Legion changes its campaign

THE ROYAL Canadian Legion here is taking a new approach to providing for the veterans and their families.

THE ROYAL Canadian Legion here is taking a new approach to providing for the veterans and their families.

Part of the poppy campaign around Remembrance Day, includes giving businesses the chance to buy a wreath to display as a show of support for veterans.

Not much money is made off the wreath sales, only about $8 for each wreath, so the local legion branch has come up with the idea of redesigning display cards which can then be placed in windows or on counter tops.

But businesses can still purchase a wreath if they wish.

“Some of them still want the wreath,” said Peter Crompton, poppy campaign chairman for Branch 13. “We’re not turning that down, we don’t want to order 8,000 wreaths and then have them sit in the storeroom [if they’re not wanted].”

The display cards have been offered in the past but is now being redesigned which could be a cost saving to some businesses while bringing in more money to help out veterans.

“If we were to put the [wreath] prices up to make some money people wouldn’t buy them,” said Crompton, adding that the display cards can be put on the doors of a business. “It just wasn’t worth the effort. All the work goes into it was not making any sense,” he said about the wreaths in past years.

Two different styles of wreaths will still be available for purchase and a large wreath with business cards from those who purchased a display card will be placed at the cenotaph.

About 200 letters announcing the change have been sent out to businesses now as Crompton wants to know how many still want wreaths so he knows how many to order.

Some have already sent in money but Crompton says money doesn’t need to be sent in now as legion members will still go to businesses in mid-October to collect payment for either the display card or wreaths. Businesses just need to send back the letter stating if they want a wreath or a display card, and any comments they have.

“We’re not canvassing for money at this moment. It’s just we want to get a grasp of what people’s feelings are and we’ve asked for comments and have had some good comments,” said Crompton, adding the branch is looking forward to input from businesses.

Of the replies he has received so far from businesses, 90 per cent want a display card.

Crompton stresses that the money from the poppy campaign and the sales of wreaths and display cards goes to help veterans and their families, and does not go to the operation of the branch or the upkeep of the branch building.

And in keeping with tradition, wreaths will still be available for service clubs,  the mayor and dignitaries to lay at the cenotaph, he said.