Dropping poppy sales in need of boost
The sale of poppies leading up to Remembrance Day is an important fundraiser for Legions across Canada, including Drumheller, to continue to support veterans and other programs.
However, it appears that some of the support might be dropping.
In Drumheller over the last three years, the revenue from the sale of poppies has dropped consistently. In 2013, the sales raised totaled $10,659.20, and in 2014, they raised $9,142.35. In 2015, that number dropped to $8,776.62.
Ed Laplante of the Drumheller Legion explains that all the funds are used to serve veterans and their families, and the faces of veterans now are a lot different, a lot younger.
“That’s because, the old ones, we just about have none,” he said. “Right now if you were to ask me how many World War II veterans we have living in the valley, I wouldn’t know. I know we have one Korean War vet in the valley. The other ones I knew are either dead or they have moved.”
He explains there has been a change in the definition of veteran.
“As long as they served in the regular force or a reserve unit outside of Canada like Bosnia, or UN or NATO tours , they are classified as veterans, even though they weren’t involved in combat,” said Laplante.
He said there are still conflicts around the world where Canada is serving.
“Right now we have about 100 special forces in Iraq. My nephew is there right now, they are not fighting, but they are behind the lines training,” he said.
While the donations have been falling, Laplante explains the Legion is careful to maintain an account to make sure they are able to help veterans, and he said the Legion has never turned down a veteran in need.
Last year from the lo- cal Poppy fund, the Legion dedicated $2,193.25 to assistance of veterans, $1,500 to support the local cadet corps, awarded, $270 to winners of the Poster and Literary contest and gave out $500 of bursaries in the community.
The Poppy Campaign kicks off this Friday, October 28, and poppies will be available in stores throughout the community.
Ed Laplante Drumheller Legion As long as they served in the regular force or a reserve unit outside of Canada like Bosnia, or UN or NATO tours, they are classified as veterans, even though they weren’t involved in combat."