The presentation of the First Poppy on Oct. 26 kicked off the 2021 Poppy Campaign. 

This year’s recipient of the First Poppy was LeRoy Wagar.

“We wanted to honour a veteran this year, and LeRoy is a veteran,” said Arlene Johnston, President of the Merritt Legion Branch 096. 

“We’re so honoured to have him here. He’s also been a long-time member of the Legion.”

Wagar served in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) from 1952 to 1957 and is active in his service to the community and the Legion, previously serving as a President and member of the Executive. 

This year is the 100th anniversary of the distribution of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance. Each year, Canadians raise millions of dollars through donations to the Poppy Campaign. These contributions, via Poppy Trust Funds, directly support Canadian Veterans and their families. Some of the things Poppy Funds are used for are:

– Grants for food, heating costs, clothing, prescription medication, medical appliances and equipment, essential home repairs and emergency shelter or assistance for Veterans and their families in need

– Housing accommodation and care facilities for Veterans

– Funding for Veteran Transition Programs that are directly related to the training, education and support needs of Veterans and their families

– Comforts for Veterans and their surviving spouses who are hospitalized and in need

– Veterans visits, transportation and day trips

– Accessibility modifications to assist Veterans with disabilities

– Educational bursaries for children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Veterans

– Support of cadet units

– Veteran drop-in centres and services in communities where Veterans would benefit

– Community medical appliances, medical training and medical research which will assist in the care of Veterans in the community

– Support the work of Legion Command and Branch Service Officers across Canada in assisting and representing Veterans

– Donations for relief of disasters declared by federal or provincial governments which impact Veterans in those communities

– Promotion and administering of Remembrance activities to ensure Canadians never forget the sacrifices of Canada’s Veterans.