MONTREAL, April 19, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Last Post Fund is embarking on a national fundraising campaign, entitled In Memory of our Veterans, which will be chaired by Major General (Ret'd) Lewis MacKenzie. The target for the first year of this fundraising endeavour is $3,000,000.
For over a century, this national organization has been providing dignified funerals and burials for close to 150,000 Canadian financially challenged Veterans, mainly through the Veterans Affairs Canada Funeral and Burial Program. However, the Last Post Fund has to rely on donations to address these specific needs:
- Funds are needed to facilitate the dignified burial of Veterans in need who are not eligible for the federal government's Funeral and Burial Program. Only a few modern-day Veterans are eligible for this Program, despite the urging for more than a decade by veterans organizations to extend eligibility to all Veterans, be they traditional or modern-day.
"Believe it or not, said MGen MacKenzie, there have been Canadian Forces' Veterans who, at the time of their death, did not have the financial means to receive a dignified funeral but did not meet the eligibility criteria of the Canadian government Funeral and Burial Program. Therefore the Last Post Fund has had to use donation funds to meet the specific needs of their family or estate". Since the beginning of 2012, three such cases were brought to the attention of the Last Post Fund who provided financial assistance to the families of deceased Veterans
- Funds are needed to support the Last Post Fund's Unmarked Grave Program, whose objective is to provide a permanent military-style marker for eligible Veterans who lie in unmarked graves. According to Veterans Affairs Canada, there are between 20,000 and 30,000 such unmarked Veterans graves throughout the country.
- Funds are needed to support to the Last Post Fund National Field of Honour, a private non-profit military cemetery operating through donations from the public. Located in Pointe-Claire, Québec, this National Historic Site is the final resting place for more than 20,000 Veterans and close family members. They originate from all Canadian provinces but also from 41 countries around the globe. Infrastructure requirements include renovation of the Visitors' Centre, land acquisition for earth burials, repair of roadways, and replacement of maintenance equipment. Funds are also needed to sustain the perpetual care fund, since interest rates have fallen while costs are constantly increasing.
These Last Post Fund programs and activities aim at honouring the memory of the thousands of Canadian men and women who served our country, while defending our values of freedom and democracy.
Donations can be made on line by visiting the Last Post Fund Website: www.lastpostfund.ca or by calling at 1 (800) 465-7113.
For further information:
Media Contact: Isabelle Chartrand, Last Post Fund, T. (514) 866-2727, ext. 230 | [email protected]