GALLERY: Legion launches annual poppy campaign

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Museum also adds new Remembrance Day feature with thousands of crochet poppies hanging from exterior wall

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 launched its 2023 Poppy Campaign with the raising of the campaign flag outside the Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse Friday morning.

Branch 25 members were accompanied by members of the 49th (Sault Ste. Marie) Field Regiment, 2310 Royal Canadian Army Cadets and elected officials at the brief ceremony.

As SooToday reported earlier, Branch 25 raised over $100,000 in its 2022 Poppy Campaign, the money raised going to veterans’ programs and services.

The annual poppy campaign, with poppies sold by taggers at locations around town, runs from the last Friday in October to Remembrance Day on Nov. 11.

After the campaign launch, Branch 25 members visited the Sault Ste. Marie Museum, where thousands of crochet poppies, attached to netting, hung from the museum’s roof and adorned its exterior front wall facing Queen Street East.

Thousands more were on display in the museum’s interior Skylight Gallery.

Local cadets attached the crochet poppies to netting earlier this month.

Museum staff spent over an hour draping the net of poppies from the museum’s roof Thursday afternoon.

Crochet Poppy projects have been seen in other communities to honour veterans, this year marking the first such project for Sault Ste. Marie.

The Sault Ste. Marie Museum announced it would initiate a local Crochet Poppy Project in the spring and held workshops throughout the summer and early fall, instructing members of the public on how to crochet woolen poppies with the familiar black centre surrounded by red petals.

The poppies will be on display at the museum until Nov. 13 and will appear again in the days leading up to Remembrance Day next year, said Will Hollingshead, Sault Ste. Marie Museum executive director.

Meanwhile, business and homeowners are being encouraged by Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 to decorate their front windows with Remembrance Day themes.

Business and home owners who do so are asked to take photos of their displays and email them to Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25.

“We were very, very pleased with what we received in terms of the displays last year,” said Pierre Breckenridge, Branch 25 president.

“Some businesses went all out in decorating their storefronts and what we’re asking them to do again this year is take a picture and send it to us by email and the committee will take a look at the submissions.”

Last year’s top honours went to The Real Estate Stop Inc. Mortgage Centre at the corner of Queen St. E. and Gore Street.

There was no cash prize but Branch 25 presented the business with a plaque in appreciation of its efforts.

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