Opinion: March without a blockade is an unexpected headline these days

If you were around Ladner last Saturday, you may have seen a march go through town. It was a quieter march, no big banners or signs, just a bunch of people with grey and blue toques heading along Arthur Drive and Ladner Trunk Road.

No traffic was stopped, although it was getting crowed at the crosswalks. Everyone waited for the light to change, though.

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It wasn’t a protest, it was a fundraiser. The annual Coldest Night of the Year walk took place, raising money for Deltassist.

CNOY is a national program that helps local charities raise money for the “hungry, homeless and hurting.” There were 144 walks across Canada that raised nearly $6 million to help those in need.

This was the first time the event was held in Ladner after two years in North Delta. I have to say, it was quite a pleasant evening, not nearly the coldest night of the year, at least for us. A quick look on Twitter shows a lot of other events that had a much colder evening on their hands. They had snow, we had sun. So I guess that makes our walk the warmest Coldest Night of the Year. Typical for us, I guess.

The great part was all the support that came from the community. In Delta, we raised nearly $27,000 and counting that will go to programs for food security, seniors and kids.

It was also great to get the support of Mayor George Harvie, Coun. Dylan Kruger, police Chief Neil Dubord and South Delta MLA Ian Paton who all came out and walked with us. MLA Ravi Kahlon and MP Carla Qualtrough had planned to attend, but had to send regrets. With both being in respective governments, I think they had other marches that needed their attention.

As much as people like to complain about politicians, when you are in office, there’s no such thing as a weekend or time off when there’s a job to be done, or a community to support.

Deltassist also had great support from many local businesses that contributed funds, food and brought teams out to walk. After a brisk five-kilometre walk, the soup the participants got at the end was very welcome, as were the apples and donuts at city hall part way through.

As much as we don’t like to think it, there are people in our community that are struggling. It’s pretty well hidden, but every once in a while shows itself through different programs, like the Christmas Toy Depot. These are also times that the community comes out and helps, residents and local businesses alike. The mayor and council have also been very supportive, and plan on more as Harvie mentioned in his welcome to the group.

I don’t often take the time to walk through Ladner, the view is usually absorbed though a car window on my way somewhere. It was a nice evening, with lots of great people to chat with, all for a good cause.

And did I mention the donuts? There were donuts. Hmmm, donuts…

Many thanks to all who came out, and all that supported Deltassist.

Brad Sherwin, MBA is a long-time resident of South Delta, and has over 30 years’ experience in marketing, public relations and business strategy. He teaches marketing at Douglas College, coaches hockey goalies and is past president of Deltassist.

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