COURTENAY -- A Comox Valley man who is a decorated war hero and just shy of his 100th birthday is now the centre of a very successful fundraising campaign.

James “Stocky” Edwards is considered to be Canada’s greatest living fighter pilot, as well as a devoted conservationist. He’s now the face behind a successful fundraiser for Ducks Unlimited.

“Over the years he’s been a donor,” says Ducks Unlimited fundraising manager Chris Clarkson. “He’s been a great supporter.”

Edwards is lending his image and life story to the organization so it can create more wetlands through a special challenge.

“Just like he did in the war, (Edwards) said you’ve got to work as a team,” says Greg Sawchuck of Ducks Unlimited. “So he’s helping to raise funds for wetlands and for wildlife.”

The ambitious goal is to raise $100,000. By Friday, the campaign had raised over $60,000.

“They appreciate the fact that he defended our country during the Second World War and they appreciate it’s a good cause for Ducks Unlimited Canada,” says Sawchuck.

While Edwards usually gets most of the attention and accolades, those in the know say his wife Toni is also into conservation projects.

“I find she’s every bit as interesting,” Clarkson says. “He may be (in) the limelight but there’s another half to Stocky that’s just as wonderful.”