Brandon Reid

Poppy fundraising campaign underway in Langley

Langley's legion branch moves to a smaller location but still provides services to vets and the community.

Between the two local legions – the one in Langley and the one in Aldergrove – nearly $140,000 was raised last year for local veterans through the poppy campaign.

Organizers of this year’s campaign hope for another positive run of raising funds for those who have served Canada, but one, Shirley Blair, the president of the Langley Legion #21, is concerned recent changes may impact the branch’s ability to raise funds.

“We’ve just moved right in the middle of this [poppy campaign],” Blair said.

The branch recently closed the lounge on 56th Avenue and moved a block east to an office and meeting space.

“If we’d stayed at the other [site] during poppy season, we’d have had a lot more volunteers,” Blair added.

There are 100 time slots to be filled for selling poppies each day for the 12-day campaign in the Langley branch’s region.

Funds support veterans in the local area.

“This is the way we get money to give to our community, our veterans, the transition house, services dogs, and training programs,” noted Blair.

Getting things ready is a lot of work, done by volunteers like Barb Prystupa.

“That’s what we do,” Prystupa said. “We bag poppies and we campaign with poppies.”

Poppies are available by donation, pins are $3, and bracelets are $2. Last year the Langley branch raised $106,000 in the poppy campaign.

Secretary manager of the Aldergrove branch #265, Madeline Roach noted that location’s campaign raised just over $30,000 last year.

“It’s for veterans assistance,” she said. “It’s for dealing with veterans here and also we make donations to local facilities… for the veterans they have in care there.”

Members interested in helping with the poppies in Langley can contact the poppy chair office at 604-534-3619. In Aldergrove volunteers call Roach at 604-856-5473. Roach said the poppy campaign is the Legion’s one national campaign.

“It helps us with the continuing on of the Remembrance throughout the country,” she added.

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