The Rotaract Club of Niagara was pleased and honoured to be a part of 2018’s Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY), which took place the evening of February 24th.  CNOY is a nationwide event that raises awareness and funds for individuals and families experiencing hunger, homelessness, and hurt all across Canada. 
The walk began at 5:15 pm in 121 locations throughout the nation, and consisted of over 19,000 participants.  Rotaract Niagara contributed seven walkers at three of the 121 locations:  Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, and Welland.  With the help and support of many sponsors including Rotarians, family and friends, and others, the event was a success.  After the walk, Rotaract Niagara raised just over 1,800 dollars, tripling the initial goal they had set out to accomplish.  Rotaract also ran a bottle drive, collecting bottles from sponsors and wineries in the region in order to increase funds.
Each location walked in support of an established initiative that provides support systems and resources for community members in need.  St. Catharines teams raised money for Start Me Up Niagara, which provides support to those facing difficult life changes such as unemployment or mental illness.  Pictured above, is the St. Catharines team looking enthusiastic during its 10K walk.  In Welland, walkers supported Open Arms Missions, which aims to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the community.  Pictured on the right, the Welland team with Leslie Bellingham of Open Arms Missions.  Last but not least, Niagara Falls walkers raised funds for Project SHARE, an initiative that mobilizes resources for those under the poverty line. 

As of yet, CNOY has reached 99% of its 4.5 million dollar goal, and is still accepting donations until March 31st.  This walk takes place every year, and provides an opportunity for all participants to learn about the struggles that so many Canadians face, and contribute to the organizations that are working to identify and meet the pressing needs of millions of Canadians.  Visit for more information.