Cassadaga celebrates ‘Poppy Days’

OBSERVER Photo by J.M. Lesinski. Pictured, Poppy Chairwoman Carol Baker, following her presentation and gifting of individual poppies to the Cassadaga Village Board, Wednesday.

CASSADAGA — Village board members declared May 24 through Memorial Day as “Poppy Days” in the village of Cassadaga at the latest board meeting Wednesday.

A presentation on the significance and symbolism of poppies was given by Poppy Chairwoman Carol Baker during the public comment portion of the meeting. “National Poppy Day is May 24,” Baker began. “And I’d like the village to recognize that Friday through Memorial Day be Poppy Week here in the area.”

The poppy traditionally honors those who’ve served in the military and holds special importance this year to members of the American Legion. “Wearing the poppies calls to honor living and dead veterans and those who’ve served since 1918,” Baker commented. “This year is the 100th birthday of the American Legion.”

Baker then gave each member of the board a handmade poppy, as she continued explaining what poppies do for veterans. “These poppies are handmade by veterans in our hospitals for rehab,” Baker noted. “They earn 4.4 cents each for each poppy and they use this for their necessary needs.”

Every single penny that is raised from the poppies contributes to the needs of veterans, and doesn’t go through an elaborate administrative system, ensuring that expenses like medical bills aren’t as daunting for those who’ve served our country. “All the money we get from the poppies goes back to these veterans,” Baker said of the fundraising. “We don’t keep any of it.”

Baker closed out her comments by commending those she’s worked with, and where one can find poppies in the coming week. “I have a lot of great volunteers every year, we do the Gerry, Sinclairville and Cassadaga parades. I also put 25 containers in 20 businesses in the area.”