Poppies beneficial to VFW projects

To the Editor:

On behalf of Veterans Of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5202 in Waynesville, I would like to thank the all the businesses who allowed us to sell poppies at their locations on Nov. 11-12: Ingles, Big Lots, K-Mart, Ammons, Bi Lo, Elks, and Mast General.  

I would also like to thank all the patrons who purchased or made donations for the poppies. This year, despite the poor economy, we raised over $2,000 which is one of our best years ever. I would like to make special mention of Mary Sager (the Post Angel) who worked tirelessly in soliciting the largest donations as well as all the long hours and hard work she does at the VFW.

Per the VFW.Org website, the VFW conducted its first poppy distribution before Memorial Day in 1922, becoming the first veterans' organization to organize a nationwide distribution. The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

It was during the 1923 encampment that the VFW decided that VFW Buddy Poppies be assembled by disabled and needy veterans who would be paid for their work to provide them with some form of financial assistance. The plan was formally adopted during the VFW’s 1923 encampment. The next year, disabled veterans at the Buddy Poppy factory in Pittsburgh assembled VFW Buddy Poppies. The designation “Buddy Poppy” was adopted at that time.

In February 1924, the VFW registered the name “Buddy Poppy” with the U.S. Patent Office. A certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting the VFW all trademark rights in the name of Buddy under the classification of artificial flowers. The VFW has made that trademark a guarantee that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can legally use the name “Buddy” Poppy.

Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals. The minimal assessment (cost of Buddy Poppies) to VFW units provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans' rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation's veterans. VFW Post 5202 will use the funds collected for the Veterans Assistance Program.

James Danek

Vice Commander,

VFW Post 5202

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