AMHERST – Florida residents have come through for veterans in Cumberland County.
“We have, in our resort, a series of social dances and the January 2018 social dance theme was ‘Hands Across the Borders,’” said Su Carlsen. “The dance committee wanted to raise money for veterans and they thought it only fair that, because we have so many Canadians in the resort, we would donate to Canadian veterans and American veterans.”
Su and her husband, Finn Carlsen, have lived in Tidnish Bridge since 2006 but spend six months of each year at the Saddlebag Lake Resort in Lake Wales Florida.
Su is from Saint John, N.B. and Finn, who is from Calgary, was born in Denmark.
Finn was in Canadian Navy before he retired in 1999, and for 25 of those years, from 1963 to 1987, he worked alongside Wayne Dupuis of Amherst.
After the money was raised at the dance, Finn contacted the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 10 in Amherst, of which Dupuis is a Poppy Fund Volunteer.
The Poppy Fund raises money for the VON Meals on Wheels program to feed veterans in Cumberland County, and it was decided the $500 would be best spent helping with the Poppy Fund.
“It blew my mind when I got that call. I was speechless,” said Steve Butler, a VON board member. “When Finn called and told me about the Hands Across the Borders I said ‘wow.’ It was fantastic.”
Butler said Finn wasn’t sure if they could make it back from Florida in time to present the $500 at the annual VON fundraiser at King Pin Bowling in Amherst.
“I was hoping they would make it, and they made it, which was great,” said Butler.
Su said they are happy to help veterans in Cumberland County.
“It’s amazing. We’re very excited and proud to do it, and proud of our community in Florida for raising the money for the veterans,” said Carlsen,
The bowling fundraiser raised at least $3,500.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 10 Poppy Fund donated $2,000 and Hands Across the Borders raised $500, both of which goes to the help feed veterans through the Meals on Wheels program.
The remaining $1000 goes towards the many other VON programs that help seniors throughout Cumberland County, including Home Support, nursing visits, foot care clinics, home exercise, adult day care, safety check-in, and the Vial of Life.