National Poppy Day recognizes veterans

Published 2:27 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

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Volunteers were expected to be out at Hy-Vee Friday and Saturday handing out poppies.

“Monies that go to the Poppy Day go to our veterans,” said Lynn Koza, one of the organizers of the event, noting the nationally recognized event was to raise money for services such as transportation services, clothing and food.

According to Koza, the national donation didn’t have a fundraising goal, though Jean Enstad, the chairwoman for the poppy event, estimated they raised over $2,000 last year.

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“People are usually really willing to give us a little donation,” Koza said.

As of 10 a.m. Friday, over $200 was already collected.

Volunteers started handing out poppies at 8 a.m. Friday and continued through 4 p.m. They also plan to be at the grocery store from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. National Poppy Day is always the Friday preceding Memorial Day. To that effect, Mayor Rich Murray proclaimed Friday and Saturday National Poppy Day earlier this month.

Koza encouraged people to wear their poppies not just this weekend but at any time so as to recognize veterans.

“The poppy is a symbol for our veterans,” Enstad said.

Koza thanked people who donated, as well as Hy-Vee for allowing them to use their facility to collect donations.