Now in it’s fifth year, a fundraiser for the Roland Shears Memorial Christmas Hamper is still going strong.
Eric Fowler and Ray Godwin have raised just over $10,000 in the last five years and have a goal this year of $5,000. So far they’ve raised just shy of $2,000.
“Every year is a bit different,” Godwin said. “In 2013 we raised $1,500, 2014 we raised $2,750, 2015 we dropped to $2,200 and last year we raised $4,000.We are on about par with other years.”
Godwin and Fowler have been giving out replicas of vintage decals and postcards from the area for the past few years to anyone who donates to the fundraiser.
Fowler told the Labradorian in a past interview that the decals and postcards started out as a bit of a lark. He had a set of decals he bought from the 50’s on eBay, vintage air force decals that said Goose Bay on them. He reproduced them and put them up in a Facebook group, ‘Goose Bay History’ and a lot of people start asking where they could get them. Godwin had posted about people helping with the hampers and the idea was born.
They give out the decal to anyone who donates, with them taking on all costs of mailing (anywhere in the world) and reproduction. The second year they decided to add the six reproduced postcards and some more decals.
Godwin said they get a lot of repeat donations, both people who live in the area and those who live away.
“We have had a lot of success with that,” Godwin said. “Some still live here, others have been gone for over 30 years but still think of Goose Bay as home. Local people alike and people from out of town donate and we have gotten donations from $5 up to $300 and they all count and we are grateful for any and all of them.”
Every penny they raise goes to the charity, since Fowler covers the costs of the printing and mailing and Godwin collects the money and handles all the work related to the hampers. Godwin said on that end he gets a lot of help from his wife Eleonora and brother Wilson with the shopping, deliveries and with the CBC Turkey drive.
Godwin also wanted to point out they get great help from NorthMart with discounts and with great deals on the Turkeys, allowing them to get more turkeys and help more people. And helping people is what it’s all about.
“There are many fundraisers in town on the go all the time,” he said. “People in need for many reasons. It is good to be able to help some of them.”
The fundraiser can be found on Facebook by searching ‘Goose Bay History.’