Sears Canada Invites Nova Scotians to Send their Best Wishes to Canadian
Forces By Signing Huge Banner Destined for HMCS Fredericton

HALIFAX, Dec. 3 /CNW/ - Nova Scotians are being encouraged to send their best wishes to Canadian forces who are away from their families over the Holidays, by signing their names or adding their artwork to a huge 8'X4' banner, to be unveiled today at 12:15 p.m. in Halifax.

The banner features drawings and heartfelt notes from local military family kids, spouses and family to their parents serving on HMCS Fredericton, part of an international naval force off the coast of Somalia. Now, Nova Scotians are being asked to fill in the rest of the banner with their wishes - either in the form of words or art. After spending the next three days at Sears in the Halifax Shopping Centre, the banner will be shipped to the Fredericton in time for the crew to have it for Christmas.

It's all part of Sears Operation Wish, a program sponsored by Sears Canada in co-ordination with the Canadian Forces Personnel and Family Support Services (CFPFSS). Other banners will be unveiled at special ceremonies today at Sears stores in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Quebec City. The banners from those events will be sent to Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan.

"Sears Operation Wish is designed to help Canadians show their support for the thousands of Canadian forces who will be away from their families and loved ones this Holiday season," said Carolyn O'Malley, Chair of the Board of Directors, Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre and a military spouse. "I can tell you from experience that it means a great deal to our sailors when they receive best wishes from people back home. On behalf of the crew of HMCS Fredericton and their families, I want to thank people for taking the time to add their wishes."

"People in Halifax have a special connection to the military, especially our navy," said Michael Vickers, Sears Halifax store manager. "We hope the banner will bring some joy to our local sailors who will be away over the Holidays.

"This is Sears fourth year supporting Sears Operation Wish. While each year it is a bit different, the end goal of trying to make the season a little brighter for deployed forces and their families remains the same. The positive response we get from our customers, associates and Nova Scotians at large is gratifying."

In addition to the banners, Operation Wish also allows Canadian troops deployed abroad to play Santa to their family back home by placing a customized order from the Sears Wish Book catalogue online. Copies of the Sears Wish Book catalogue were sent to Canadian soldiers, sailors and air force personnel deployed to global operational missions several weeks ago with special instructions on how to place their orders.

The CFPFSS develops and delivers morale and welfare programs, activities and services to members of the Canadian Forces and their families, in Canada and overseas. In addition to the national CFPFSS organization, Military Family Resource Centres (MFRC) operate at military bases across Canada. They are independent not-for-profit organizations dedicated to enhancing the quality of military family lives through a range of services and programs to meet the needs of each military community.

Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network of 196 corporate stores, 195 dealer stores, 38 home improvement showrooms, over 1,800 catalogue merchandise pick-up locations, 108 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home maintenance, repair, and installation network. The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca.

SOURCE Sears Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Hugh Fraser, hfraser@bristolgroup.ca, (902) 491-2553 (office), (902) 471-8087 (mobile)


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