This Monday (November 15) kicks off the first of many community parades.
Beginning at 5 p.m. residents young and old are invited to step out of their homes and wave at a convoy of Emergency Service vehicles which will attempt to hit almost every residential street in the selected neighbourhood.
More than just an opportunity to thank Cochrane Fire Services, Cochrane RCMP, Municipal Enforcement, and EMS members, the First Responders will also be collecting non-perishable food items and unwrapped gifts for the Cochrane Activettes, ‘Share Your Christmas’ campaign.
With COVID restrictions once again putting a damper on the Activettes ability to collect donations, the non-profit organization is thrilled to see these parades return this year.
Kathy Tucker, Chairperson for the Cochrane Activettes Food Bank, shares the generosity of residents is incredibly heart warming. “The Activettes are so grateful to have the support of food and toy donations from our community every year. When the parades started last year, it became obvious what a huge bonus they provided us, considering there were limited food drives running in our community due to COVID restrictions. This helps enable us to have a steady supply of food until food drives return in the spring. It was a positive initiative to come out of this pandemic.”
Collecting a total of 201 grocery carts of food and 54 carts of toys in 2020, the Activettes are hopeful to see the same, if not an increased, amount of donations come in this year.
Cochrane RCMP, Inspector David Brunner says they are excited once again to hit the streets. “The RCMP is proud to police the Town of Cochrane. The Christmas parades are an excellent opportunity to continue building stronger and positive relationships will all communities, as well as show our unified support with all our fellow Emergency Services members.”
With Cochrane Fire Services leading the parade, Inspector Jeff Avery says initiatives like these are positive for residents, those in need, and members that work the front lines every single day.
“This has proved to be one of our favourite events to participate in. Cochrane has amazing residents that always seem to come through this time of year. It’s also great to share this experience with Cochrane RCMP, Cochrane Municipal enforcement, and AHS members. We are looking forward to seeing residents’ wave from their driveways, and any size or type of donation can make a huge difference for those in need this time of year.”
Hoping to add a little friendly competition to this year’s parades, Avery is throwing a challenge out. “It would be great if residents could turn on their lights to Light up Cochrane, and a prize for the best Lit Up Community will be announced at a later date.”
Residents are reminded to adhere to provincial guidelines and restrictions in place. Donations will be collected by RCMP vehicles and gifts should be unwrapped. Below is a list of dates for communities, and all will begin at 5 pm. You will also find a list of items suggested by the Cochrane Activettes.
The Activettes will begin putting together baskets for Share Your Christmas the week of December 12th. Please note that while these dates/neighbourhoods are currently listed, there may be modifications to the schedule depending on weather etc. Emergency Services will do their best to hit all streets, however, some roads and members may be missed due to unknown emergency circumstances that need to be attended.
PARADE DATES AND COMMUNITIES:
Nov 15- Sunset Ridge
Nov 17- Heartland
Nov 19- Heritage Hills
Nov 22- Fireside
Nov 24- Bow Ridge/Bow Meadows/ Crawford Ranch/Jumping Pound
Nov 26- Riversong/River Heights/Riviera/Precedence/The Willows
November 29- West Valley/ West Terrace/ West Pointe
Dec 1- Glenbow
Dec 3- East End/Cochrane Heights/Sunterra
Dec 6- Gleneagles
Dec 8- Riverview
GIFTS: New unwrapped gifts/ gift cards/pajamas/ personal hygiene items for men, women, children, and ESPECIALLY teens.
NON-PERISHABLES (PLEASE check items are not expired):
Pancake Mix and Syrup