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'I think folks just simply wanted to get out'

Coldest Night of the Year beats its goal despite COVID-19 challenges
20210223 coldest night of the year
Coldest Night of the Year registration on Cassells Street in North Bay on Saturday. Photo courtesy Facebook.

North Bay's Coldest Night of the Year event was different but still successful. 

Dennis Chippa, the event organizer and executive director of the Gathering Place soup kitchen in North Bay says more than 170 walkers from 31 teams gathered $48,000 for the local soup kitchen fundraiser, which surpasses this year's goal.  

Instead of large groups heading out collectively from the Cassells Street starting point, teams were asked to walk independently and share their videos and photos through social media. Only the team captains showed up to register or bring in funds.  

"The unique thing was how connected we were this year virtually," admitted Chippa.  

"Teams are out walking and they are taking pictures and they are doing videos for us so that is a unique thing because in the past we would all leave together."

See related: Gathering Place's Coldest Night to shine a light in the darkness 

While the in-person fellowship was not there this year, Chippa says the good news is the new format allows teams to continue to walk and raise funds until the end of the month.  

People are still walking," said Chippa.   

"The thing about Coldest Night is Saturday night we are done, we go home and a quick meeting on the Monday and talk about what we are going to do for next year. This year we are still going to be working with teams through the next week at least which is different." 

Funds raised will support the Gathering Place’s day-to-day activities, including 16 meals, 12 food outreach locations, food rescue and the community garden, all of which provides support both locally and throughout the district.

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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