2013 Poppy Appeal

The Poppy Appeal in Orihuela Costa


The local branches of the Royal British Legion, Torrevieja and the Orihuela Costa in particular, have both been busy raising funds for those ‘needy’ ex servicemen and their dependants  since the beginning of the year.  

However their activities have increased dramatically in recent weeks as, together with branches across the world, they both set out on their final fundraising ‘push’ of the year with the launch last month of the ‘Poppy Appeal’ here in the local area.

This year the launch in Spain (North) was carried out on 16 October in Benidorm by the city mayor, Snr Agustin Navarro, in conjunction with the President and Chairman respectively, British Consul Paul Rodwell and Chris Wyatt since which time Torrevieja and the Orihuela Costa have distributed poppies and collection boxes to over 450 bars, restaurants and other locations throughout the region.

In addition, the two branches mobilised their ‘armies’ of volunteers who have also been active at Alicante and San Javier airports, all of the local markets, many supermarkets and shops as well as dozens of other venues and collection outlets, and what an amazing amount of money has so far been raised.

Although the poppy collection tins are still to be emptied and the monies counted, and the final figure will not be released for some weeks, it is already anticipated that both branches will have another bumper year with running totals already surpassing the 20,000 euro mark.

Just a couple of weeks ago the Torrevieja Branch boosted their fund with a very successful concert which was held at the Municipal Theatre. The venue was provided at no cost by the Ayuntamiento while local impresario Nigel Hopkins organised the many acts, all of whom provided their services and skills to entertain the audience free of charge, as did the Torrevieja Pipes & Drums and the theatre staff and technicians.

The two individuals responsible for the collections, in Torrevieja it was the Vice Chairman, Grahame Ward, who spent many, many hours running around distributing the Poppy Boxes as well as collecting them. Well done to Grahame, who will undoubtedly be sadly missed when he returns to the UK shortly. On the Orihuela Costa that same role was carried out for the 4th consecutive year by Branch Chairman Keith Carter.

Keith will be remaining with the branch but is hoping to hand the responsibility over at the end of the current appeal.  Of course both men were supported by a multitude of willing assistants and volunteers including one magnificent effort from ‘Mick the Grip’ Reeves who brought in very nearly 4000 euro from his ‘Poppy Golf Tournament’.

And testament to Torrevieja and the Orihuela Costa is that their fundraising activities have been carried out extremely professionally, with the minimum of fuss and with the maximum of support from both within and without the two branches.  An amazing achievement. Well done to everyone involved.

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