Poppy Program honors war dead

NEIGHBORS

May 23, 1994|By CINDY PARR

Poppies, poppies, poppies!

To this day, simply saying or hearing the name of this particular flower causes my mind to conjure up an awful image of the wicked witch in "The Wizard of Oz."

I'll never forget that important scene where Dorothy, Toto and their friends (Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion) were crossing the poppy field en route to see the Wizard.

The wicked witch watched in her crystal ball as the group made its way toward the poppy field.

As she concocted her poison, she knew that the poppy field would serve her purpose. Poppies were attractive to the eye and soothing to smell.

"Poppies, poppies, poppies will put them to sleep," said the wicked witch, as she stirred her crippling potion.

Ironically, Hollywood's take on poppies is quite the opposite of what the beautiful wild flowers represent for war veterans.

Poppies have been playing an important role for more than 70 years as the symbol of sacrifice made by the millions of men and women who gave their lives to keep our country free.

This Memorial Day weekend we will honor the memory of those brave men and women.

Regarding the importance of Memorial Day and the significance of the poppy, Westminster Mayor Ben Brown has declared May as Poppy Month in Westminster.

In a proclamation made last month, Mayor Brown specifically recognized the American Legion Auxiliary, Carroll Unit No. 31 for its tributes, accomplishments and commitment to helping veterans.

Susan Bohn, chairwoman of Carroll Unit 31, American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program, said at the heart of this commitment lies the symbolic poppy.

"We take great pride in this [poppy] program as we remember the sacrifices so many gave to our country for our freedom today," she said. "This little flower honors the living as well as the dead. We use this little flower throughout the year, not just Memorial Day."

The Poppy Program is sponsored by Carroll Unit 31 and serves as a continuing function to raise funds for veterans programs.

"All the poppies are handmade by veterans who are in hospitals and veteran centers throughout the United States," Ms. Bohn said.

So far this year, members of Carroll Unit 31 have been busy with overseeing and planning many projects involving the poppy.

"We have been at the local shopping centers accepting donations for the handmade poppies," Ms. Bohn said.

"We have given baskets to the tellers at Carroll County Bank and Trust to put at their stations and we have provided tray favors to Carroll County General Hospital."

Even 11-year-old Audrey Pritts from Westminster, this year's Miss Poppy, has been active.

"Audrey has been just wonderful and we are very happy to have her as our Miss Poppy," Ms. Bohn said.

"She is making 500 cards to send to the Martinsburg VA Center, Charlotte Hall and area nursing homes. She will be assisting me throughout the year with many projects."

Anyone who wishes to make a donation to the Poppy Program can do so at the American Legion

Home in Westminster.

*

You know that spring is truly here when strawberry festivals make their way onto social calendars.

The Ladies Auxiliary at the Pleasant Valley Fire Company will hold its annual Strawberry Social from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m on Saturday at the Fire Hall.

Lots of good food including fried chicken, potato salad, apple sauce, french slaw, rolls and butter will be served at a cost of $4 for adults and $1.50 for children.

Strawberry sundaes will be sold separately, at $1.50 for large and 75 cents for small.

Entertainment will be provided by the William F. Myers Band of Westminster.

Tickets or information: 848-3163.

*

There's more good food and fun awaiting you Saturday as the Ladies Auxiliary of V.F.W. Post 467 sponsors a flea market and pancake breakfast beginning at 6 a.m. at the V.F.W. Post Home on Poole Road in Westminster.

The first order of the day will be a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, eggs, pudding, potatoes, hominy, biscuits, toast, gravy, milk, orange juice, coffee and tea.

The cost is $4.50 for adults and $2.25 for children ages 6 to 12. Children under 6 eat free.

After you've had breakfast, shop the flea market and bake table until 3 p.m. Lunch items will be sold from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vendors can rent a 20-foot-by-20-foot space for $10. They can register and set up at 6 a.m.

Information: 857-6395.

*

The Mid-Atlantic Basenji Club will hold its 24th Annual Fun Match from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Ag Center in Westminster.

The free show is expected to attract 40 to 80 dogs. Dogs will be judged in a variety of categories.

Information: 875-2449.

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