Residents of Okotoks joined 144 cities nationwide walking for the homeless, the hurting and the hungry on Saturday, February 22nd for the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser.

CNOY is a family-friendly national walk-a-thon that helps people raise funds for local charities that serve hungry, homeless and hurting people in communities all across Canada.

Pamela Morgan founder and President of Baby it's Cold Outside co-hosted the walk with Pamela McLean the Executive Director of the Okotoks Food Bank.

Morgan was very happy with the turn out for the first time running the event and she said the community support and participation were outstanding.

"We had over 120 individuals between walkers and volunteers," said Morgan.

The event involves a family-friendly 2 km walk which raises funds and awareness for Baby it's Cold Outside and the Okotoks Food Bank.

Morgan expressed delight with the participation from the community and she said the event raised over $15,000, which will be split between the two charities.

The weather co-operated on Saturday and the walkers had a relatively pleasant evening to walk outside but Morgan reminds us of the hardship many people endure on a daily basis and the importance of helping those in need of food and shelter.

"It was so lovely out, and we know that's not always the case. The privilege that we have is that we get to then go and have a nice hot meal." she continued "We just really want to emphasize that with with the 'Coldest Night of the Year' our focus is the hungry, the hurting, and the homeless. Not everyone has that privilege."

Morgan believes everyone deserves a hot meal and a roof over their heads.

"It really shouldn't be a privilege, it should be a right for everyone to have safe shelter and food," said Morgan.

She said the business support was amazing with donations coming in from all over the community and she commends all the businesses that supported the event.

"I want to do a shout out to our sponsors. We had 94 Take the Cake, she designed and made cookies with the CNOY logo on them. We also had Cobbs Bread, and Miles Design and Display and the Royal Bank. Save On foods donated all the food for the community meal for the end of the walk." explained Morgan.

With so much community and business support, Morgan is hoping she did not miss mentioning anyone in her list of appreciation.

"We just had so much local support, it was fantastic," she added.

As a long time resident of Okotoks Morgan said she is not shocked by the support and participation from the community.

"I've lived in Okotoks for 24 years and even though we are getting larger in size, our hearts are just getting equally as large." she expressed.

As for the future, Morgan says they will definitely be continuing to hold this event every year.

"Next year we are looking easily to double if not triple our results," exclaimed Morgan.

The opportunity to donate is still open until the end of the month and people wishing to do so can go to CNOY Okotoks to place their donation.


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