There have now been over 350 nominations received through the Santa's Sleds for Christmas program that is going ahead with COVID-19 safety precautions in place.

Santa, Cochrane Toyota, and the Young Professionals Rotary Club have teamed up to make sure preschoolers will enjoy some Christmas joy despite these hard and trying times. They'll be distributing 350 quality German sleds for preschoolers nominated on Dec. 20.

Since the beginning, organizers were conscious of our ongoing battle with COVID-19 and had established several scenarios for their distribution.

"We've given a lot of thought to COVID and its effect, so I can assure you that distribution will be done in an orderly fashion respecting COVID, but also the well-being and safety of the people who will be receiving the sleighs," says Santa. "It's been an exciting last two-three weeks."

The sleds will be distributed by a curbside pickup with time slots assigned to those receiving the sleds. Santa, Mrs. Claus,  head elf Mayor Jeff Genung, and others will be assisting.

By early last week, nearly 275 nominations had been received. Now that number has toppled 350.

"Thank goodness for our team, the Young Professionals in Cochrane, who are going through all the nominations. These were not self-nominated people, these were nominated by friends and associates, so we need to contact them to make sure they will be available for pickup."

Santa believes it will raise spirits in the community.

"When you add COVID to that, with people down and out, a lot of people have lost their jobs, and, of course, there are a lot of preschool kids who are concerned about their moms and dads. As we originally hoped, and will come to past, we're going to raise spirits in the community but also put a smile on a kid's face."

Nominations are still being accepted. They can be sent here.