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Buddy Poppy campaign benefits veterans in need
Buddy Poppies 2019
Great Bend Mayor Joe Andrasek holds the proclamation recognizing Nov. 4-11, 2019, as Buddy Poppy Days. He is pictured with Veterans of Foreign War Post 3111 Commander Brandon Kultgen, left, and the Post Auxiliary President Doug Fuhr.
Buddy Poppies art

Members of Great Bend’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3111 and its Auxiliary will be distributing Buddy Poppies on Saturday, November 9. Nationwide, the VFW Buddy Poppy drive has been officially recognized and endorsed by government leaders since 1922.

Great Bend Mayor Joe Andrasek has proclaimed the week of Nov. 4-11 as Buddy Poppy Days. Volunteers and Poppy donation canisters will be at area businesses.

“We sincerely appreciate their efforts on behalf of our veterans' programs,” said Doug Fuhr, president of the VFW Post 3111 Auxiliary.

Proceeds from poppy distribution must be used to benefit disabled and needy veterans, as well as the widows and orphans of deceased veterans.

“We encourage everyone in the community to take the time to get a Buddy Poppy to help honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Wear it proudly — especially on Veterans Day, Nov. 11,” Fuhr said.

About Buddy Poppies

In 1923, VFW became the first veterans organization to promote a nationally organized campaign for the annual distribution of poppies, which are assembled by disabled or hospitalized veterans. 

More than 14 million poppies are assembled each year and VFW Post organizations raise more than $15 million annually from the distributions.

Many are assembled in Kansas at the Fort Dodge Veterans Home, located about 5 miles east of Dodge City. VFW pays the veterans for the work. The extra money often allows them to pay for little luxuries that make hospital life more tolerable. Furthermore, poppy assembly is often used as a therapy program exercise for fingers and hands crippled by wounds, disease and the effects of old age.

More than 1,300 children and veterans have been cared for in the VFW National Home in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, thanks to a portion of poppy funds.

“It’s truly all about veterans helping veterans and living up to VFW’s motto of ‘Honor the Dead by Helping the Living,’” Fuhr said. “They gave — will you? Get your Buddy Poppy on Nov. 9. Wear it proudly.”