A surge of donations in the last hour of Stuff-A-Bus helped to completely fill the bus to bring joy to less fortunate children at Christmas.
"It went really well," says Marina Chabbert, of the Cochrane and Area Events Society (CAES). "The toy bus was completely filled. It just came in at the last minute and we managed to fill it just before 3 o'clock. We're so happy about that."
Dec. 10 was the 10th anniversary of Stuff-A-Bus, a joint initiative CAES and the Cochrane Activettes.
Chabbert says donations of nonperishable food, kept in a separate and smaller COLT bus, were down from last year, but notes there are many other ways the food is being collected in the community for the food bank.
She gives a shout-out to the Woolrich Group for their sponsorship and assistance with a Santa photo booth.
"That was such a welcomed to the day for the day because they really did provide a lot of support."
Photographer Tim Hall captured images of people with Santa in a colourful set with the theme of Cooking with Santa. Sixty-four families participated. Chabbert says more booked but possibly didn't arrive due to illness.
Lions Rodeo Queen Kyla Lightfoot and Cochrane Community Services director Mitchell Hamm were among those pitching in with Activettes and CAES members. Guest appearances included those of local MP Blake Richards and Mayor Jeff Genung.