CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Feb. 20, 2014) - Nearly 400 people and 50 teams from Calgary will join in a nation-wide effort to walk on what is statistically the coldest night of the year, getting a feel for what it is like to live outside and raising money for local agencies supporting the homeless, hungry and hurting.

"The forecast for Saturday night is a low of -19 degrees," said Bishop Fred Henry, Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary. "It's pretty remarkable to think that in these kinds of temperatures people are sleeping outside. This walk is a tangible way to make a difference for Calgary's homeless, hungry and hurting."

The walk will be held on February 22, 2014 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., with participants walking a 2, 5 or 10 km route. The walk begins at St. Mary's Hall, located at 221 - 18 Ave. SW and walkers will have rest stops along the way, including at local emergency shelters. Calgary walkers have exceeded expectations with their fundraising efforts.

"We started with a goal of $40,000, but the response has been so amazing we are now over $90,000!" said Geoff Zakaib, KAIROS Calgary. "It just goes to show that when Calgarians set their mind to something, great things happen."

Coldest Night walks will take place on the same night in an anticipated 65 cities from coast to coast in Canada. This is Calgary's first year participating in the walk and it is hosted by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary and KAIROS Calgary. Community sponsors include X92.9 FM, Boardwalk Rental Communities, LifeMark Physiotherapy, TAC Solutions and Ian & Serena Donovan. Nearly 60 volunteers are also helping out at the walk.

Proceeds of the walk will be split equally between two local charities. The Calgary Homeless Foundation owns and operates Acadia Place, a 58-unit affordable housing complex in southeast Calgary that houses families who were formerly homeless. Proceeds from the walk will pay down their mortgage, safe guarding low rents for tenants. Feed the Hungry serves a sit-down five-course dinner to approximately 500 guests from Calgary's homeless and low-income families. Feed the Hungry will continue to provide quality, traditional style Sunday dinners to their guest each week in the heart of Calgary.

Coldest Night of the Year:

Contact Information:

Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary
Samantha Jones
Associate Director, Charities and Development
Office: 403 218 5531 or Cell: 403 401 7731