The John McCrae Memorial Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has launched its annual poppy campaign.
It held a flag-raising ceremony on Friday outside its legion branch on Watson Parkway South in Guelph to mark the official launch.
Poppies can be picked up at a number of participating retailers, government offices, banks and community centres in Guelph and the surrounding area.
The poppy campaign serves two purposes, according to president David Thompson.
“A significant part of the money raised goes towards veterans and their families, and programs that support them,” Thompson said. “Then there is the whole aspect of remembrance. Money supports some of the things that they do for remembrance, especially in schools, trying to help the younger Canadians understand what this is all about.”
More than $120,000 was raised last year and Thompson hopes that they can reach that number again in 2023. He emphasizes that it doesn’t cost people a penny to put on a poppy.
“Poppies are there to be worn if a person wishes to wear one,” Thompson said. “We are not aggressive in our delivery. They just have to just come up and take it.”
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The legion will once again be hosting Remembrance Day ceremonies starting at 9 a.m. at McCrae Memorial Gardens on Water Street. Then there is a service inside Sleeman Centre to begin around 10:40 a.m. followed by a parade passing by the cenotaph on the way to the armoury.
Thompson said it has been nice to see more and more people come out for the services over the last couple of years.
“This is a very positive factor and we’re very grateful for the generous support from the citizens of the city.”
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