Area residents can honor veterans this week by picking up Buddy Poppies from members of the Morrison McFadden Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3111 Auxiliary, said Doug Fuhr, Buddy Poppy chairman and president of the Great Bend auxiliary.
Members will be handing out poppies in exchange for donations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at several locations in Great Bend. They will be outside, in front of both Dillons stores, both entrances to Walmart, Walgreens, Perkins, Sutherlands and Orscheln Farm & Home.
The annual sale of Buddy Poppies has been officially recognized and endorsed by governmental leaders since 1922, according to a proclamation signed by Great Bend Mayor Cody Schmidt earlier this month.
“Whereas VFW Buddy Poppies are assembled by disabled veterans, and are used exclusively for the benefit of disabled and needy veterans, and the widows and orphans of deceased veterans; and
“Whereas the basic purpose of the annual sale of Buddy Poppies by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary 3111 is eloquently reflected in the desire to ‘Honor the Dead by Helping the Living,’
“Now, therefore, I Cody Schmidt, Mayor of Great Bend, Kansas, do hereby proclaim the week of Nov. 7-14, 2020 as Buddy Poppy Days.”
Schmidt’s proclamation urged citizens of the community to recognize the merits of the cause by contributing generously through their purchase of Buddy Poppies, and to war a Buddy Poppy “as mute evidence of our gratitude to the men of this country who have risked their lives in defense of the freedoms which we continue to enjoy as American citizens.”
Fuhr noted that many of the poppies are assembled at the Kansas Soldiers Home at Fort Dodge. VFW pays disabled veterans for the work, providing them with extra income for little luxuries. More than 14 million poppies are assembled today and VFW post members and auxiliary members raise more than $15 million annually from the distributions.