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Royal Canadian Legion’s 2021 National Poppy Campaign will officially begin Friday

As part of an ongoing pilot project launched in 2020, the Legion’s Pay Tribute Poppy boxes will allow Canadians to donate $2, $5 or $10 with a simple tap of either a credit or debit card or a payment app on their smart device

Presentation of the first poppy and raising of the poppy flag will take place at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 445 Callander on Friday, October 29 at 1 p.m.

The presentation will be made by Branch President Marc Picard and Poppy Chair Bill Bowman. Joining them will be veterans, members of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 445 Callander as well as representatives of Callander,  East Ferris and Bonfield.

The Poppy Campaign will culminate with Remembrance Day services at the Callander Legion and Callander Cenotaph (Peace Park) at 11 am, November 11.

This year commemorates the 100th anniversary of the poppy symbol.

In addition to donation boxes in local stores, tag days are scheduled for East Ferris, Bonfield and Callander on Saturday, October 30th as well as Saturday, November 6. Local Legion members will be outside a variety of businesses accepting donations to the poppy fund.

Traditional poppy boxes will still be used for cash donations and lapel poppy distribution; however, for the first time, the Callander Legion will join 1,000 other locations throughout Canada using a Pay Tribute Box available for digital donations.

As part of an ongoing pilot project launched in 2020, the Legion’s Pay Tribute Poppy boxes will allow Canadians to donate $2, $5, or $10 with a simple tap of either a payment card (credit or debit) or a payment app on their smart device.

"This is one of the most important times of the year for our Branch," Branch President Marc Picard states: “ All poppy funds collected remain local and are used to directly assist veterans and their families in times of need. For privacy reasons we do not disclose the names of those we assist, however, I have signed cheques to many local businesses to assist veterans and their families throughout our area. There is no better feeling than assisting a fellow veteran in need.”

On November 11th, the Callander Legion Pipes and Drums, The Colour Party, as well as members of the Legion will parade along Veterans Way to the Callander Cenotaph for services at 11 a.m.

Donors will also be able to donate directly through Legion’s national website. Close to 20 million dollars is donated during the National Poppy Campaign each year and goes directly into initiatives to support Canada’s Veterans.

The 2021 Digital Poppy will remain part of the overall campaign.

By visiting people will be able to donate to receive a digital poppy which can then be shared with friends and family through social media.

Legion Remembrance programs commemorate the men and women who died in the military service of Canada during war and peace. Maintaining the tradition of remembrance is a sacred trust and the Legion's most important role. The poppy has been widely recognized as a symbol of remembrance since it was first adopted in 1921.

"By wearing the poppy, we demonstrate our gratitude to those who gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy," says Picard.