Royal Canadian Legion says thefts too few to justify secure poppy boxes

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Royal Canadian Legion says thefts too few to justify secure poppy boxes

Post by Trooper on Thu 02 Nov 2017, 7:42 am

Bill Kaufmann, Calgary Herald

Theft-proof Poppy Fund boxes developed by a Cochrane man won’t be endorsed by the Royal Canadian Legion’s national command because they’re not needed, a spokeswoman for the group said Tuesday.

Due to the rarity of thefts of the boxes from retail outlets and restaurants, the metal containers — connected to a counter by a metal wire — aren’t a priority, said Nujma Bond, spokeswoman for Legion Dominion Command.

“The theft of poppy boxes is not a big problem across the country; it happens in pockets,” said Bond, whose organization oversees the Poppy Fund campaign that benefits destitute veterans.

“It’s not seen as something that’s required.”

She said Dominion Command is only aware of “at least” a half dozen of the boxes being stolen each year country-wide, though Calgary police say in this city alone, 21 were grabbed last year and 42 were stolen in 2015.


The Legion’s Alberta Command considers the need to secure the containers on vendors’ counters as logistically impractical, said Bond.

The comments come on the same day the boxes’ creator, Dan Kroffat, was invited by federal Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan to demonstrate the device at his Ottawa office.

“I would suggest this meeting would have to put the Legion in a position to take them seriously,” said Kroffat. “The Royal Canadian Legion (is) not with the times.”

After years of hearing about poppy box thefts, Kroffat first raised money to replace the funds stolen.

But last year, he enlarged the scope of his project by designing the new metal boxes. The use of those boxes in Cochrane during 2016’s Poppy Fund campaign led to increased donations, compared to previous years.

Bond said the Legion doesn’t want the campaign to become a profit-generating scheme, but Kroffat noted he makes no money from it, adding the $35 boxes are funded by sponsors.

He also said the main consideration should be “the veterans living on the streets and living below the poverty line. … If we get enough of these boxes across the country, we could raise enough money to get veterans off the street and raise living standards.”

O’Regan will meet with Kroffat in the next few weeks, said his spokesman Alex Wellstead.

“It’s a good opportunity to get a demonstration,” said Wellstead. “Anybody who wants to talk about how to support veterans, we’re more than happy to listen to them.”

But ultimately, he said, the decision to expand the use of the boxes rests with the Royal Canadian Legion.

The boxes are being used in Cochrane and in the British Columbia towns of Summerland and Williams Lake this year, through the co-operation of local and regional Legion commands, said Kroffat. But, they’ve yet to be placed in Calgary, he said.

BKaufmann@postmedia.com

on Twitter@BillKaufmannjrn

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/royal-canadian-legion-says-thefts-too-few-to-justify-secure-poppy-boxes/wcm/a75bb1a4-4b4e-4b64-b4c8-69c332e1266c
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Re: Royal Canadian Legion says thefts too few to justify secure poppy boxes

Post by JAFO on Thu 02 Nov 2017, 3:42 pm

Bond said the Legion doesn’t want the campaign to become a profit-generating scheme, but Kroffat noted he makes no money from it, adding the $35 boxes are funded by sponsors.

How in the hell can this guy say that when I got an application for a MasterCard that supports the Legion in the mail today?  With the Legion crest on the credit card!  Hypocrite!

So a Legion "outsider" comes up with an idea to help build the poppy fund for veterans is told "NO" because the Legion will not make a penny off the idea.

But MasterCard comes calling with an idea and pays the Legion for using their crest and it's OK!

Going to have to contact Webster's Dictionary and tell them the three word definition for Hypocrite is Royal Canadian Legion!
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