August 21st, 2019

Gearing up for the coldest night of the year

By Mo Cranker on January 8, 2018.

Jennifer Kumm stands with a Coldest Night of the Year sign Saturday morning at the Family Leisure Centre. The Hope Street Compassionate Ministry Centre will be holding the annual walk in February to raise funds for its services. --NEWS PHOTO MO CRANKER

The Hope Street Compassionate Ministry Centre is hoping 2018 will be a big year the organization.

The group’s first big event of the year will be the Coldest Night of the Year walk on Feb. 24, a fundraiser that has grown in size over the years says Hope Street’s executive director Murray Kumm.

“Today (Saturday) we’re holding a launch party for our Coldest Night of the Year event at the Family Leisure Centre,” said Kumm. “This is our fourth event coming up and it is a family-friendly walking fundraiser. It is being held in 110 or more locations in Canada, and we’re all walking on February 24th to support local charities. In Medicine Hat, we’re walking for Hope Street.”

Over the past three years the event has raised roughly $51,000 for Hope Street, which helps fund the group’s annual operating budget.

“A big thing we have is our Sunday afternoon safe meal down at St. Barnabas Anglican Church every Sunday,” said Kumm. “The money we raise here is going to stay here. We want to raise about $30,000 this year, which would be about half of our annual operating budget.”

Kumm says he sees dozens every week during the warm meal program, which shows there is a need in the city.

“The city has done a good job with chronic homelessness, but there is still people out there who need some help,” he said. “There’s still a high population of disadvantaged people and we see around 85 people every week to come get a meal. It’s the young families, the working poor or the elderly that may have some money coming in, but just don’t have enough to get to the end of the month.”

There will be two, five and 10 kilometre routes at the event, and Kumm says he is hoping to get a lot of teams signing up and for people to volunteer at the walk.

“It’s a great time to go for a walk with your friends or family,” he said. “Volunteers are also very much needed. We usually have about 40-50 people on the 10-kilometre route, so we definitely need people to volunteer even if they don’t want to walk.”

For more information on the event, to register or to volunteer, go to or call Kumm at 403-458-4673 (HOPE).

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