Overnight rooftop fundraiser shatters target

·4 min read

The Powassan and District Food Bank is the big winner after Kathie Hogan spent the night on the rooftop of the local Home Hardware.

A few weeks ago, Hogan, the events coordinator at 250 Clark, announced she would spend a night on the roof if residents and businesses raised $1,000 for the food bank.

Not only was the target met, it was shattered as $9,400 was raised.

True to her word and wearing several layers of clothing, Hogan climbed a ladder to the roof of the Main Street business and spent overnight Tuesday huddled in a tent with a wool blanket and lantern.

Hogan admits when she first set the target of $1,000 she didn't believe it was achievable.

“I guess people were excited to see me freeze my a.. off,” Hogan said Wednesday morning after climbing down at 7 a.m.

Hogan decided to help the food bank ensure its shelves remain stocked because COVID-19 has made it tough this year for many families.

“Incredible is the word I would use to describe people's generosity,” she said in response to the response.

“It's been a devastating year for many people, many jobs are on the line and businesses will be shuttered in 2021. But people are still generous. Christmas is coming and we know there will be quite a few families that are going to have a hard time. So people gave.”

When Hogan decided last month that Dec. 1 would be the night for her rooftop adventure, little did she know the region would get a heavy dumping of snow under windy conditions.

Environment Canada had forecast the blast of winter a few days ago, but Hogan wasn't going to let it deter her.

At 6 p.m., when Home Hardware closed for the day, Hogan climbed up the ladder staff had put in place at the rear of the store.

Prior to that, the employees also set up the tent Hogan would call home for the next 13 hours.

The launch was a low-key affair with only a food bank official on hand.

Afterwards, friends, neighbours and co-workers showed up to encourage Hogan.

She did some FaceTime with her friends and did a live Facebook story reading before settling in for the night at 9 p.m. and going to sleep.

Hogan says the amount of snow and strong wind made her a little nervous at first. But Hogan wasn't afraid, adding she spends a great deal of time outdoors.

Hogan says the tent did its job keeping her dry. In fact, she had to remove some of her clothing because she was becoming too warm.

As the evening marched forward and the street became quieter, Hogan became more aware of little things.

One thing she noticed was how the snow would accumulate on the sides of the tent and then fall off. Hogan says the sound of that falling snow was similar to mice running on a floor.

Hogan woke up once at about 2 a.m., and then was awoken two hours later by the horn blasts of the public works crew driving by in their plow as they got ready to remove the snow off the streets for morning traffic.

But Hogan says she had no problems falling asleep again.

In fact, she says, “I slept more on the roof than I do at home.”

Hogan says Home Hardware was behind her all the way.

“Their generosity is unsurpassed,” she says.

Not only did co-owner Tom Morrow make sure Hogan had all the equipment she would need to stay on the rooftop, Hogan says the business also contributed $2,000 to the fundraiser.

“My thanks to Home hardware,” she says. “They went over and above. It's things like this that help make small towns great.”

After climbing down the ladder and warming up with a coffee at Echoes Restaurant just down the street, Hogan began the job of collecting all the donation jars she had placed in the businesses in Powassan and Trout Creek.

Asked if she would do it again Hogan said “in a heartbeat because it's for a good cause.”

But, she quickly adds, she would prefer nicer weather next time.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget