Lacombe Legion kicks off annual Poppy Campaign

Royal Canadian Legion Lacombe Branch No. 79 Poppy Chairman Barb Burnett pins the ceremonial first poppy to the lapel of Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law at Lacombe City Hall on Friday. The campaign is now underway, with the public able to make donations to the Poppy Fund until Nov. 11. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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The Royal Canadian Legion Lacombe Branch No. 79 officially launched their annual poppy campaign with the distribution of the commemorative first poppy to area dignitaries.

City of Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey and Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law, who was recently re-elected as reeve, accepted the first poppies Friday at Lacombe City Hall.

“It’s certainly an honour to have received this first poppy of the year for 2018, a special year – the 100th anniversary  of armistice,” said Creasey. “I want to thank President Kathy (Hobbs) from the Legion for coming here and presenting it.  It’s an honour to wear it and I hope our entire community comes out to support the poppy campaign for 2018.”

Royal Canadian Legion Lacombe Branch No. 79 Poppy Chairman Barb Burnett pins the ceremonial first poppy to the lapel of City of Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey at Lacombe City Hall on Friday, alongside Legion President Kathy Hobbs. The campaign is now underway, with the public able to make donations to the Poppy Fund until Nov. 11. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

Law echoed his sentiments.

“I’d like to thank the Legion and both ladies here. It truly is an honour to be here for the First Poppy Ceremony,” she said. “It is an honour to be here and support the 2018 campaign.”

Lacombe Legion President Kathy Hobbs, left, and Poppy Chairman Barb Burnett present the ceremonial first poppy to Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law Friday morning at Lacombe City Hall.(Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe) Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

The first poppy is given out annually to the mayor and local area dignitaries, officially marking the start of the Poppy Campaign.

The Poppy Fund, which is the collection of monies donated during the campaign, goes towards assisting those who are serving or who have served, as well as their families who are in need of assistance. The local legion also puts funds towards bursaries given out to students attending secondary education, supporting area cadet programs and purchasing wreaths, poppies and promotional materials for the next year’s campaign.

Legion members and a few dignitaries also stopped by the Field of Honour in Lacombe’s Fairview Cemetery in the afternoon to distribute Canadian flags to the headstones of locals who served.

Poppy boxes will be distributed to local businesses over the course of the next week, and all are asked and encouraged to make a donation.

As well, the Royal Canadian Legion is inviting all to create and dedicate a digital poppy to “someone who embodies the values they fought for” at https://mypoppy.ca/. For the first time, online donations can be made, with funds directed towards local legions based on the address entered when the donation is made.

For more information on the Poppy Campaign, visit http://www.legion.ca/remembrance/the-poppy-campaign.

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