Members of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1638 and its Ladies Auxiliary will be distributing Buddy Poppies in various locations throughout the city of Merrill during the week of May 17-26. According to Buddy Poppy Chairman John Rathke, VFW By-Laws state that the proceeds from Poppy distributions must be used to benefit disabled and needy veterans and the family members and orphans of deceased veterans. “What better way to help our veterans in the community than by distributing this little flower of remembrance,” Rathke said. “We encourage everyone in town to stop by the various locations and get a Buddy Poppy to help honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
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. Founded in 1899, VFW is the nation’s oldest major veteran’s organization with more than 1.7 million members.
Mayor Bill Bialecki (Past Post Commander of VFW Post 1638) has signed a City of Merrill Proclamation dedicating the week of May 17-26, 2014 as the annual Buddy Poppy Campaign for Merrill. For further information on the Buddy Poppy Campaign, contact VFW Post Chairman John Rathke or Ladies Auxiliary Chairman Shirley Sabatke-Olkives by calling 715-536-5708. From Left to Right Mayor Bill Bialecki, Post Commander Jim Moser, Buddy Poppy Chairman’s John Rathke and Shirley Sabatke-Olkives, and President of the Ladies Auxiliary Tracy Jopek.