The Lacombe Legion Branch NO: 79 recently placed the official first poppies on City of Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey and Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law to begin this year’s poppy campaign in advance of Remembrance Day.
Kathy Hobbs, president, said the event always comes right after the Governor-General of Canada receives their poppy in Ottawa.
“We come to the City of Lacombe where our mayor, Grant Creasey, and our reeve, Paula Law, are presented with poppies on behalf of the legion. That kicks off the poppy campaign,” she said.
Poppies can now be found throughout Lacombe and area and Creasey encourages everyone to support the campaign and to attend the Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.
“Not only it is it important, it is also certainly a honour to be here receiving this first poppy. I know the people of Lacombe and area will come out in droves to support the important work the Legion does. I would encourage everyone to purchase a poppy and be generous with your donations,” he said.
Law encouraged residents to support the people who have served.
“It truly is an honour to receive one of the first poppies and to support the Legion. They do great work and it is all volunteers. We need to remember those that served and fought so that we could have what we have today. We have freedoms today that we would not have if it wasn’t for them and this is a great way to be supportive and remember,” she said.
Remembrance Day this year will run similar to years past in Lacombe, except Hobbs did add one helpful feature to the program.
“I’ve added all the conflict soldiers that were killed in action during the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War and the War in Afghanistan. They are listed in our ceremony’s program this year. We read them and put them on there so people can see,” she said.
The Legion, however, is short volunteers this year and hopes anyone in the area can come out and help.
“We need about 25-30 volunteers to make it a really good campaign. I think we have 10 or 11,” Legion member Barbara Burnett said.
Hobbs added, “Many volunteers make lighter work for everybody.”
Burnett wanted to remind the community that Legion money raised from the Poppy Campaign goes to help veterans.
“The poppy fund is not Legion money. It is public money and it is our mission to give it all back to the hospitals, care centres, bursaries for students, senior comforts and veteran comforts. That is our priority to look after veterans,” she said, adding that if there is a veteran in need in the community — the Legion is there to help.
Hobbs added, “Our veterans are not just soldiers — they are the RCMP, firefighters, paramedics and everyone in uniform service.”
If you would like to volunteer with the Legion, you can stop by their building between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. After hours, you can call (403) 782-6441.