Warm hearts get some cold feet for the homeless

From left: Kevin Loseth, Valerie Loseth, Stacey Buga and Travis Loseth lead the Cold Feet, Warm Hearts pack in Feb. 25’s Coldest Night of the Year event in downtown Edmonton. – MorinvilleNews.com staff Photo

By MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Morinville – It may not have been the coldest night of the year, as the event was called, but it certainly was the heaviest snowfall of the year with approximately 17 centimetres falling Friday night and through the day Saturday. A dozen Morinville and Bon Accord residents trudged through all of that accumulated whiteness for 5 kilometres Saturday night to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless and to raise money for the Hope Mission in Edmonton.

A total of 146 walkers took to the streets Saturday night, raising $35,158 for the Hope Mission, an organization that provides emergency care to more than 800 people each day as well as counselling and referral services for men, women, and youth. The Coldest Night of the Year walk, part of a national fundraiser for homeless shelters and organizations, raised $575,406 nationally and drew 467 teams made up of a total of 2,707 walkers.

Cold Feet, Warm Hearts team members Petrina and Mike LaRocque, along with their daughter, are interviewed by City TV prior to Saturday night’s walk. – MorinvilleNews.com staff Photo
Calling themselves Cold Feet, Warm Hearts, the 12 locals from Morinville and Bon Accord spent the past couple weeks canvasing friends and neighbours for donations for their 5 km walk in downtown Edmonton, a sojourn that took them along the very streets the homeless walk each and every day, often without the heavy boots and heavier clothing many of the walkers wore. The Morinville team raised $2,325 for the cause and placed fourth out of the 19 Edmonton teams in fundraising.

“I’m so proud of what our team did tonight,” said team captain Valerie Loseth after the Feb. 25 walk. “Although we are from a community that does not face homelessness on a daily basis, we have a lot of caring people who were willing to give up their time and or money to better the life of another human being.”

The Cold Feet, Warm Hearts captain said the snowy walk gave her team a chance to experience in a small way what it is like for those they were walking in support of. “The five kilometre walk was enjoyable even though it was tough walking through the accumulated snow,” she said. “But in the great scheme of things it was nothing compared to what the people on the streets have to deal with all the time.”

For participant Eva Scrimshaw, participation in the walk was a reminder to be thankful for what she has and mindful of those less fortunate.

“I was happy to be a part of this amazing cause with a team of amazing community members,” Scrimshaw said. “I had peace of mind knowing my family was at home safe and sound. I was warm because I over prepared myself for the weather. I knew that when I got home I had someone there waiting for me to ensure I was safe. I knew I was going home to a hot shower and filling my belly with food. I knew I had friends I was going to visit that were excited to see me.”

The walker said the same certainties of life to not apply for the homeless. “Unfortunately for the homeless none of these securities apply; its’ a daily battle for food and shelter, a constant struggle.,” she said. “Reminds me of a song – ‘If you ever had to walk a mile in their shoes, then you really might know what it’s like to sing the blues.’”

The team Cold Feet, Warm Hearts team consisted of Stacey Buga, Valerie Loseth, Eva Scrimshaw, Gayle Boyd, Stephen Dafoe, Travis Loseth, A.D. Richardson, Petrina LaRocque, Jainalee LaRocque, Kevin Loseth, Mike LaRocque, Douglas Forcade and Bon Accord Mayor Randy Boyd.

A total of 146 walkers participated in a 5 km or 10 km walk in support of the Hope Mission Feb. 25.
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