(THE NEWS/files) Sgt. Kevin Son and Cpl. Scott Lamb of the 583 Coronation Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron during last year’s poppy campaign.

Maple Ridge Legion buys defibrillator for hospital

Branch 088 will be presenting a cheque for $30,000 to the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation at this years Remembrance Day ceremony in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows Hospital will receive a new transport defibrillator thanks to a $30,000 donation from the Maple Ridge branch of The Royal Canadian Legion.

Branch 88 will be donating the money for the purchase of this piece of equipment that will be located in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Money for the donation came from last year’s poppy fund, which raised more than $72,000.

“Thanks to the people in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, we’ve had three or four years in a row where the totals increased every year,” Jim MacDonald, past president of Branch 88, said about previous poppy campaigns.

“The money is used for the veterans and dependents in the communities,” MacDonald added.

The defibrillator was chosen because veterans and seniors are some of the equipment’s prime users.

“If it is within a budget we can afford, then we will buy the equipment or pay for a good portion of it,” said MacDonald.

“This is about an average donation to the hospital foundation,” he continued.

The legion also purchased a $9,500 mattress for Bailey House.

“It is for people who are committed to a bed long-term. You get bed sores and everything else. This moves and does everything. It moves, it turns,” MacDonald explained, adding that the legion also made donations to the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society and the George Derby Centre, a veterans care facility in Burnaby.

The rest of the money goes to help individual veterans with their needs.

This year, the poppy campaign will kick off Oct. 27 and taggers will be visible throughout the community the next day.

MacDonald wants people to know that the legion doesn’t sell poppies, but accepts donations for them.

“Any amount is acceptable,” he said.

There will be a poppy presentation to Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read on Nov. 2 and to Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker on Nov. 7.

• Anyone wishing to volunteer as a poppy tagger can call 604-463-5101.

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