West Niagara poppy funds still in need of donors

By Tristan Marks

Royal Canadian Legion branches in West Niagara are unanimous: even though Remembrance Day has come and gone, community generosity is still needed to help local veterans.

Poppy campaigns in Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln took hits from the pandemic, not least of all the loss of Air Cadet volunteers for this year. As such, all are calling on their respective communities to continue to donate generously.

All money donated to a local branch’s poppy fund will go to help veterans in that specific community.

Grimsby’s Branch 127 Legion poppy campaign came close to “$20,000 short from previous years,” according to poppy chair David Leonard.

Leonard was quick to thank the community for raising the money they did and said this lower number still exceeded his estimates.

To help the Grimsby branch’s poppy fund e-transfer a donation to: rcl27poppychair@cogeco.net with the security word ‘poppy’ or mail a cheque directly to 233 Elizabeth St.

In contrast, Branch 612’s poppy chair Mike Yrcha said the Beamsville campaign “went better than expected.”

“The residents of Lincoln really came through for us,” Yrcha said. “We were within a couple thousand dollar of last year’s campaign.”

This came to about $21,000 for 2020.

Residents of Beamsville can help their areas poppy fund grow even more successful by either mailing or dropping off a cheque directly to the Legion at 5545 King St.

However, not every poppy campaign hit a loss this year. The Smithville Branch 393 Legion exceeded all expectation and vastly out performed their previous year despite the pandemic setbacks.

Its poppy campaign raised nearly $20,000, blowing well past the nearly $6,000 raised in 2019.

This record breaking count was possible due to a large lump sum from a generous donor, among other donations.

“The community was very generous to us this year,” said Branch 393 poppy chair Cathy Putnam. “I want to give a great big thank you to everyone.”

To contribute to the Smithville Legion poppy fund, mail or deliver a donation to the Branch hall at 172 St Catharines St.

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