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Ladies auxiliary to sell handmade items at Christmas bazaar; proceeds go to veterans in Chilliwack

Chilliwack Progress - 11/27/2022

Remembrance Day may be over, but supporters of the Chilliwack-Vedder Legion are still raising money for the poppy fund.

On Dec. 3, members of the ladies auxiliary with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 295 will be holding a Christmas bazaar and all money raised will go to the poppy fund.

For sale that day will be hand-knitted, hand-crocheted and hand-sewn items, plus baked goods.

"It's all ladies auxiliary members volunteering their time and donating their product that they've made," said Pat Broome, president of the Branch 295 ladies auxiliary. "Whatever proceeds we make from the sale will go to the poppy campaign."

The ladies auxiliary raises money for the legion and supports other organization and charities throughout the community.

"The ladies auxiliary is the support of the branch," said Natalie Flack, one of the organizers of the bazaar.

In addition to home baking and Christmas decor, people will find items like tea towels, dishcloths, baby blankets and booties, toques, sweaters, aprons, cat blankets and dog blankets.

The tables are laid out based on the price of the items.

"Everything is $2, $5… very reasonable," Flack said, adding that some items will be up to $18.

They had a similar event in the summer where money also went to the poppy fund. Their Christmas in July bazaar brought in nearly $2,500.

"It was a really good success. The public really enjoyed it," Broome said.

This will be the first Christmas bazaar the ladies auxiliary is doing after Chilliwack's two legions amalgamated back in 2021.

Before COVID, both the former Branch 4 and Branch 280, and their respective ladies auxiliaries, would have their own events.

The two groups are used to doing things differently, and now they are working together as one, Broome said.

"This will be the first (Christmas bazaar) as 295," she said. "We're looking forward to the new year when we can maybe have a little bit of experience under our belt."

The ladies auxiliary also supports the community by donating money to local charities, cadet corps (sea, army and air), Scouts Canada and Girl Guides of Canada, high school scholarships and bursaries, the youth dart league, and veterans' hospitals.

"We're working towards the same goal and that's the veterans, the community and of course the poppy fund," Broome said.

In Chilliwack, the poppy fund brings in about $100,000 to $120,000 each year. In past years each branch would bring in about $50,000 to $60,000.

"With that kind of return, it's amazing what we can do for our veterans, their families and our RCMP members that we deal with," said Krista Smith, president of Branch 295.

Money from the poppy fund goes to veterans in the community, plus programs and organizations that are directly veteran-related, such as PTDS dogs, therapy and programs for veterans suffering from mental health, and homeless veterans.

The Branch 295 ladies auxiliary Christmas bazaar is Saturday, Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chilliwack-Vedder Legion at 5661 Vedder Rd. It is a cash-only event. Admission is free.

Looking for more events taking place in and around Chilliwack? Check out What's happening Chilliwack in our community section.

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