TRURO – The president of the Royal Canadian Legion, Truro branch, is thrilled with how successful this year’s legion poppy campaign was.
Murray Dawson confirmed with the Truro Daily News on Tuesday that about $40,000 was raised in about two and a half weeks of selling poppies leading up to Remembrance Day.
The fundraiser has “been increasing steadily in Truro over the years while some other places have been suffering,” said Dawson. “It’s about the same as last year … our town is fantastic. People really support us. We have a certain amount of people from here who were in the Second World War and we’ve had our fair share of causalities in Afghanistan so I think it brings it close to home. ”
Part of the funds from the poppy sales benefit local seniors’ needs including heating and grocery requests. Another portion goes toward a number of bursaries to local students who are going on to post-secondary education. In 2010, there were 10 bursaries awarded and last year there were a dozen given out. It’s anticipated about another dozen will be handed out this year thanks to $13,000 combined from poppy sales and help from the ladies auxiliary. Each bursary is worth $1,000.
The poppy campaign also helps the Veterans Outreach Program. The program has been in Nova Scotia for about six months. It’s overseen by the Nova Scotia Nunavut command, to which the Truro legion contributed $1,000 on Sunday.
“It provides blankets and essentials in a backpack to homeless veterans,” said Dawson. “They are given out when needed.”
Dawson hasn’t heard of specific requests locally, but he said some requests could be confidential in nature.