RSA hopes to rev up poppy sales

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 12:58 07/04/2014

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The Richmond Waimea RSA hopes V8 Supercars will give it a "boost" in poppy sales this year.

The ITM 500 Auckland V8 Supercars, held over Anzac weekend, is sponsoring the RSA as its official charity this year.

Poppies will be for sale at the Pukekohe event as well as raising funds through events and merchandise sales.

Richmond Waimea RSA president Terry Richardson said his RSA club had seen a decline in poppies sold over the last few years, and hoped this partnership would increase the RSA's profile.

"It's promoting poppies - we have found in the last few years we have had a decline in poppy money so now we want to boost it back up again. It (the money) goes to our welfare fund only. Last year we paid out half of what they should have had."

The Richmond Waimea RSA has 180 members, and the poppy donations go towards helping members with medical bills.

Richardson also hoped the cars would inspire younger veterans to get involved with the RSA.

"I think all RSAs are struggling with a decline in their troops - it will be a good boost to get people back on board again. We find it quite difficult to get younger ones to join up after they get back from overseas."

Richardson met Dave and Pauline Richards, parents of the late Supercar driver Jason Richards, on Saturday.

They were at Nelson Bay Motors which is lending the Richmond RSA an SV6 Holden Commodore to boost poppy sales.

Richardson said the car would be put in the Club Waimea foyer where the Richmond RSA headquarters is. The car will have Jason Richards' gear around it.

It was important to honour Richards as: "We don't forget people who are gone."

Richardson had known Richards "since he was a little kid".

While Richardson was going to be too busy with organising and attending Anzac services on April 25, he said a few keen Richmond Waimea RSA veterans might go to the Pukekohe race. They would be given free entry.

He also wanted to encourage more people to sell poppies.

"We want to aim to increase poppy sales, it's always been slow, we only have one crack on the 17th and we have trouble getting people to do the running and walking around town for us."

Poppy Day, Thursday, April 17: To volunteer contact RSA Richmond Waimea at Club Waimea, 03 543 9179, 345 Queen St, Richmond.

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