Corporal Dewhirst (back row), Warrant Officer Barkhouse, Cadet Nelson, Cadet Master Warrant Officer Cusveller (front row), Sergeant Maric, Captain Devine, Sergeant Low, Master Corporal Folland, Sergeant Cusveller, Lance Corporal Schiewe. (Photo contributed: Sylvia Maric)

Vernon Cadets to mark 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy

Organizers are hosting a final fundraiser for the trip at the Kalamalka Hotel on Wednesday, April 24.

With fewer than seven weeks before they depart for Normandy and the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings, participating cadets from 1705 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corp (BC Dragoons) are making a final fundraising push that will help to defray costs for the trip.

On Wednesday, April 24, trip organizers are hosting a fundraiser at the The Kal from 5:30 – 10:30 p.m.

“Twenty dollars will get you a burger and a beverage,” said organizer Sylvia Maric.

There will also be 50/50 draws, raffle baskets and a pair of Westjet tickets up for grabs. The evening is cash-only. Two local bands, the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipes and Drums and Spare Parts, will provide music.

Related: Vernon Cadets to mark D-Day in Normandy

The nine participating cadets, Captain Lisa Devine and a number of parents will attend the commemorative D-Day ceremony on Juno Beach to represent Legion members, the Canadian Cadet Organizations, B.C. and Canada.

“All the cadets are history buffs and each has been paired with a soldier who is buried at Beny-Sur-Mer, the Canadian Cemetery near Juno Beach,” said Captain Devine. “They have done research as to the unit the soldier served in, his age and the day he died as well as any personal information they could find.”

Cadet Warrant Officer Andrew Cusveller, who joined 1705 RCACC when he was 12, is looking forward to touring the battlefields of Normandy in addition to the ceremonial events.

To date, the cadets have received a generous donation of $2,000 donation from the Coldstream Women’s Institute, significant donations from Oyama, Lumby, and Armstrong Legions, the Lumby Thrift store, and from the Joseph Segal Foundation in Vancouver. They’ve also benefited from a partnership with Chasers Bottle Depot where supporters can donate their dropoffs to the travel fund.

The cadets also worked at the Interior Provincial Exhibition in September as part of their fundraising efforts and have taken part in grocery bagging and many bottle drives.

For the cadets and officers, the trip to Normandy will be an opportunity to take part in both a serious commemorative ceremony and sightseeing. They will fly into London for three days of sightseeing before moving to Normandy. After the ceremonies, the group will visit Paris before flying home.

Cadet Warrant Officer Andrew Cusveller said the group is looking forward to touring the battlefields of Normandy in addition to the ceremonial events.

Related: Military service honoured for Vernon captain

Related: Cadet season wraps up

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