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April 13, 2024 April 13, 2024

Coldest Night of the Year happens next Saturday

Posted on February 15, 2024 by Taber Times

By Heather Cameron
Taber Times
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Taber’s Coldest Night of the Year Walk will be held on February 24 at the Taber Community Centre beginning at 5 p.m. 

“The purpose of this walk is to bring awareness to homelessness and food insecurities,” said Mary Van Geest, Assistant Manager and Events Organizer at Taber Food Bank.

Registration, Van Geest says, will open at 4 p.m. on the day in the white room at the Community Centre and once participants have registered, they will then be invited to gather outside in preparation of the 5 p.m. start time. At 5 p.m. Geest says, the mayor and a few others will give short speeches and thank yous to everyone for coming together for the great event before the walk begins.

“At this time, all the participants are sent off to do either 2km or 5km walk, whichever distance the participant had signed up to fundraise for,” said Geest. “The route is mapped out ahead of time by our route marshals which have been used in the past years. The walk usually takes one hour, once the participants have completed their walk, they will come back to the Community Centre for hot dogs which are graciously donated by Taber Co-op and a few other snacks/beverages provided by our local Tim Hortons.”

The fundraising goal, Geest says, is to reach $20,000 with the help of the community and sponsors.

“Our local charities all come together to help with homelessness/food insecurities,” said Geest. “We at the Food Bank work with the following agencies: Safe Haven, FCSS, My City Care, Taber Library, and St. Vincent De Paul to help as many individuals as possible that are seeking help/shelter/food insecurities. I started fundraising for CNOY in December right up to the day of the event on February 24.”

Geest states that in 2022, with help from the community, the Taber Food Bank served 475 unique pounds of food and served 151 children (0-17 years), 292 adults (18-64 years), 32 seniors (65+), 255 females, and 219 males.

Geest says that if any local business would like to sponsor the Coldest Night of the Year, they are invited to contact her at 403.223.1833 or asstmgr@taberfoodbank.ca. 

If anyone would like to register for the event either as a participant or volunteer, Geest says, they are welcome to do so at http://www.CNOY.org or contact her at 403.223.1833 or asstmgr@taberfoodbank.ca.

“Businesses, schools, churches, individuals, anyone can participate,” said Geest. “We had little ones in strollers all the way to our elderly. It’s a great, fun event for everyone to participate in.”

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