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Box City crowd braves the cold

More than 400 people sleep over night in park to raise money for charity

Posted: September 30, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 30, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Evan Forletta, center, and members of his youth group try to make their cardboard box stand on its own during the Box City event on Saturday at Bridgeport Park.

 

It was cold sleeping overnight in a box as more than 400 participants in this year’s Box City event found out early Sunday morning as they emerged from cardboard boxes in Bridgeport Park, event organizers said.

Box City takes place annually in an effort to raise awareness about the many homeless families in the community, and to raise money to support Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley.

Participants set a goal to raise $100 in pledges and contributions and sleep overnight in a cardboard box “home” as a resident of Box City.

An estimated $40,000 was raised by this year’s event, said event organizer Doug Lessard.

“It was amazing,” said event organizer Laurie Ender. “It was a very cold night.”

Experiencing a hardship as simple as cold weather was part of the message intended by event organizers, she said.

“That’s exactly why we do it,” Ender said.

“We had a lot of new participants,” he said.

Box City participants, many of them teens, were moved by the testimonial of one woman, a mother of two who told how the program had changed her life.

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