Official kick-off
New SDSG MP-elect Eric Duncan found it fitting that one of his first events to speak at was the Poppy Campaign Kick-Off due to the great respect he has for the fundraiser. Glover photo

WINCHESTER – The Poppy Campaign is one of the Royal Canadian Legion’s biggest fundraisers; raising thousands of dollars for veterans and families of veterans in need every year, and it deserves a proper beginning.

The first ever Poppy Campaign Kick-Off Ceremony in Winchester was held at Sweet Corner Park on Sat., Oct. 26 to invite the North Dundas Council and SDSG MP-elect Eric Duncan to give their blessing for another round of fundraising.

“This is a new event, this is the first time we’ve tried it in this town,” said Shawn Doolan. “Basically, all we want to do is kick off the Poppy Campaign a little more formally than how we’ve done it in the past.”

The Poppy Campaign raises money to aid Veterans in financial distress, as well as funding for medical equipment, medical research, home services, long-term care facilities and much more.

“It’s to look after things that aren’t necessarily covered for veterans in need,” said Doolan. “We provide bursaries for their children and grandchildren, provide people in need of home heating or hospital comforts.”

Duncan made a speech during the ceremony, making it one of the first events he’s spoken at in his new position.

“It’s fitting that, as the MP-elect for our riding, one of my first events is the Poppy Campaign,” he said. “Not only does it raise awareness of remembrance across the country and sacrifice that men and women give to our country, but also, as well as help those who are in need. The Legion does wonderful work, not only at this time of year but all year with their community events to give the veterans what they need.”

North Dundas Mayor Tony Fraser added, “I have complete trust with money that has been handled by the executive and it’s nice to be brought up to speed on where the funds are going to go.”

The ceremony ended with cadets Brett Wareham, Dylan Cook and Zachary Wareham volunteering their time to sell poppies to patrons at the Pioneer gas station.