BRIDGEWATER - The Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser for Souls Harbour Rescue Mission in Bridgewater exceeded expectations.
The national event used to raise funds for local charities serving people experiencing hurt, hunger and homelessness, was held Feb. 25.
Souls Harbour set a goal of $20,000 to raise for their mission. They surpassed that goal and raised $26,334 thanks to the efforts of 107 walkers that walked a two-or-five kilometre walk around town.
Manager John Christensen said the money stays local to help them feed the hungry through daily hot meals, fill the outdoor pantry put in place by the Lions Club, pay salaries and run their free mart clothing centre.
It was his first event with the mission and has heard that "we had a lot more people that came and toured the house this year. I think we were able to reach a much wider audience and expose new people to what we do here."
The house was used as a warm-up station for the walkers.
He also noted that many people stayed for the chili and soup meal at the start/end location at St. Paul's Lutheran Church and said "it was encouraging" that many people stayed around to visit and that he had to let people know that they were allowed to leave.