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Covenant House Vancouver
VANCOUVER — More than four dozen Vancouver-area executives, celebrities and community leaders traded their usual comforts for a freezing night in a downtown alley to raise money for a program helping street youth. In all, 54 participants — ranging from Vancouver Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi to A-List chef David Hawksworth and numerous actors and media personalities — braved temperatures that hovered near freezing Thursday night to raise funds for Covenant House Vancouver's crisis program. Equipped with just a sleeping bag and a piece of cardboard for a mattress, the group received a first-hand education about the discomfort and danger facing youth at risk. Organizers say the sleepers raised more than $670,000 during the uncomfortable night before gathering Friday morning to discuss their experiences. Participants agreed sleeping outside for one night does not compare to the reality of doing it night after night but say it offered a glimpse into feeling cold, wet, exposed and vulnerable out in the open. Vancouver joined 15 other cities across North America taking part in Sleep Out 2015, including Toronto, New York, N.Y. and Washington, D.C.