American Legion Emblem

Poppy Program

Poppies 2019-2020

Pam Clark, Chm.

1261 Humbolt Ave, Moville, IA 51039






Using the image and story of the Flanders Field poppy to educate people about the sacrifices of our military service members helps us raise awareness of the Legion Family. As we celebrate our 100th birthday this year, our Department President Kelly has asked us to celebrate “100 years of Service—Not Self”. One way we can do that is by working the Poppy Program all year long.


The Remembrance Red Poppy began on Saturday, Nov. 9, 1918, as a memorial to those who sacrificed their lives in WWI, after Ms. Moina Bell Michael read a poem written by Lt. Col. McCrae entitled, “We Shall Not Sleep” (later entitled “In Flanders Field”. For a copy of this poem see the Iowa Dept. website under Media.) in the November issue of Ladies Home Journal while she was on duty at the 25th Conference of the Overseas YMCA. Ms. Michael’s desk was located in a room called GEMOT. A get-together place where servicemen said farewell to family members. She purchased 25 poppies and distributed them to the businessmen in New York attending the conference. In her autobiography, “The Miracle Flower”, she described how the idea came to her after she read Lt. McCrae’s poem. Ms. Michael went on to lead a campaign for the adoption of the poppy as the national symbol of sacrifice and on Sept. 2, 1920, the Red Poppy became the official flower of The American Legion Family to memorialize the soldiers who served during WWI. For almost 100 years, 100% of the funds raised through the distribution of poppies by American Legion Auxiliary members has exclusively supported active-duty military, veterans and their families. National Poppy Day is celebrated on the Friday before Memorial Day (May 22, 2020).


There are numerous ways that units can promote the poppy throughout the year. Please see for a complete listing of resources that are available on this website to help you. Then remember to send a report of your activities to me by December 15th for Mid-Year reporting and again by April 30th for Year-End reporting. For Year-End, the entry must include a Report and Award Cover Sheet. The entry must be typewritten in narrative format not to exceed 1,000 words. The report should cover all areas of emphasis and any relevant information involving the program activity and describing your use of the poppy throughout the year. From all narratives, the best report will be selected and submitted to our Central Division Chairman, Mary Sebben, for National consideration.


Mid-Winter ContestsPoppy Hat Contest:  Senior members shine up your skills to make the Poppy Hat the best yet. Please use President Kelly’s theme to help you.  Junior Members attending the Mid-Winter conference can also make a Poppy Hat to display.

Small Poppy Centerpiece: Senior members are to make a small centerpiece using 5 small poppies and using President Kelly’s theme. Junior members attending Mid-Winter conference can also make this small Poppy Centerpiece using our President’s theme.
Large Poppy Centerpiece:  A combination of 6 or more small and large poppies used honoring President Kelly’s theme. Junior members attending Mid-Winter conference can also make this large Poppy centerpiece using Kelly’s theme.

New-Original Poppy craftwork: Senior members and Junior members can enter any craft style to highlight the poppy. Let’s see some new and original ideas we can come up with.

Celebrating the Poppy’s and our ALA’s 100th Birthday: Use at least 10 poppies of either size (with each one representing 10 years of ALA poppy history) to create an entry celebrating our 100-year milestone.


For a listing of requirements for the Little Miss Poppy Contest, the Poppy Poster Contest, and the Junior Department Poppy Corsage Contest, please see the form under Media on the ALA Department of Iowa website entitled “Poppy Contest Requirements”.


Let’s make Department President Kelly, National President Nicole, and Central Division Poppy Chairman Mary Sebben all proud to call Iowa their home state by using the poppy this year to honor our Veterans more than we ever have before. After all, the poppy is celebrating its 100th birthday, so let’s make it a memorable celebration!



Poppy Contest Requirements


Poppy Poster Contest: Units shall sponsor contests in local schools. When schools do not conduct activities, other youth groups, including Junior members may participate under direct supervision of the unit. The contest shall have seven classes:
·         Class I: Grades 2 and 3
·         Class II: Grades 4 and 5
·         Class III: Grades 6 and 7
·         Class IV: Grades 8 and 9
·         Class V:  Grades 10 and 11
·         Class VI: Grade 12
·         Class VII: Students with special needs defined as:|
§  Those in special education classes
§  A student recommended for special education classes but who has not been admitted due to a waiting list or various other factors
§  A child identified as having a disability, but not in special education classes due to lack of facilities. Identification contingent upon discretion of school officials.
Poppy Poster Requirements:

All winning posters from each district shall be sent to the Dept. Poppy Chairman at the address above prior to the deadline of May 15th, to allow me time to judge them and make my picks for National entries by their deadline of June 1.
·         Each poster shall have a fitting slogan not to exceed 10 words. Articles-“a”, “and”, “an”, “the”- are not to be counted as words. The words ‘buddy” and “buy” cannot be used.
·         The words “American Legion Auxiliary” must be used in the design of the poster and will not be counted in the 10-word count.
·         Each poster must include a picture of the red Flanders Field poppy.
·         The closing date for the unit contest, shall be May 15, 2020.
·         The poster shall be 11” x 14” poster board. (Drawing paper will not be accepted.)
·         The United States flag may be used as long as there are no infractions of the flag code.
·         Poster will be judged using the following criteria:
§  50%-poster appeal (layout, message, originality)
§  40%-artistic ability (design and color)
§  10%-neatness

        Media used shall be watercolors, crayons, powder or oil paint, handmade paper cutouts, ink or textures, acrylics, pencils and markers
·         Written in ink on the back of the poster (not attached) shall be the class in which the entry is submitted, the name, address, age, grade of the contestant and name of the department.
·         Submissions become property of the American Legion Auxiliary. Through submission of artwork, contestants and their legal guardians’ grant non-excusive reproduction and publication rights to the works submitted and agree to have their names and artwork published for commercial use without additional compensation or permission.
·         The poster shall be the work of only one individual.
·         The label “In Memoriam” from the veteran-made poppy may not be used.
·         While ALA representatives will do their best to return all posters, it is not guaranteed. We recommend participants take a picture or scan their poster for their records.
·         Submission becomes property of the American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters. Through submission of artwork, contestants and their legal guardians grant nonexclusive reproduction and publication rights to the works submitted and agree to have their names and artwork published for commercial use without additional compensation or permission.
 Department Junior Poppy Corsages Contest:
·         Juniors shall make corsages out at least 3 small poppies with no memorial label.
·         Each District shall pick the winner in same classes as for Poppy Posters and send the corsage to the Poppy Chairman before Junior Camp.
·         Citations will be presented and the corsage will be kept at Department to use for guests.
Department Miss Poppy Contest: Little Miss Poppy (age 6-12) Each District may select one girl as their Little Miss Poppy. The Dept. Poppy Chairman will accept all selections through May 15, 2020, which must include all the following listed below, so that I can make a selection to send to National. (Dept. selections must be submitted by the Chairman to the Central Division Chairman by June 1, 2020.
·         Participant must be between 6 and 12 years of age and be a Junior member in good standing of the American Legion Auxiliary
·         Promotional activity of the Poppy story must occur through the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary and the community.
·         Selection of Little Miss Poppy is at the discretion of the unit
·         For Department Little Miss Poppy consideration, participant must submit a Little Miss Poppy scrapbook (8 ½” x 11”) containing photographs and clippings illustrating how she promoted the American Legion Auxiliary poppy in her unit. Only those scrapbooks that contain a self-addressed envelope with postage will be returned. Although every effort will be made to return the scrapbook, accidents do happen, so all entrants must allow for that risk.
·         Criteria for judging Little Miss Poppy Scrapbook entries are:
§  Costume(there is no specific dress code or particular dress color for Miss Poppy)
§  Promotion of the Poppy Program: What did you share and do?
§  Publicity of poppy activities (newspaper, radio, tv, etc)
§  Narrative report on “What I Have Learned Being Little Miss Poppy”
§  Essay on “Memorial Poppy” not to exceed 100 words
§  The memorial poppy must be visible in all promotions and publicity submitted
§  Neatness and creativity
§  Cover page to include member name, Unit name/number, address, and age division and year.
§  Judging scale should be1 through 10 for each area of judging for entire entry
·         The Little Miss Poppy (age 6 to 12) winner will be invited to appear at the Department Convention following her selection, and if she so chooses to attend will travel at her own expense.





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