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American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Illinois


Susan Heinz-Wojcik

Our theme for the Poppy Program this year is: “Superheroes distributing Poppies for our Special Heroes.”

The red poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since World War I to honor those who served and died for our country in all wars. It reminds Americans of the sacrifices made by our veterans while protecting our freedoms. On Sept. 27, 1920, the poppy became the official flower of the American Legion Family to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war. In 1924, the distribution of poppies became a national program of The American Legion.
Poppy distribution can be planned around Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and other times of the year that work well for your community and members. Celebrate National Poppy Day on May 26, 2024. Wear a red poppy all day and tell everyone why. Remember that poppies are free, and we take donations to support our veterans and veterans’ programs. When distributing poppies make sure you have information on the Poppy (i.e., bookmarks, copy of “In Flanders Field” poem, and the Poppy Story.) The Department Office has many resources available. Emblem Sales also has poppy information that you can purchase.

The following Poppy contests will be in effect for the 2023-2024 year: Poppy Corsage, Poppy Floral Arrangement, Poppy Holiday Arrangement, Poppy Tray Favors, Poppy Apparel. Poppy Poem, and Little Miss Poppy and Miss Poppy. We will also, work in conjunction with The American Legion, on the Poppy Poster Contest. Poppy Rules will be in the October Packet and on ALA web page.

Department Plaque
Marsha’s Athletes Plaque- to the Unit with best overall participation in the poppy program.
Judy’s Circus Performers Poppy Plaque – for the most new and innovative way or idea of raising funds for the poppy program.
For Little Miss Poppy and Miss Poppy, they will receive a tiara, sash, and a check for $50.

Personal Awards
• $10.00 to Runner Up for Marsha’s Athletes Plaque.
• $10.00 Runner Up for Judy’s Circus Performers Plaque.
• $10.00 for the best Video and Narrative Distributing Poppies. (You can the video anytime doesn’t have to be Memorial Day)

I hope to have many entries, and this can be used to help promote the Poppy Program. There are so many people out in our community that don’t know what a poppy is and why we distribute them.
Deadline for Department Plaques is May 1, 2024. Please use the Department of IL Award Submission Cover Sheet. Personal Awards deadline May 1, 2024.
Consider using your poppy funds to support one of the American Legion Auxiliary’s partners:
Support essential aspects of Honor Flights in your area. For more information, visit
• Poppy funds may also be used to support food banks coordinated by the Armed Services YMCA. For further information, visit
Resources from National
Log into the National website to access these items:

Resources from National

Log into the National website to access these items

Department Resources