Outpouring of support helped poppy sales flourish in Greater Trail

Money raised from poppy sales and wreath orders amounts to $22,500, or $1,875 per day and the counting still continues

Trail poppy sales were up this year as was the patriotic passion of Canadians across the country.

Prior to Remembrance Day over 19 million poppies had been distributed across Canada leading to a shortage in some regions.

And Greater Trail was no different topping last year’s fundraising total.

The mood across the country was sombre prior to Remembrance Day on the heels of fatal attacks in Quebec and Ottawa that took the lives of two military members and that translated into an outpouring of support.

“That is probably what it was,” said Neil Jarvie, vice president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 11 in Trail and Poppy Campaign chairman.

Regardless, he added it was gratifying to see more red poppies on lapels.

“It is very rewarding. It is not the Legion they are helping, it is the veterans.”

This year, money raised from poppy sales and wreath orders amounts to $22,500, or $1,875 per day, for Branch No. 11, but not every sale has been counted yet.

“There are still a few odds and ends to add up, but so far, we are up $1,300 from last year,” said Glenda Reilly, administrator at the Legion.

The money will be used to help veterans in the area who need financial assistance with day-to-day items such as glasses or dental work.

The No. 11 Legion could have made even more money this year, but the organization has a share and share-alike attitude.

“On Saturday (Nov. 1) Rossland came down and covers the (Waneta) mall,” said Jarvie. “Also on Saturday, Salmo comes in and does Fruitvale. They don’t have as many people.”

Legion members were out distributing poppies from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, but poppy boxes were on display right up until Remembrance Day.

In April, 90 per cent of remaining funds gets sent to the BC-Yukon Command where it gets spent on the same cause, but on a larger scale. The rest stays with the local branch.

The Royal Canadian Legion is a fully self-supported organization and relies on poppy sales, volunteer hours and Veterans Affairs Canada grants to operate.