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Coldest Night of the Year 2024 Recap

Choices for Youth (CFY) hosted the 11th annual Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) walk on Saturday, February 24 at Atlantic Place in downtown St. John’s. It certainly wasn’t the coldest night of the year, with temperatures well above zero degrees throughout the day, however, a cold wind still blew throughout the walk, serving as a sharp reminder to the approximately 350 walkers of the harshness of the winter season. This reminder is what CNOY is all about – the community coming together to take a step outside the warmth and comfort of our daily lives to show solidarity with people experiencing hurt, hunger and homelessness.

Walkers arrived in droves at Atlantic Place to check in for the walk, assemble into their teams, and collect some CNOY swag – including an awesome new CNOY touque for participants who raised $150 or more. Jumping Bean provided tea and coffee to keep the energy flowing as photographers Alick Tsui and Trevor snapped pics of those in attendance as they filled out a snowflake for our wall of walkers and socialized while waiting for the walk to officially begin.

HOT 99.1 FM was on site again this year and Brad and Keleigh got the crowd pumped up before inviting CFY Executive Director Sheldon Pollett to the stage. Sheldon spoke about the importance of the event and how much of an impact it has on the CFY teams and programs. Sheldon also announced the top fundraising teams for this year, with Hatch Frosties, Joe’s Team, and St. John’s Kinsmen leading the way.

Katie Keats, Manager of Fund Development and Communications at CFY then took the stage to announce that this year’s walk had already raised over $86,000 – shattering last year’s fundraising total of $71,000. With this year’s funds added CFY’s CNOY walks have now raised over half a million dollars!

The column of walkers departed from Atlantic Place shortly after 4 pm to traverse a 2.5km route around downtown St. John’s. Our amazing Route Marshall volunteers made navigating the route a breeze as the procession made its way along Water Street then up to Queen’s Road and eventually to Duckworth Street, where the walkers took a quick break at the Rest Stop setup out front of the CFY office. Volunteers from Starbucks, one of the event’s sponsors, had hundreds of cups of hot chocolate poured and ready, providing the walkers with a quick burst of energy needed to push through the walk’s final stretch.

Cups in hand the walkers continued past the war memorial and down to the harbour before returning to Atlantic Place just after 5 pm for sandwiches and cookies courtesy of Jumping Bean. The crowd munched, mingled and chatted – Families, student groups, work teams and more – a truly diverse group of individuals from different walks of life all united to support those in need. By 6 pm the event had cleared out and a sense of tranquility had descended over Atlantic Place, a far cry from the hustle and bustle of just an hour prior.

CNOY 2024 was undoubtedly a massive success. At the time of this writing, CNOY 2024 has raised $90,743 in support of CFY programs and services – the most money ever raised by a CFY fundraiser. There is still time to donate as we push to reach $100,000. You can help us reach this milestone as donations are still being accepted until March 31. Visit to donate today.

Events like CNOY 2024 would not be possible without the support of our amazing sponsors. Thanks to our Lead Sponsors, Atlantic Edge Credit Union and Reddy Kilowatt Credit Union; Supporting Sponsors, Lindsay Construction and Belairdirect; Rest Stop Sponsor The Home Depot; Route Sponsors, Avalon Mall, The Co-operators, Medavie Blue Cross, and Stewart McKelvey Law; Media Sponsor HOT 99.1 FM; and Good and Services Sponsors, Alick Tsui Photography, Bartlett Auction House, iDesign, Jumping Bean Coffee, Martek Morgan Finch, and Starbucks.

Written by Chris Morris

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