The Coldest Night of the Year Walk is over, but the enthusiasm and community spirit remains. The walk is a vital part of Start Me Up Niagara's fund raising campaign, and this year we exceeded our goal of $70,000! It was a cold, snowy and blustery evening when over 300 people crowded into the market square in downtown St Catharines, to walk for the homeless, hungry and hurting. The square was decorated with lights and snowflakes, the band was playing and spirits were high as Susan Venditti roused the crowd and sent us off into the night.
Most people walked the 5 km, as it was chilly with damp snow falling. Thankfully it wasn't as cold as the past few weeks had been, but those weeks were great reminders that it really is “Cold Out There!” After a quick stop at the Mahtay Cafe for a hot beverage we headed out on the rest of the route. Back at the Market Square cheers and noisemakers greeted us, along with the tantalizing aromas of homemade soup, stew and chili. Most people hung around for a bowl of homemade goodness from one of the high schools, and maybe even a cookie or two while listening to the music and chatting with other people who worked to support Start Me Up and the Coldest Night of the Year Walk.
While the evening ended back in the warmth, drying off our feet and warming our hands, the work that we did for this fundraiser has only just begun. With this incredible achievement we can begin to realize the dream of buying our facility at 17 Gale Crescent. At Start Me Up, we live the saying – “Alone I can't, Together we can!”