News Local

Pembroke Legion ready for poppy campaign

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

The official kick off for the 2017 Pembroke and Area Poppy Campaign will be held by Branch 72 of the Royal Canadian Legion on Friday, Oct. 27. Here to mark this, Stan Halliday, left, Branch 72 president, tags Pembroke Mayor Michael LeMay with a poppy, while Laurentian Valley Township Reeve Debbie Robinson, centre right, is tagged by Romeo Levasseur, poppy chairman.

The official kick off for the 2017 Pembroke and Area Poppy Campaign will be held by Branch 72 of the Royal Canadian Legion on Friday, Oct. 27. Here to mark this, Stan Halliday, left, Branch 72 president, tags Pembroke Mayor Michael LeMay with a poppy, while Laurentian Valley Township Reeve Debbie Robinson, centre right, is tagged by Romeo Levasseur, poppy chairman.

Once again, Pembroke Branch 72 is gearing up to do its bit in the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2017 poppy campaign.

 

Romeo Levasseur, the poppy campaign chairman, said it gets rolling Friday, Oct. 27 and runs until the following weekend.

Poppies are to be worn from the start of the campaign until the evening of Nov. 11, Remembrance Day. Levasseur said as a matter of protocol, poppies should only be worn for the duration of the campaign. The centre of the poppy should be black, and no extra pin other than the pin supplied with it should be used.

As is tradition, the Legion presented its first poppy to Pembroke Mayor Michael LeMay a few days before the official start of the campaign. This year, the mayor was joined by Debbie Robinson, the reeve of Laurentian Valley Township.

The poppy remains the Legion's biggest fundraiser of the year, where poppies are distributed, and donations are accepted. All proceeds generated by the poppy campaign is put in trust and goes towards the care of veterans.

Besides veterans, poppy proceeds have been used to purchase medical equipment and appliances for community health facilities; paying for medical research and training; building affordable housing for veterans and senior citizens; paying for student bursaries; and providing support services to senior citizens.

None of the funds can be used to support the Legion branch itself. The poppy chairman emphasized poppies aren't sold, but are handed out in exchange for donations.

Levasseur said poppies are distributed in two ways; through standalone boxes left at the counters of area businesses that are cared for by the Ladies Auxiliary, and those handed out by people on the two weekends before Nov. 11. The latter will be distributed from the West End Mall, Value Village, Giant Tiger, Moncion’s Metro, Shoppers Drug Mart, the Pembroke Mall by Food Basics, Walmart, the beer store and the LCBO.

SUhler@postmedia.com