Coldest Night of the Year in Stratford Celebrates Success

Stratford, ON – Stratford/Perth Shelterlink and United Way Perth-Huron (UWPH) are proud to announce results from the Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) event in Stratford.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to CNOY in Stratford this year,” said Shelterlink Board Chair and President Martin Ritsma, who is also UWPH campaign co-chair. “Raising $100,000 is just phenomenal. Only 26 communities across Canada raised that much and all of them are much larger cities. Our achievement demonstrates the compassion and caring of this area. Thank you to everyone who walked and donated. Your generosity will have an incredible, positive impact on the lives of vulnerable kids locally.”

“Over the past seven years, I’ve been happy to support Shelterlink through Coldest Night,” added Graham Bunting, team captain for the Stratford Slip Sliders — Stratford CNOY’s top fundraising team — and Stratford city councillor. “The thing I appreciate most about Shelterlink is it’s not simply a roof over the heads of homeless youth; it also provides personalized supports to suit their needs. Supports to graduate high school, counselling services and assistance and encouragement in finding employment to become self-sufficient.”

In total, 230 walkers including 48 teams raised $100,250 for CNOY, 143 per cent of the original goal of $70,000. The top five fundraising teams include Stratford Slip Sliders ($8,950.90), Team Nater ($5,350), CFUW Stratford ($4,730), Home Run ($4,135) and Parkview United Church ($4,022). Top five fundraising individuals include Tyler Ryan, Grace Erb, Dan Mathieson, Denise Nonomura and Graham Bunting. Donations are accepted at until the end of March. People are invited to view the CNOY Stratford celebration video on UWPH’s Facebook page. Please save the date for next year’s CNOY on February 26, 2022. We hope to be walking #UnitedTogether instead of #UnitedApart for those experiencing homelessness, hunger and hurt in the community.

Proceeds from CNOY help Shelterlink support vulnerable local youth experiencing, or at-risk of experiencing, homelessness. Proceeds also go toward UWPH’s Urgent Needs Fund, supporting local residents in a time of crisis with money for essentials like rent, groceries and medication. Event sponsors include Lead sponsor Scotiabank, Ideal Supply, McDonald’s, Klomp’s Landscaping Inc., Monteith Ritsma Phillips LLP, Peter Maranger & Associates Inc., MNP, Home & Company Real Estate, West End Pharmacy and Coventry Animal Hospital.

About Stratford/Perth Shelterlink
Stratford/Perth Shelterlink provides Perth County youth ages 16-24, who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, with shelter, basic needs, support, community aid and advocacy services. For more information visit or call 519-272-2294.

About United Way Perth-Huron
UWPH is a 100% local organization working to address #UNIGNORABLE issues like poverty, homelessness and mental health in our communities. Thanks to United Way and people across the region, over 34,000 of the most vulnerable in Perth and Huron Counties have a brighter future. To show your #LocalLove by donating or volunteering, call 519-271-7730 or 1-877-818-8867, mail to 32 Erie Street, Stratford, ON N5A 2M4 or visit

CFUW-Stratford Walked virtually an in-person on February 20, 2021 and raised over $4700.00!

Visit the Website at The Coldest Night of the Year 2021