Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran is presented with the first poppy of the year by Royal Canadian Legion Branch 26 president Jim White on Oct. 24, 2019. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)

Kelowna Legion begins poppy drive

Last year, the local legion raised over $200,000 for veterans in need

After a successful poppy drive last year, branch 26 of the Royal Canadian Legion is looking to top themselves with an even larger fundraiser this year.

The legion raised over $200,000 for the Poppy Fund in 2018, all of which went to help veterans in need.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran was at the legion’s poppy drive commencement event and was presented with the first poppy of the year.

“It certainly is an honour to receive our city’s first poppy,” said Basran.

“I want to thank all of the veterans here for your continued sacrifice for our community, for our country and helping build this incredible nation that we have.”

Basran continued, saying he’s proud to be a Canadian and thanked veterans for upholding the reputation of the country.

“The fact that we can all travel around to different countries and when we say we’re Canadian, we’re welcomed with open arms and big smiles. I can’t tell you how great that feels,” he said.

“It’s in large part because of what you’ve done to help build this nation and your sacrifice for our freedoms.”

MP elects, Dan Albas and Tracy Gray also attended the event and were presented with poppies.

“When you look at the symbol of the poppy, it is recognized all over the world,” said Gray.

“Thank you for all of the work you do in our community.”

Though a new donation tray provider is causing delays in the legion’s fundraising efforts this year, you can expect poppies to be available in local businesses by the beginning of November.

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