Fulfilling the Christmas wishes of nearly 500 seniors in the Cochrane area is an ambitious goal that organizers believe is achievable, thanks to the generosity of residents.

Cheryl DeMaere-Ellis is southern Alberta area manager for the Communities of Alberta Networking for Seniors Assoc. (CAN) that orchestrates the Annual Seniors List Program. Last Christmas, they were able to provide gifts for 412 seniors in four manors and some independent seniors. She says it was made possible by the outpouring of support from area residents.

"I'm just overjoyed and overwhelmed with how generous Cochrane is," she says.

The gifts have been rolling in to help fill this tall order, but more are required.

DeMaere-Ellis says they have a posting on the Cochrane Buy and Sell Facebook page that provides a list of gifts required for men and women. It's updated regularly.

She says people can message her through that posting or text/phone her directly at 780-982-6922. She prefers to receive calls after 8 p.m.

You can also find details and updates on this and other CAN programs by clicking here.

Cochrane Toyota, 8 River Heights Dr., is the drop-off location for gifts. DeMaere-Ellis says they'll be accepted right up until noon Dec. 15. All gifts are scheduled to be delivered the following day.

Cochrane Toyota is the same place you can purchase tickets for a cash draw being made on Dec. 23. It offers prizes of $750, $500, and $250. Only 1,500 tickets have been printed, and they're $5 each.

Previous local fund-raising efforts include bottle drives this summer and fall.