The Mustard Seed Kamloops’ Coldest Night of the Year has found a way to continue the annual event, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two-kilometre walkathon, which traditionally sees a group of people traversing the downtown together after collecting pledges, will be completed this year via solo excursions.
The non-profit is encouraging participants to walk their own routes when the event takes place on Saturday, Feb. 20 — or earlier if they have a hectic schedule — and share photos and videos of their treks on social media.
This year’s fundraising goal is $20,000 and will be used to purchase new bedroom mattresses for the Mustard Seed’s men’s supportive living facility and to help create more outreach programs.
“The Coldest Night of the Year is one of our most popular fundraisers and I am thrilled to announce we have made plans to continue the tradition,” said Kelly Thomson, managing director of The Mustard Seed. “We know this pandemic has been difficult, but are excited so many people are committing to supporting this fundraiser.”
Participants are encouraged to register through Kamloops’ CNOY page before Feb. 19.
In compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols, an appreciation drive-thru will be set up in the north parking lot at the Sandman Centre on Feb. 20, between 2 p.m. an 4 p.m. A roped off area will be operated by sponsors and staff where participants can pick up pre-packed thank-you bags. There will also be an area for supporters to drop off additional funds that have not been collected online.
So far, 33 people have signed up and raised $2,700.
Last year’s event raised more than $30,000, surpassing its $26,000 goal.
This year’s goal is not as lofty, given the financial impact of the pandemic, with Mustard Seed hoping to raise $20,000.