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Port Coquitlam resident has crocheted thousands of poppies to support vets

Alanna Wong of Port Coquitlam has donated more than $7,000 to the Royal Canadian Legion with her crocheted poppies.

Alanna Wong's hands have been busy again this year.

Since January, the Port Coquitlam resident has crocheted more than 800 little poppies for people to buy and place on their lapel, purse or hat before Remembrance Day (Nov. 11).

She started the project in 2017 as a fundraiser for the legion in New Westminster, where she lived at the time, in a tribute to the men in her family with military backgrounds.

Her grandfather, Capt. James Sutherland Chisholm Fraser, was a relative of the Scottish explorer Simon Fraser and he served with the Royal Canadian Artillery in WWII.

Her great-grandfather, Pte. J.S.C. Fraser, was also wounded in action while serving with The Queen's Own Rifles in the Northwest Rebellion, in Saskatchewan.

And her husband took basic military training.

Over the past six years, Wong has crocheted thousands of the symbols and donated more than $10,000 for the Royal Canadian Legion — $7,000 for the PoCo Legion #133.

"It really adds up," she said in an interview with the Tri-City News on Tuesday (Aug. 22).

Starting Sept. 3, Wong will offer her 1.5-diameter inch poppies for sale by email (crochetedpoppies@gmail.com) and at six locations — three of them in the Tri-Cities:

Her 2023 poppies are the same as in past years, made with Impeccable yarn in cherry and black — plus a safety pin — that she bought from Michael's on Boxing Day.

Wong told the Tri-City News she used to market her floral creations after Thanksgiving, "but people wanted them earlier to wear."

"I also like the idea of getting the word out in September to give people time to think about Remembrance Day and to support the veterans."