Veterans call on volunteers

The reluctance of some of its members to volunteer for the annual Poppy Appeal last year has led the Cayman Islands Veterans Association to call for more support this year. 

“Our greatest problem in conducting the Poppy Appeal is the reluctance of some of our members to go to places such as supermarkets and other stores to shake a can,” Graham Walker, secretary of the association, said at the Annual General Meeting on July 19. 

Donations received from the Poppy Appeal are the major source of income for the charity. The funds allow the association to take care of its members, who are past serving men and women in the military in any Commonwealth or allied country.  

Every year the nonprofit organization holds two major fundraising events, an annual benefit dinner and the Poppy Appeal. 

“We intend to ask each able-bodied veteran personally to make the effort to either come out to the supermarkets or come with another veteran to a schools presentation,” said Mr. Walker. 

Mr. Walker welcomes anyone among the public “who may had some connection in the past with the military, widows, or other relatives especially,” to sign up to volunteer this year for the Poppy Appeal. “We can give them distinctive shirts and agree a schedule.”  

According to Mr. Walker, the income from last year’s Poppy Appeal was supplemented by the proceeds from the second formal dinner and dance, which was organized by Vice President Andrew McLaughlin and a small team. 

Mr. Walker also highlighted the community’s strong support for the association. 

“We could not possibly have supported our veterans without the tremendous response of the Caymanian public, other residents and visitors, for our annual Poppy Appeal,” said Mr. Walker. 

He said the association was “grateful…for the wonderful friendship that underlies our relationship with all of the Caymanian community.” 

The formal dinner and the poppy appeal coincide at the end of October and beginning of November.  

The formal dinner will be held again this year, but the planning and organizing of it will be more closely linked with the Poppy Appeal in an effort to boost fundraising efforts. 

“There is no point in dividing our manpower into two. We will combine it and hopefully have more strength,” said Mr. Walker. 

“It will be better this year,” he said. 

The poppy, which symbolizes peace, compassion and hope, was chosen shortly after World War I as a token of remembrance for everyone who has suffered the tragedy of war. 

Governor-with-Veterans

Governor Helen Kilpatrick, with her newly pinned poppy, is pictured last year with, from left, Cayman Islands Veterans Association members Lt. Col. (ret.) Larry Rotchell, Association Secretary Graham Walker and Association President Capt. Dale Banks.

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