SUMMERSIDE — Volunteers are needed for the Summerside Legion’s annual Poppy Blitz, which takes place in the city on Oct. 27.
© Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer
Summerside Legion member Stu Grady, left, president LeRoy Gamble and vice-president Roy Crozier are looking for volunteers to help with the upcoming Poppy Blitz, which takes place in the city Oct. 27. A lack of volunteers meant only half the city was covered during last year’s blitz.
The annual Poppy Campaign kicks off on Oct. 25 and the citywide blitz, where volunteers go door-to-door selling poppies and collecting donations, is set for the last Sunday of the month.
In recent years, volunteers for the blitz have been on the decline, resulting, last year, in only half of the 89 territories in the city being visited.
“We also need people to help with wreaths, deliver wreaths and things like that,” said Summerside Legion vice-president Roy Crozier.
Proceeds from the sale of poppies and the wreaths that are laid at the cenotaph on Remembrance Day help area veterans and their families.
“It should be noted that all funds on the sale of wreaths and donations on poppies are all public funds. We just keep them for safekeeping and they go out to veterans and families, youth groups and things of that nature,” said Legion president LeRoy Gamble, noting the funds go into the Wreath and Poppy Trust for distribution. “We don’t own that money, the Legion. That’s a separate account altogether.”
Annually, the Summerside Legion’s Poppy Campaign raises $18,000 to $20,000.
“We donate some to the four nursing homes, because there are veterans living there, to help with their personal needs. We do things for veterans in need,” said Crozier. “There are certain requirements. Some of them have to be approved by Provincial Command. An application has to be put in for each, separately. Other than that, some of what’s left goes to Provincial Command.”
The door-to-door blitz raises a good portion of the total.
“It’s whatever you want to donate,” said Crozier. “Some pay a quarter and some, when we are around for the blitz, pay $10, which they consider a donation to a worthy cause.”
Volunteers are needed to drive, go door-to-door and help with the blitz as well as man tables set up at various locations throughout the city to sell poppies leading to Remembrance Day.
The city Legion sells between 5,000 to 6,000 poppies each year.
“Veterans are getting older and they can’t go out and do that drive and the younger ones aren’t participating,” said Gamble. “It can be anyone who wants to help.”
Anyone interested in helping can contact the Legion at 436-2091. There is also a sign-up sheet posted on the Legion’s bulletin board.