A local business owner has started a new fundraiser to honour those serving the community while providing some relief for veterans that have fallen on hard times.
“To me, that’s what this place is supposed to be about, giving back,” said John Duncan, owner of Dad’s Soups and Sangys. “Hopefully, this will inspire someone else.”
An entire wall in the restaurant has been dedicated to display military and firefighter crests from community members. But the memorabilia couldn’t be contained to just the one wall and is quickly spreading across beams, pillars and other available wall space.
“It’s more of a tribute, not just for military but for firefighters and police too,” Duncan said, adding it’s to “appreciate the people that have sacrificed for us.”
Along with the display, Duncan is collecting donations for the Help a Vet fund he’s created to provide some financial relief to community members that are down on their luck, experience some extenuating circumstances that require immediate action or a sudden death in the family.
“A lot of them are left on their own at the end,” he said. “It’s more to just help people a little that have given back to their community and country … It’s not just to help one person, it’s to help as many as we can.”
Members of the community can also submit the name of someone they feel needs a little extra help but Duncan added this is not a registered charity and he will not be able to issue tax receipts for donations. “This is just people in the community helping people in the community.”
In that spirit, Duncan enlisted the help of other West Shore residents and businesses to get the ball rolling. The Langford location of Slegg Building Materials donated the supplies to help create the memorial.
A former military member himself with a number of family members still in service, Duncan met Brian Enjeneski while serving on the HMCS Saskatchewan back in the ’80s. Enjeneski crushed his foot under one of the guns aboard and Duncan was the attending medic.
Now friends, Enjeneski jumped at the idea of helping veterans and crafted all of the backings for the crests. “I wanted to do this for Johnny too,” he said. “I probably have 20 to 50 more [crests] at the house.”
With roughly 90 already on display in the restaurant, this project is quickly taking over and starting to attract attention. To kick off fundraising, Duncan will be hosting an event at Dad’s Soups and Sangys, 102-2806 Jacklin Rd., this Saturday, Oct. 28 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
All profits from the day will go to the fund and members from the Langford branch of the Royal Canadian Legion will also be on site to promote their poppy campaign and recruit new members.
“We wanted to tie it in to that,” Duncan said. “It’s trying to get people into that remembrance mood.”