More than 500 Edmontonians bundled up to face plummeting temperatures Saturday evening, joining more than 21,000 people across the country walking in the Coldest Night of the Year to raise funds for local organizations combating homelessness. Edmonton was home to two of the 133 events taking place across Canada, with participants raising funds and then bracing the cold for a 2, 5 or 10-km walk. Even with frigid conditions at the start of the walk, spirits were high at the Boyle Street Plaza as the 330 downtown walkers shattered the ambitious fundraising goal of $100,000 two days before. Funds raised will go to the Bissell Centre and support its new community space. “We’re just super ecstatic at how people have rallied around the cause to help people get in from out of the cold,” Bissell Centre communications manager Devin Komarniski said. “It is something unique about Edmonton that people want to rally around important things.” The current fundraising total of $118,324.80 for the Bissell Centre is the fifth highest in the country. There are also three Edmonton teams in the top 20 across Canada, the only city to do so. Team Adlyn Executes, led by captain Josh Hudon, raised more than $25,000 after an ambitious starting goal of $60,000. The south Edmonton walk raising funds for The Mustard Seed’s Neighbour Centre also crushed its goal of $35,000, raising more than $41,000. Downtown city councillor Scott McKeen took part with his team Bissell Besties saying it is a small way for Edmontonians to show their support toward ending homelessness across the city. “It educates a lot of people about the need and how they can, in a lot of small ways, contribute,” McKeen said before embarking on the brisk downtown walk. He said the city has made major steps forward in combating homelessness including allocating $137 million to the effort in the tight budget. But the fight isn’t over.“We have unfinished business,” McKeen said. “We got to get there.”Weather conditions for the walk — although bitterly cold at -17 C with a wind chill of -25 C — presented a good opportunity for walkers to see what some residents experience every day.“It’s just a little taste of the difficult realities of those who live on the street, who walk for kilometres a day on the street and often times without winter gear,” Komarniski said.The recent deep freeze has “been brutal” on the homeless community, said Komarniski, and the city isn’t out of the woods yet with wind chill expected to play a major factor in the next few days.Central LRT station will remain open 24-7 until at least Tuesday morning, Edmonton Transit Service announced Thursday, marking 21 straight nights the downtown station has been open for people needing a place to go overnight.