Planning for a fundraising event that allows to gather people to walk in groups in the middle of a pandemic is a challenging feat that requires tons of Hail Mary's and a lot of luck. But the residents of the City of Lloydminster have proven again that neither a second wave nor the discovery of the COVID-19 variants could stop their generosity rolling for the Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) to help raise funds for the Lloydminster Social Action Coalition Society (LSACS). CNOY is the annual Canada-wide fundraising event for local shelters hosted by FundHub.
With time against the side of the organizers to make the in-person walk-in happen, the LSACS Board decided to move the entirety of the CNOY event online, an easy decision considering the surging COVID-19 positive cases in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the two provinces that split the City. It was also imperative that the health and safety of all individuals who registered to walk and volunteer during the event is taken into consideration.
The changes in event set-up had all 13 teams asked to do their respective virtual walks in their convenience, and were given several options on how to safely proceed following social distancing measures. Some opted to walk simultaneously on the thread mill while others convene at the Bud Miller All Seasons Park on the day of the event. To the braver ones, catching the tail end of the previous cold snap before February 20th seem like a dare they happily accepted and victoriously conquered.
Three days removed from the event, the society has raised more than its target of $20,000, and the CNOY.org donation page is still counting and verifying post-event donations; reason good enough for the LSACS to be grateful once more to everyone who walked, donated, worked and volunteered in the event.
The money raised from the CNOY event will be used in the operation of the society's essential community service facilities located in the City. The Lloydminster Men's Shelter houses 28 bed dormitory for sober men without a home and also serves meals to both dorm and walk-in clients. The Lloydminster Community Drop-In Centre located at the Anglican Church offers a warm place and a full day meal area for men, women and families; and the Gibney House allows former shelter clients to transition back and contribute to the community.
For more information on how to get involved in the work and services of the society, you can visit its website at www.lsacs.ca or call 306.825.3977.