Cadets, volunteers and other members of the High River Legion will be making their rounds for the Poppy Campaign to benefit veterans and commemorate their service.

President of the High River Legion Branch No. 71 Bob Collins says all the money raised, stays close to home.

"A certain amount of money that comes in, goes back to the community, whether that's through the Poppy Campaign, or the other events and fundraisers we hold, that's what we do."

Collins notes that the Poppy Campaign is a premier fundraiser that supports a variety of services offered to veterans.

"If a medical need arises, or they have problems with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) we are the first person they see. We then evaluate what we can do for them. We have a certain amount of money from the Poppy Campaign to support living if they need food or money for rent. We then collaborate with our headquarters in Calgary and we try to find funding for whatever they might need."

Collins says veterans with PTSD need long term care that often involves reoccurring costs.

"It's a continuous process of care. There is a number of treatments and medications they can get. PTSD patients have to apply through the Department of Veteran's Affairs, they have to qualify for the treatment, and after a review from the board they can qualify for tax free treatment they often need."

The Poppy Campaign extends beyond veteran's needs, as Collins says, the Legion uses the funding to support a variety of local essential services.

"We have made donations out of the Poppy fund for the helicopter for STARS and we have sent funding to the Fort McMurray fire relief. The money we do get from the Poppy fund does get put back in the community, whether it be the Handibus, Meals on Wheels, we help out wherever we can."

As far as the Poppy Campaign goes, Collins says they have no particular goal for fundraising, but totals throughout the last few years have raised upwards of over $30,000.

Collins says this year the Legion is commemorating a historically important event.

"This year is the 100th year since World War I was finished, and this Remembrance Day we'll be reflecting on that."

The Poppy Campaign starts on October 26, and goes until Remembrance Day.


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