Aylmer Legion poppy campaign plans pestered by pandemic
Going through hard times due to COVID-19, the Aylmer Legion – branch-33 will need to initiate the local Poppy Campaign much differently than in years past with public gatherings severely limited. According to the Legion’s President Mary Ann Latimer, the 2020 Poppy Campaign goes from October 30 to November 11 – Remembrance Day – and the need to support veterans during a year like this one is very important.
All the funds raised are dedicated to supporting Canadian Armed Forces veterans and members, Latimer said. While the campaign typically sees veterans give out poppies for donations in shopping centres, libraries and other public spaces, Latimer explained that this year’s campaign will be different due to safety reasons. “[Being in shopping centres] is just too dangerous for our veterans,” Latimer said.
Instead, the Legion in planning to place poppy boxes in certain public spaces supported by their sponsors. But she worries that people won’t be out in numbers due to COVID-19 – which in turn could hurt the campaign. “Those are some of the difficulties we’re dealing with this year,” Latimer said. “People can just deposit a donation and take a poppy,” she added.
Having difficulty to reach the public during the pandemic, Latimer said she isn’t expecting a whole lot from this year’s campaign. “We expect our poppy funds will be quite low this year,” Latimer said.
Among other things, the Legion has been contacting previous Remembrance Day wreath purchasers to see if they’d like to buy new ones. Those interested can do so by leaving a voicemail message to the Legion. Cancelled due to COVID-19, the Legion’s 2020 Remembrance Day ceremony will be held virtually via the organization’s Facebook page starting at 10:45 am.
People can support the Legion directly via its GoFundMe page – https://www.gofundme.com/f/aylmerlegion33 - or by mailing a cheque to 59 rue Bancroft, Gatineau Qc J9H 4N6.