Poppy campaign underway in Red Deer

The Poppy Campaign conducted by The Royal Canadian Legion was off to a swinging start this past weekend.

The campaign, which began on Oct. 29th, helps raise funds that are used throughout the following year, to assist veterans and their dependents and various organizations.

Lenore Isaac, who organizes the Poppy Campaign for the Red Deer Legion, says the campaign is right on track.

“We raised over $60,000 dollars last year. We try to meet or beat the goal each year.”

Last year, the funds raised from the campaign went to assist veterans and their dependents, low rental and income housing, hospitals and hospices and Meals on Wheels.

Also, $18,000 was also donated for Red Deer Emergency Medical Services, says Isaac.

“When we see a need, we discuss it, and if it fits into the parameters, we do it,” says Isaac.

This year the Poppy Campaign has more than 300 volunteers, including veterans and others willing to assist.

Poppy trays are currently available in both malls, City grocery stores and other businesses.

According to Wikipedia, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of remembrance in 1921.

The poppy is to be worn during the two-week period leading up to Nov. 11th.

Originally, the poppy had a black centre. From 1980 to 2002, poppies were distributed with green centres, reflecting the green hills of Flanders.

To eliminate confusion, the poppies centre were changed back to black.

Up to 1996, the poppies were crafted by disabled veterans. Now the poppies are supplied by a private company.

In 2007, a sticker version of the poppy was developed for children and the elderly to wear as a safer alternative.

Poppies will also be available on Nov. 7th at the Musical Remembrance event at the Red Deer College Arts Centre.

The totals from this year’s campaign will not be known until after Nov. 11th.