The Royal Canadian Legion’s annual poppy Campaign rebounded from the pandemic in an unexpected way.
Mersey Branch 38 President Louis Landry didn’t have a final total but says the community really stepped forward to help veterans and their families.
“We did rebound and we did make better than last year, not so much in the sales of poppies at the stores but more so in donations.”
Landry says those donations came primarily in the form of memorial messages which are read by legion members at the Remembrance Day services.
Traditionally the notices are read in person but this year they moved online.
Landry says the legion placed poppy boxes in 68 locations around Queens, 126 donations were received, and 76 wreaths were purchased.
All money raised for the poppy fund goes directly to help veterans and their families.
Landry says attendance at Remembrance Day ceremonies also saw a considerable increase over last year.
He says the Brooklyn service doubled their turnout and Port Mouton had 80 people come out, far more than the usual 20 who would normally attend the service.
Landry says while the sunny weather helped, he feels people are looking to connect with one another.
“I think that COVID may have strengthened that desire to show support,” said Landry. “I think that COVID, and life has caused things to be more meaningful.”
Landry says that desire was reflected in the higher turnout at all nine Remembrance Day services across the county.
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