Scarborough’s Poppy Appeal organisers have thanked the public after the biggest ever total was raised – an incredible £70,618.38.
The money was counted up at the end of the 2013/2014 period, with volunteers pitching in to empty collection cans and tot up the total.
Scarborough raised the second largest amount in North and East Yorkshire, second only to York which raised £90,000.
The new Poppy Appeal year for 2014/15 began on October 1 and an amazing £62,000 has been raised so far.
Beryl Anderson, Scarborough’s Poppy Appeal coordinator, said: “It’s the highest total we’ve ever had, it’s outstanding.
“We want to thank the people of Scarborough for all their support. Year on year we get more and more people coming to the British Legion for support and assistance, so this money will make a big difference.”
Beryl added that when she got the final summary of donations for Scarborough and the surrounding villages, she was “absolutely amazed”.
The money will go towards providing continuing support for ex-servicemen and women and their families in need of welfare assistance.
Beryl said that a lot of people came forward to help throughout the year, particularly as poppy sellers during the two-week period in November.
She thanked all the volunteers for their efforts, which make a huge impact on the success of the appeal.
Many of the volunteers are regulars who return to offer their services year after year.
Beryl said that many people don’t realise the Poppy Appeal lasts all year – though most of the money is raised while poppies are on sale before Remembrance Day.
She explained that many local schools had been involved in raising money this year, by selling British Legion Poppy Appeal pencils, rubbers and ruler, among other stationery items.
Support has also been given by individuals who have knitted poppies for sale, with all the proceeds going to the appeal.
Beryl said: “It’s been wonderful. There has been so much support and the end result is outstanding. We are really grateful to everyone.”
Stewart Lythe, community fundraiser for North and East Yorkshire, praised Beryl for her continued commitment and amazing fundraising results.
He said: “I want to convey my absolute gratitude to Beryl and her husband John, who is a great support.
“Beryl is a real star performer. She is a brilliant fundraiser, but she is also very understanding and empathetic with the people she meets.
“She is also a fresh thinker and looks for other ideas and ways to raise money. Nothing is too much trouble for her.”
Stewart explained that this year’s Poppy Appeal across the region and beyond had been bolstered by the World War One centenary commemorations and the Tower of London poppy installation.
But he said even taking that away, Beryl’s efforts and the support of Scarborough’s public has really shone out and raised more than expected.
Stewart now hopes that looking at the initial figure of £62,000 so far for 2014/15, he expects the Scarborough total next year to be as much as £80,000, another local record.
He said: “I think it will definitely exceed £70,000 – without a doubt.
“Hull has always been a very productive region and Scarborough even beat them last year. The support has been amazing and we’re very grateful.”