Jim MacDonald was elated to share that this year’s poppy drive broke all records.
The president of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Branch No. 88 in Maple Ridge said $78,000 was raised, which is $5,000 more than the record set last year.
He calls it an unofficial total, but is confident the number is close.
“This year, it just shot right up,” he said, noting the significant jump in donations speaks to the outpouring of support Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents have for the legion and local veterans.
That support was also echoed this year in what he calls “phenomenal” attendance at all three of the community’s Remembrance Day services – held in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and Whonnock.
Again, he said, the numbers were record-breaking.
“The public want to be involved. They know things are changing and the world’s a little crazier place,” said MacDonald, noting he’s never seen as many people on the streets of downtown Maple Ridge as turned out for those services.
Last year’s poppy drive raised $73,000, while the year before was similar – bringing in $72,000.
Money from this year’s local poppy drive is earmarked for the equipment fund at Ridge Meadows Hospital, Baillie House, and the veterans’ transition fund – which provides individual grants to veterans in need.