KITCHENER -- The streets of downtown Kitchener were flooded with people walking for a good cause.

The 10th annual “Coldest Night of the Year” fundraiser event returned to the city to benefit the Ray of Hope Community Centre.

The centre provides 250 meals on a daily basis to those in need, run a food hamper program, offer shower and laundry facilities, as well as art and music programs.

While the temperatures were ironically comfortable, the mission remained the same: to give walkers an idea of what homeless people deal with on a daily basis.

“It drives home the point that tonight there’s thousands across Canada that are going to be on the street and they come back a little tired and cold,” said Scott Brush of Ray of Hope. “Not that cold tonight, but there are thousands of Canadians and we are here to help.”

Organizers say the 700 people who signed up and their $180,000 raised marks the event’s most successful year.

Participants could choose to walk two, five, or a full ten kilometres and were invited back to the community centre afterwards to warm up with a bowl of soup.