of the Year 2018
Coldest Night Kelowna was a great success again this year; thanks to stellar leadership, inspired community members and of course, a pivotal awareness of those experiencing homelessness, hunger and other vulnerabilities, and the passion to do something about this collectively.
Our gracious host Sandhill Winery, once again set the stage for an easy launch to the walk by offering a warm and friendly staff , use of effective space creating a great flow to the event from start to finish, and by truly sharing the heart with us to create a healthier Kelowna.
A shout out to our championing sponsors; Thomas Alan Budd Foundation leading the way in generating awareness and funds for this notable cause, to the many hands that made this light work filled with contagious momentum; Refresh Financial, SunRype, Cherry Hill Coffee, our local Fire Department, and the many walkers and team leaders that worked alongside to impact our city in a positive way.
Team Kelowna at large collected close to $50,000 in donations with funds still trickling in. WOW! We beat our $40,000 goal and hope this momentum will carry on to the next walk in 2019.
On a personal note, the actions that made this event in Kelowna set apart from a National Walk are the people and some of their stories.
We had individuals who once experienced homelessness serving at the event. We had a young woman chronically visually impaired inspired to walk in rain, sleet or snow with a huge smile on her face. Our city Mayor spoke the vision to the crowd before the countdown, expressing genuine care and the value of togetherness solving this issue in Kelowna and across Canada.
Our lead Sponsor, Tom Budd got personal and opened the hearts of the crowd and broke down barriers to stigma and stereotypes regarding our street entrenched community. Families came together, babies to seniors, bringing an atmosphere of intimacy and legacy. We had a future shining star in broadcasting speak on Castanet’s “Kid’s Report”, proclaiming out loud the need for all of us to GET INVOLVED and enjoy being a difference maker in our city.
It is a beautiful expression of what makes us unique as a community, as we share the collective vision of solving the homelessness challenge across the country.