A group of the American Legion Post 102 Auxiliary in Rockford went down to the Grand Rapids Veteran’s Home one Saturday to learn how to make poppies. They learned from our veteran that he earns $55 per 1,000 to make poppies for contributions for the month of May known as Poppy month. He uses the money for gas and car insurance and is one of the lucky disabled vets that can still drive.
“The veterans were very happy to accommodate us,” said Jackie Cook. “Being a new member of the American Legion Auxiliary, I volunteered to collect contributions for the rehabilitation and assistance for veterans and their families. I sold them at Weight Watchers, senior bowling in both Rockford and Sparta, a DTE [MichCon] retirees meeting, and my eleven-year-old grandson’s lacrosse game. Of course the seniors and retirees are from another generation than the Weight Watchers and lacrosse game parents, so they know what the poppies are all about. However, I feel the younger generation, unless they are close to an elderly veteran, have not heard of them or the purpose behind the poppy.”
Cook made herself a “poppy hat” and dressed in all red, white and blue for her Relay for Life walk for the Relay team Faithful Friends and also an hour for the Rockford United Methodist Church. She visited booths at Relay, selling her poppies while she purchased items from the other Relayers.
“I have a Henna tattoo, red and blue nails to match my t-shirt, cookies, water, hot dogs, puppy chow, and catnip sewed inside a knitted mouse. My daughter called later that night and didn’t know which was happier, the eleven-year-old grandson with his puppy chow, or the kitty Rosie with her catnip.”
Cook said she would like to thank those who support the veterans and come out to the American Legion to support the post. “We have many who volunteer for many different charities. We most recently had a ‘Spring Fling’ for the vets at the home and they loved to dance, even though 95 percent were in wheelchairs.”
If you by chance see anyone with a poppy, please help contribute for our veterans. They sacrificed for our country and freedom and some with their life. Poppies will be available when the Memorial Day parade arrives at the Rockford Cemetery.