Military Youth to Unveil Mural Celebrating Family At a Special Event in Partnership with the Sears Operation Wish Program

WINNIPEG, Dec. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - Santa Claus is in town to make an early delivery of gifts to the Winnipeg Military Family Resource Centre's Doncaster street youth facility as six military family youth officially unveil their art creation to their families and friends.  It's all part of the 11th annual Sears Operation Wish program that this year worked together with the Winnipeg MFRC to create a legacy piece of art to showcase what it means to celebrate being a family, particularly over the Holiday season. 

Under the direction of local art consultant Dori Laine, six children, between 7-13-years old, drew pictures for each season on a 4x8 foot piece of hardboard constructed to look like a window frame.  The winter window is all about Christmas family celebrations in keeping with the Sears Operation Wish theme of celebrating families throughout the Holiday season.

"I spent time with these young people while they were creating their mural and one of the great things to watch was their interpretation of the preliminary pictures for each of the seasons as each child brought their own flair to the project and enhanced it with their imaginations, said Michael Dutka,  Store Manager, Sears Polo Park.  "It was wonderful to watch this mural grow from a blank canvas into a stunning piece.  My colleagues and I took away a lasting memory of why Sears Operation Wish is such a cherished program for all of us at Sears Canada.  We launched this initiative in 2006 and have held true to its purpose of honouring and recognizing the often selfless contribution military personnel and their families make to our communities and our country, especially at this time of year.  Its focus is on the importance and strength of families with an emphasis on the Holiday season particularly because so many members of the military are away from their families and loved ones at this time of the year."

The youth will take centre stage on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 6 p.m. to officially unveil their mural to families, friends and Winnipeg MFRC staff.  Unbeknownst to them and their families is the early visit by Santa Claus and his Sears elves  who will be delivering games, sports equipment and other items from the MFRC's wish list of things they needed to refresh and refurbish their youth centre facilities. 

"Our partnership with Sears Operation Wish has just been a wonderful experience for all of us.  We are very proud of the mural.  We see it as a legacy piece of art that will be hung for a long time at our youth facility," said John Bailey, Youth Centre Coordinator, Winnipeg MFRC.  "The Winnipeg Military Family Resource Centre recognizes that military families are the strength behind the uniform. We are thrilled to receive continued support from Sears Canada, and today's generous donation will make a difference for our youth who access our programs every day."

As well this year, Sears is holding its sixth annual Military Family Discount shopping day on Sunday, December 4, 2016 coast-to-coast and through all of its channels:  Sears Department stores, Sears Home stores, Sears Hometown stores, all current Sears catalogues and on www.sears.ca  The family discount shopping day provides 15% savings on apparel, fashion accessories, home and leisure products (Home Electronic products are excluded in this offer),  and is on top of non-exclusionary items already on sale.  It is a one-day, 24-hour Holiday shop based on Eastern Standard Time from midnight to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 4, 2016.

Sears Canada is donating $10,000 to help support local Military Family Resource Centres' local youth oriented programs along with a percentage of funds raised through sales of its special, limited edition plush bear, Owen. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Owen are donated to the Sears Canada Charitable Foundation which will donate a percentage of those proceeds to local MFRCs on an equal basis. 

Since its inception, the Sears Operation Wish program has donated more than $180,000 to support both national and local military family youth programs.

About Sears Canada:

Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that includes 145 corporate stores, 76 Hometown stores, over 1,000 catalogue and online merchandise pick-up locations, 80 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide repair and service network.  Sears Canada is the #1 retailer of major appliances in Canada with all top ten brands.  The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca

About the Winnipeg Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC)

The Winnipeg Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) has been serving military families since 1991. Our mission statement states, we 'develop resiliency by supporting a mission-ready community of strong military families'. Military lifestyle isn't always easy for families and their quality of life may be affected by many factors, including postings and deployments. It is our role to support the 4,000 families of Canadian Armed Forces members living in Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, ON and surrounding areas by providing programs and services which promote health, education and social well-being. The MFRC is a family governed federally funded, non-profit organization with charitable status.

SOURCE Sears Canada Inc.

Image with caption: "Sears Canada Inc. (CNW Group/Sears Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161201_C4057_PHOTO_EN_828750.jpg

For further information: Contacts for media: Dwight Skeates, Sears Canada Inc., Corporate Communications, 250-595-9111, ext. 411, dskeate@sears.ca; Wendy Walker, PRCommunications Inc., Wendy-walker@shaw.ca, 403-813-4186

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