SUMMERSIDE — Volunteers are in short supply and desperately needed for this year’s poppy campaign, which is currently underway in the Summerside area.
© Submitted photo
The Royal Canadian Legion Poppy campaign is underway across the Island. P.E.I. Provincial Command chairman Klaus Broderson (left) and P.E.I. Provincial Command President Gilles Painchaud (right) recently presented Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis with the first poppy. In Summerside, volunteers are desperately needed for the poppy campaign. Anyone interested in helping can contact the Summerside Legion at 436-2091.
LeRoy Gamble with the Summerside Legion said Wednesday, last weekend’s poppy blitz, which saw volunteers go door-to-door throughout collecting donations in lieu of poppies, was only able to cover a third of the city due to the volunteer shortage.
“We would like to get the word out there to the schools and to the members of the Legion and other groups that this is an important time. These men went overseas and they fought for us. Some came back and some never came back,” said the Legion president. “In order for us to honour them, we have to get support in the community and we are really not getting that support.”
Volunteers who helped with Sunday’s poppy blitz were only able to collect donations in only 29 of the 84 districts within the city.
It was the lowest turnout ever, said Gamble, resulting in the least amount of donations the blitz has collected in recent years, even though a call went out asking for volunteers.
“I don’t know what’s happening, maybe a breakdown of a whole lot of things. We change it from year to year and maybe we are not changing it in the right way,” he added. “People read a story in the newspaper and they forget about it.”
All the funds collected through the poppy campaign by the Summerside Legion stays in the city to help local veterans, their families and their widows.
“It is a one-day thing and now we have members out in the stores but the thing is if somebody wanted to come in and get a couple of packages of poppies and a can and go out and do a route for us until the end of the week we would appreciate that happening,” said Gamble. “Maybe they don’t realize the money stays here. All the money does stay locally. It doesn’t go into the operation of the Legion. It’s in a different bank account and trust and it is used for youth groups, scholarships, veterans, widows — different things.”
Anyone interested in helping with the campaign can contact Gamble, Roy Crozier or Stu Grady at the Legion at 436-2091.