Royal Canadian Legion Branch 281 Beaver Valley kicked off the 2022 national poppy campaign with a special ceremony at the town hall in Thornbury.
Branch 281 President Joe Macdonald pinned the first poppy of the campaign on the lapel of Mayor Alar Soever. Mayor-elect and legion member Andrea Matrosovs and Councillor Paula Hope were also on hand for the presentation.
Beaver Valley Pipes and Drums piper Eobhann Bruce led the procession into the council chambers. Macdonald was joined by local poppy campaign chair Steve Gorton and legion member and councillor-elect Shawn McKinlay.
“Today, October 28, 2022 is the opening of the official national poppy campaign for the Royal Canadian Legion across Canada,” said Macdonald. “The poppy is Canada’s symbol of remembrance for our fallen military and RCMP veterans. The funds that are raised during the yearly campaign are used to help support veterans and their families when needed.”
Macdonald said this year Branch 281 has donated $15,000 to a number of veteran foundations including: support for service dogs, Operation Leave the Streets Behind, Royal Commonwealth Ex-services League, Ontario Command Bursary Fund, Ontario Command Charitable Foundation, Heroes Mending on the Fly, Operation VetBuild - veteran’s initiatives and District E hospital trust fund.
Soever said it is important to support the annual poppy campaign.
“I encourage everyone to support the Legion and wear a poppy to honour our veterans and remember those who sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy today,” he said. “The funds raised go directly into a range of programs that help veterans with a host of needs, including assisting with paperwork when applying for benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada as well as peer support programs.”
Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca