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Royal Canadian Legion launches annual poppy campaign (3 photos)

This year marks 100th memorial, inaugural year for digital poppies

Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch launched its annual poppy campaign Friday morning with a flag raising ceremony.

The legion will distribute the poppies throughout the city in order to raise funds for veterans, in addition to a number of community-based programs and organizations.  

The poppy campaign will run until Nov. 11. 

“The generosity of the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie to the poppy campaign each year allows us to not only take care of our veterans and their dependents, but also to provide youth programs and assistance to many community organizations,” said Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 president Wilma Oliver.

Mayor Christian Provenzano acknowledged the upcoming 100th memorial, while bringing attention to the renaming of GFL Memorial Gardens.

“A couple years ago I made a commitment to you as a group that I would do my best to see the memorial gardens return to the building, and it’s special that it returned and that it returned for the 100th memorial,” said Provenzano. “I want to recognize the important work of the legion, and the important support the legion provides in our community.”

Oliver told onlookers during the flag raising ceremony that when a member joins the legion, that person has an obligation to participate in the poppy campaign as part of the membership vows.  

“The poppy is an international symbol of remembrance, and our poppy campaign is the foundation of our remembrance program,” Oliver said.

On Monday, the Royal Canadian Legion announced that it will offer ‘digital poppies’ through an online campaign for the first time in its history.

Donations made via the online poppy campaign website will be distributed to the closest legion branch to the donor’s address.

The Royal Canadian Legion, a non-profit organization with approximately 275,000 members worldwide, was founded in 1926. 

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James Hopkin

About the Author: James Hopkin

James Hopkin is a reporter for SooToday based in Sault Ste. Marie
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