Cochranites came through with flying colours in fulfilling Christmas Wishes for area seniors.

Cheryl DeMaere Ellis, southern Alberta area manager of the nonprofit organization Communities of Alberta Networking for Seniors Assoc. (CAN), says momentum continued to build as they drew closer to the days circled on the calendar for delivery.

In the end, they received over the 450 gifts sought.

"We have gone well above our numbers, and we'll be donating the extras to FCSS," she says. "It's been wonderful."

Yesterday, there was a buzz of excitement in the showroom of Cochrane Toyota during the final stages of preparing the colorfully wrapped gifts for delivery.

Members of the U15 Rockies hockey team were there to help, as were members of Cochrane Ringette players, who were on hand to assist with the Toys4Kids initiative of the Young Professionals Rotary Club.

A little over a week ago, it was the U13 Jr. Cochrane Chaos female hockey team who stepped forward to help.

"We have way more youth here than I expected," says DeMaere Ellis. "It's been an honour to have them here helping."

In addition to lending a hand, each of the boys and girls donated a gift.

Later on, they assisted with delivering the gifts to two senior lodgings. The rest will be distributed today.

The youth realized the importance of these packages of joy.

'It means a lot," says Colby Adams, one of the U15 Rockies helping. "It's really important to give back to the community that we play hockey in. Around Christmastime, especially in COVID, a lot of seniors are lonely. If giving back to the community means that makes their holiday a little bit better, then that makes it all worthwhile."

This is the second year CAN has spearheaded an effort to bring some Christmas joy to seniors in the Cochrane area  This year, they reached even more.

U15 RockiesCheryl DeMaere Ellis with members of the U15 Rockies team.
Ringette playersCochrane ringette players stepped forward to help and earlier assisted with the Toys4Kids initiative of the Young Professionals Rotary Club.