Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Freeman Lumber of Greenfield has responded to concerns among local Royal Canadian Legions of the likelihood of a shortfall of money for veterans due to restrictions imposed on their poppy campaigns amid the pandemic.
Manager Steven Freeman presented two $1,000 cheques to support the Bridgewater Legion Branch #24 and the Mersey Legion Branch #38 in Liverpool in a special presentation October 30.
"I heard Wayne Thorburne (Bridgewater Legion president) on the radio, and I was talking to a couple of friends in the legion recently who were concerned about the poppy campaign this year," said Freeman. "We didn't want to see the veterans left behind." Legions across the country rely on their sales of poppies and wreaths to help veterans in need.
Larry Weagle, the president of the Mersey Legion Branch, was delighted with the Freeman's donation. "This is the largest donation that I've seen in 30 years. Any donation is good, but this is something else," he said.
Last year, the Mersey Branch took in about $19,000 from its poppy and wreath sales.
The Bridgewater branch made about $36,000 in sales in 2019, however over half of that went to cover expenses incurred in having the wreaths and poppies made.
Thorburne lamented that poppy sales will likely take a hit this year.
"It means everything to our veterans; all of the money goes to helping them out," he said. Thorburne said, however, that the legion will continue to support their cause, despite the gloomy sales forecast.