Coldest Night of the Year to feature inflatable costumes

Submitted photo/YWCA Inflatable costumes worn by YWCA members are a new addition to the Coldest Night of the Year walk-a-thon.

The Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) will feature a wacky addition this year.

CNOY is a fundraiser for the Prince Albert YWCA that sees participants undertake a two or five kilometer walk with more than 16 teams and 140 participants.

The goal for the event is to raise $70,000 for the Prince Albert YWCA. At the time of publishing, the event had raised $49,400.

Jesse Powalinsky is the Communications and Development Officer for the Prince Albert YWCA. She says the event is important for the YWCA because the funds raised can be used anywhere the organization sees fit.

“We use that money to get items that some of our grants and funding may otherwise not cover. It doesn’t come with strings attached, like a lot of our funding agreements do.”

One addition to the event this year will be YWCA staff members wearing inflatable costumes during the walk. For every $10,000 raised, one additional YWCA staff member will wear a costume.

If the fundraising goal is reached, YWCA CEO Donna Brooks will wear a costume as voted upon by the Prince Albert YWCA’s Facebook page.

Powalinsky says the idea for staff members to wear costumes came to be from one participant in last year’s event.

“One of our walkers of their own volition showed up in an inflatable unicorn costume. They were so excited to wear it and to walk in the walk and participate in it. It kind of inspired us to go, ‘maybe we should wear some costumes’ and that’s kind of how we ended up with staff wearing wacky inflatable costumes and walking in the CNOY.”

The event begins with check-in at 4 p.m. at Plaza 88 with festivities expected to conclude around 7 p.m.

The Prince Albert YWCA provides emergency shelter, supportive housing, and other assistance to vulnerable residents. It also provides services and programs to residents who have recently moved to the Prince Albert region.