Sat | Sep 19, 2020

Poppy committee gives $700,000 to Curphey Home

Published:Friday | August 14, 2020 | 12:08 AM
From left: Dr Patricia Dunwell, custos rotulorum of St Andrew; Courtney Wynter, treasurer of St Andrew Justices of the Peace Poppy Committee; and Michelle Henry, chairperson of the Poppy Appeal Committtee, on Tuesday present a cheque valued at $700,000 to
From left: Dr Patricia Dunwell, custos rotulorum of St Andrew; Courtney Wynter, treasurer of St Andrew Justices of the Peace Poppy Committee; and Michelle Henry, chairperson of the Poppy Appeal Committtee, on Tuesday present a cheque valued at $700,000 to retired Lt Col Desmond Clarke (right), general secretary, Jamaica Legion, in support of the retired veterans living at the Curphey Home in Mandeville.

THE POPPY Appeal Committee of the St Andrew Justices of the Peace has donated over $700,000 in cash and gifts to nurture the needs of retired veterans at the Curphey Home in Mandeville, Manchester.

The cheque was presented by Dr Patricia Dunwell, custos rotulorum of St Andrew, to the general secretary of the Jamaica Legion Poppy Appeal, Lt Col Desmond Clarke, on Tuesday.

Michelle Henry, the chairperson of the committee, said the CHASE Foundation donated four tanks to the home, and the remainder of the monetary donation will be used to assist with any repairs and operational expense that they may have. She explained that they had hoped to raise more funds but the poppy concert, initially scheduled for July, was cancelled because of COVID-19.

“That was our budget last year. We had a little bit more hoping for during the concert, but because of the COVID, we stick to that budget and we are happy that we surpassed that,” she said.

The custos said the Poppy Appeal Committee of the St Andrew Justices of the Peace joined the other 13 parishes in due diligence to care for ex-servicemen and women, just last year. With the cancellation of this year’s poppy concert, the committee decided to solicit help from the over 2,000 JPs within the parish and the corporate community to reach their target.

She added that donations received after the presentation of the cheque will go towards next year’s target.

Lieutenant Clarke expressed immense gratitude for this donation. “When I heard that this amount of money was collected, I was extremely surprised and very happy. You can really imagine how grateful we are and how much this money will help to stem that outflow because the veterans do need it.”

23 RESIDENTS

The Curphey Home currently cares for 23 residents.

Despite the challenges, the Poppy Appeal Committee of St Andrew followed through with their commitment to contribute to the governor general’s $9-million target for retired veterans.

Only $6 million have been raised so far. Because of the pandemic, it is the first in at least 10 years they have had to worry about meeting the target before the start of the poppy period on October 4.

jonielle.daley@gleanerjm.com