Celebrating 100 years with $100,000 for conservation

Comox, B.C., June 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This Saturday, Comox resident James Edwards (better known as “Stocky”) will mark his 100th birthday. A COVID-safe celebration is being hosted for the WWII veteran and dedicated conservationist that includes a Canadian Forces fly by, a car parade—and a special presentation by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) that honours his lifetime of service. The conservation organization is closing in on its goal of raising $100,000 in Edwards’ honour to safeguard wetlands and wildlife in the province.  

DUC established the Stocky Edwards Wetland and Wildlife Conservation Fund with a goal of raising $100,000 to mark Edwards’ 100th birthday. People from across Canada and the United States have shown their support by donating or engaging in their own personal fundraising. 

“We’re quickly closing in on our $100,000-goal and expect to exceed it by Saturday,” says Greg Sawchuck, a member of DUC’s national board of directors and longtime friend to Edwards. “Stocky is an inspiration to many people, and it’s been incredible to see how folks from all over are paying tribute to him by supporting one of his favourite causes.”

Edwards and his wife Toni are dedicated members of the DUC community in Comox who’ve been supporting the organization’s conservation efforts for decades. Their motivation comes from a lifetime of enjoying the outdoors. Fishing, hunting and birdwatching account for many hours they’ve spent together. 

“The work they do – you can see it,” Edwards says, referring to the marshes and other wetland areas under DUC’s care. “They’re doing it for the good of the country and the community.” 

To date, DUC has conserved more than 450,000 acres of wetlands and other natural habitats across British Columbia. In addition to serving as beautiful backdrops and wildlife havens that the province is known for, these areas are essential to the overall health of the environment. They naturally filter pollutants from water, store carbon and guard against the devastating effects of sea-level rise.  

“Supporting conservation is just another way that Stocky continues to serve his country. It’s about creating a healthier world for future generations,” says Sawchuck. “We’re extremely grateful for the support received and are proud to honour Stocky in this way on his birthday.”

Media interviews with Edwards will be held the morning of Friday, June 4. Please contact DUC for details and to make arrangements. The public can also watch Stocky’s birthday celebration on Saturday, June 5 at 11:00 a.m. PDT via a live stream on the 19 Wing Totem Times’ Facebook page.  

There’s still time for people to give to the Stocky Edwards Wetland and Wildlife Conservation Fund. Visit ducks.ca/stockyedwards to learn more about his story and make a contribution that will help take this tribute to a legendary Canadian above and beyond its goal. 

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Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment.

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