The streets of Pembroke were flooded with walkers last weekend.

On Saturday night, Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew County and The Grind in Pembroke hosted their Coldest Night of the Year event which is a national walk-o-thon to fight homelessness.

Event director David Studham says he was very happy with this year’s edition. He says they had a great turnout with 34 teams, making a total of 186 walkers. He said the walkers did a great job getting pledges which totalled $14 000. Added to the $26 000 that was raised online, Studham says the total amount was around $40 000. He points out that it’s not over. He still hopes they can attain their $50 000 goal by the official deadline of March 31st.

The event started with their opening ceremony which had the Mayor of Pembroke, the deputy Mayor of Petawawa as well as MP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke Cheryl Gallant all in attendance. Studham says they were originally worried about the weather as Pembroke streets were slushy but says that when it was all said and done, conditions were livable and walkers came back to home base with a smile.

The Coldest Night of the Year is an event that happens on the same day nationwide in 125 communities he says. In total, they’ve raised five million dollars this year alone. Studham says that homelessness is very real, even in Renfrew County. They have already started to put together an event for our youth called Coldest Day of the Year in order to raise awareness and grow their annual fundraiser in schools. As for the next walk-o-thon, he says they’ve already scheduled it for February 22, 2020.