The three sisters make poppies, generate $1,600 for Poppy Trust Fund
By Pat Payton
Royal Canadian Legion Perth Regiment Veterans Branch 236 St. Marys had a special visit on Nov. 11.
Legion members accepted a cheque for $1,579, plus over $20 in cash, from the Hinz family of St. Marys. The donation and fundraising efforts were spearheaded by the Hinz sisters — Dayna, 8, Monica, 5, and Alice, 3. The girls made door poppies (out of pie plates) for this year’s Remembrance Day, asking $1 per poppy. Their goal was to “poppify St. Marys” and “raise money for the soldiers.”
Legion president Tom Jenkins said Branch 236 is very grateful for the girls’ outstanding initiative and efforts.
“They made it very clear that the money should go to help the soldiers,” Jenkins told the newspaper. “So it will be placed in our Poppy Trust Fund, and Veterans will certainly benefit from it.
“Personally, I was blown away by how such young people could be so dedicated to helping a group of people (soldiers) that they had never even met,” the president added.
Legion member Harold Switzer was first to hear of the girls’ fundraiser.
“Harold mentioned it to the Legion executive, and we all thought it was pretty cute,” Jenkins said. “But by the letter of the law, the Legion owns the rights to anything that is marketed and resembles a poppy. Technically, they were not allowed to go through with this. That being said, who on God’s green earth was going to try to stop the efforts of these young girls to raise funds for the soldiers? Certainly no one at Branch 236 St. Marys was going to stand in their way.
“So they went ahead with it and they did a fantastic job.”
When they arrived at the Legion on Remembrance Day, Jenkins and Legion members heaped plenty of praise on the Hinz sisters. Since the girls were adamant that the money raised was to assist ‘the soldiers’, Branch 236 made sure that there were a couple of Veterans present to accept their gift.
Veteran Tom Leier had done a peacekeeping tour in the Middle East and Veteran Tom Jenkins had done a peacekeeping tour in Bosnia, and the two men were among the Legion members who gratefully accepted their donation.
In return, the Legion presented “a small token of appreciation” back to the girls. “I dug through some of the old military stuff that I have stashed away at home, and came up with a couple of little things that we hope will mean something to the girls as they get older,” said Jenkins, who was a soldier for 37 years.
Alice was given a Master Corporal rank badge, Monica received a Warrant Officer (WO) crown, and Dayna–as the senior member of the squad–accepted a Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) badge. It’s the highest enlisted rank of the Canadian Forces. It’s reported that the girls were all “wide-eyed” as they received their special gifts.
Dayna, meanwhile, is a Grade 3 student and Monica is in Senior Kindergarten, both at Little Falls Public School. Alice attends the Early Years Centre. The girls’ parents are Ben and Laura Hinz.
“They are to be commended for doing a fantastic job of raising these exceptional young ladies,” president Jenkins summed up.