Members of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 180 in Great Bend will be out in force Saturday and Sunday to distribute the familiar red poppies in their annual fundraiser.
The volunteers will be set up at Dillon’s (10th and McKinley), True Value (1649 K-96) and Walmart (3503 10th) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. They only ask for a donation for the poppies.
“All the money raised goes to disabled veterans or the families of disabled veterans,” said Rhonda Gabel, the local Poppy Day chairwoman.
But, she said, the annual event almost didn’t happen like planned. “There is an extreme shortage of poppies this year.”
The poppies are handmade in the U.S. by disabled veterans. For some reason, there fewer available.
Gabel said the Great Bend post received 1,000 of the colorful flowers.
According to the American Legion Auxiliary’s national website, the poppy is a symbol of sacrifice of lives in war. It dates back to World War I and the poppies that grew on the battlefields.
For more than 80 years the American Legion Auxiliary has sponsored Poppy Day. Members of Auxiliary Post 180 continue to distribute the red poppies in memory of those who served and died for the country.
Poppy Day has become a familiar tradition. This distribution of the memorial flower to the public is one of the oldest and most widely recognized programs of the American Legion Auxiliary.