Coldest Night of the Year 2024 campaign begins
United Way Perth-Huron and Shelterlink Youth Services are hoping for more participation and fundraising for the upcoming Coldest Night of the Year walk to support those facing homelessness. The Coldest Night of the Year walk will return to Stratford’s Upper Queens Park on February 24, 2024. The press release from the United Way Perth-Huron said the in-person walk starts at the Upper Queens Park bandshell and will circuit around Avon River. Walkers will return to the bandshell and enjoy dinner courtesy of Soup Surreal. The event check-in begins at 4 p.m. and opening ceremonies start at 5 p.m. “Our event is fun, but our cause is serious,” Sonya Heyen, manager of resource development and communications at United Way Perth-Huron, said. “We need the compassionate and caring people to make a stand and show solidarity for people facing homelessness and that's why we walk on a cold evening." The Coldest Night of the Year Walk aims to raise $180,000 for Shelterlink Youth Services and the Connection Centre, run by the United Way Perth-Huron. The event raised $152,419 during their 2023 walk. Shelterlink Youth Services provides emergency services and outreach for youth 16 to 24-years-old in Perth County who are either experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. The Connection Centre provides shelter, showers, laundry, and hot meals at St. Paul’s Anglican Church for those facing homelessness in Stratford.