Hundreds of people, many wearing poppies, gathered in White Rock on Nov. 11 to participate in the Remembrance Day ceremony. Poppy sales across White and South Surrey raised more than $125,000 this year. (File photo)

Poppy campaign raises $125,000 in South Surrey, White Rock

Funds benefit veterans and their families, poppy co-chair notes

More than $120,000 was raised on the Semiahmoo Peninsula through this year’s poppy campaign.

Officials with the White Rock and Crescent Beach legions confirmed the totals – $95,000 and “more than $30,000,” respectively – on Wednesday.

At the Crescent Beach legion, Branch 240, the funds raised were a 25 per cent jump over last year, when $24,000 was recorded.

“We did quite well,” campaign co-chair Percy Smith said.

Smith attributed the boost to volunteers putting in more hours; and, the extra weekend hours that cadet groups pitched in.

READ MORE: Legion volunteer a familiar face in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood

As well, “people showed a little more interest in donating this year.”

Smith, who served in the Second World War, from 1942-46, says he spent 125 hours selling poppies during the campaign; sometimes, up to eight hours in a day.

It’s an impressive effort, considering his 96 years.

Legion volunteers numbered around 25, said Smith. The money collected “is well-spent,” he added, noting the Peace Arch zone as a whole collected more than $1 million this year.

“The money mostly goes for helping out veterans and their families,” Smith said.

Smith said elsewhere in Surrey, around $100,000 was raised by the Cloverdale legion and $60,000 was raised in Whalley.

READ MORE: Cloverdale Legion looks for volunteers

For White Rock, the $95,000 raised was a bit less than the $100,000 they’d hoped for, but on par with last year, the legion’s Gail Green told Peace Arch News.

And, “all that money helps our veterans,” she added.

Green said close to 100 volunteers pitched in to help with the Branch 8 campaign, with some logging hours every day.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

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