The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 36 launched this year’s Poppy Campaign on Oct. 30, handing Mayor Ange Qualizza Fernie’s first poppy.
“It’s a token saying the Poppy Campaign is starting now,” said Beverly Skaalrud, Treasurer and Poppy Chair Person of the Fernie Legion.
The Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Campaign runs from the last Friday in October until Remembrance Day on Nov. 11, during which time Canadians wear poppies to honour fallen soldiers.
All donations from the poppies go toward the Poppy Fund, a local fund supporting veterans, family of veterans, youth groups, and cadets.
“This all stemmed from the first World War, where Canada and many other countries lost many young people – and so their sacrifice to protect us and future generations is honoured every year on Nov. 11,” said Skaalrud.
Residents can pick up their poppies from trays located at the Fernie Legion, City Hall, or in a number of participating local businesses.
“Remembrance Day for me has been next to holy,” said Skaalrud, who wears a Silver Cross alongside her poppy, a token given to family members of fallen soldiers.
“The line ‘They will never be forgotten is true.”
To further fund raise for the Poppy Campaign, Skaalrud and the Fernie Legion are selling handmade poppy masks for $20, with all proceeds also going toward the Poppy Fund.
Residents may purchase the masks either at the Fernie Legion or at City Hall.