Sisters Madeline Lowe (left) and Maureen Heighington are volunteering at a Bower Place mall poppy booth, in memory of their late mother. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Sisters Madeline Lowe (left) and Maureen Heighington are volunteering at a Bower Place mall poppy booth, in memory of their late mother. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Central Alberta Legions launch their poppy campaigns

Poppies available at local businesses

Royal Canadian Legions across Central Alberta are rolling out their poppy campaigns today in the run-up to Remembrance Day.

Starting on Friday morning, poppies can be obtained by donation at 15 Red Deer-area businesses, including both malls, all major grocery stores, as well as Home Depot, Costco and Wal-Mart.

Neil St. Denys, a member of the local poppy committee, said tables staffed by volunteers will be operating Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27 and 28.

At Bower Place mall, sisters Madeline Lowe and Maureen Heighington were volunteering at the poppy booth. Heighington, who’s visiting from her home in Texas, said she and Madeline always used to help their mom at the poppy booth while they were children.

Lowe and her mother once did it for nine years straight, so the two sisters decided to volunteer together each year, in memory of their mom, who recently passed away. Their dad is former Red Deer Legion president Owen Lowe.

Next week, hundreds of poppy trays will be available at area businesses, along with donation boxes. They will be in the community until the day before Remembrance Day on Nov. 11.

Each year, the Red Deer Legion gives out about 70,000 poppies to commemorate soldiers who served in both World Wars, as well as the Korean War and more recent conflicts, including Afghanistan.

St. Denys said this is the largest annual fundraiser for veteran’s causes.

Some of the money will be held in trust to help individual veterans with various expenses, and some will be donated to hospitals, charities and non-profit operations that serve veterans and their families.

Lacombe’s Royal Canadian Legion also launched its annual poppy campaign Friday with a presentation of the first poppy to Mayor Grant Creasey at Lacombe’s City Hall.

Red Deer Legion