Ervin Kobialko

Veterans seek help to spread the poppy

After years of serving our country and communities, Royal Canadian Legion veterans are asking folks of the West Shore for a hand.

After years of serving our country and communities, Royal Canadian Legion veterans are asking folks of the West Shore for a hand.

This year the West Shore Poppy Fund committee has come up short with volunteers to help with the annual poppy drive.

Last year the committee, working out of the Royal Canadian Legion, Prince Edward Branch in Langford, had about 225 volunteers. This year the number of has dropped to 125 people and the veterans need help covering the community.

Volunteers don’t have to be veterans or part of a military family. Positions are open to anyone over 19 years old.

“We can brief them and send them out with poppies to designated businesses,” said Gerry Lee, West Shore Poppy Fund committee chair.

The volunteers may be sent to coffee shops, grocery stores or shopping malls. Each shift is two hours.

“We have to have these stations manned otherwise we are not going to get the pubic support,”  said Ervin Kobialko, the West Shore Poppy Fund committee treasurer. Last year the poppy drive raised $80,000.

Kobialko served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a warrant officer for 25 years.  Lee was in the master warrant officer in the Canadian Army for 31 years.

“We appreciate it when (people wear a poppy) to remember the veterans and to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Lee said.

The men said they like seeing children wear poppies and learn about what veterans have done for our country.

Funds raised from the poppy drive helps out veterans and their families. Money is donated to various groups such as the Priory, Broadmead Care Society, Cockrell House, WestCom Medi-lend Society and the West Shore Adult Day Centre.

“We try to help out as much as we can,” Lee said.

To volunteer call the poppy fund committee at 250-478-9812 or the the Langford Legion Branch 91 at 250-478-1828.



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