Poppy taggers will be out across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows starting this Friday, Oct. 28.
This years initiative will include new biodegradable poppies and wreaths, made from a variety of natural materials including paper, cotton velvet, plaster, moss, and bamboo.
Poppy Stories will also be new to the campaign, which will allow people to scan a lapel poppy with a smart phone to find short anecdotes about everyday Canadians who gave their lives in service to the country
The first poppy of the 2022 campaign was presented by the Royal Canadian Legion’s Dominion president Bruce Julian, to Canada’s Governor General, the Right Honourable Mary Simon, on Tuesday, Oct. 25, during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
“I’m honoured to receive the First Poppy. Conflicts still rage and the members of the Canadian Armed Forces bravely, courageously, face the very worst so that the rest of us do not,” explained Simon during the national ceremony where she also pinned poppies on a number of veterans and guests.
“Today and every day, I will continue to remember, honour and support our veterans and I will encourage all Canadians to do the same,” she said.
B.C.’s Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin was also presented with the first poppy of the 2022 campaign by members of the Royal Canadian Legion on Tuesday as well at Government House in Victoria.
First poppies in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will be presented to the new mayors in each community after they are sworn in on Tuesday, Nov. 1.
According to the Royal Canadian Legion, the Poppy is Canada’s symbol of remembrance for fallen military and RCMP Veterans and reflects the country’s ongoing thankfulness for their sacrifices.
Close to $20 million is donated during the National Poppy Campaign each year, money that goes directly into initiatives to support Canada’s veterans and their families.
Sherry Boudreau, poppy chairman for local legion Branch 88, noted her goal this year is $90,000.
Locally money raised goes to support veterans and also the local charities within communities that have a legion branch.
“It also goes to support legion comrades that are in need,” explained Boudreau.
Last year $84,529.73 was raised locally, a little more than in 2020, when about $82,000 was raised, which was $4,000 more than in 2019.
And, of the donations collected during last year’s poppy campaign, the local legion gave $45,300 to the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation.
Boudreau is hoping people will be just as giving this year.
“Personally I think it is one of the best causes that we have in Canada to help with our vets,” added Boudreau.
Starting Friday, boxes will be out throughout Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at car dealerships, Starbucks, Canadian Tire, Rona, the banks, London Drugs, Save On Foods, local small businesses, restaurants, and local pubs.
Taggers will also be out in both communities.
In addition to the poppies, bracelets will also be for sale for a minimum $3 donation that can be worn in stead of the poppy.
“And they don’t fall off,” said Boudreau.
Boudreau is actively looking for more people to donate their time as taggers for the campaign. Shifts are about two hours in length and those interested can sign up at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 88 at the corner of 224 Street and Brown Avenue.
You do not need to be a member of the legion to tag, reminded Boudreau.
The Maple Ridge branch of the Royal Canadian Legion was established by Charter in 1927 and has grown to be one of the largest, most successful branches in Canada.
For more information about Branch 88 go to legion88.com.
Digital poppies will still remain a part of the campaign to be shared on social media. Funds raised from this campaign will go directly to the Legion National Foundation, a separate entity from the legion, but whose work also supports veterans, families, and communities across the country. Digital poppies are available at mypoppy.ca.
For more information about the national campaign go to legion.ca/remembrance/the-poppy-campaign.
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