Girl Scout Troop 1622 commemorates veterans with field of poppies

Girl Scout Troop 1622 commemorates veterans with field of poppies
The members of Girl Scout Troop No. 1622 filled Memorial Park with poppies to commemorate veterans. (Photo courtesy of Kris Thomas)

Memorial Park is filled with poppies to commemorate veterans thanks to an effort by Floral Park Girl Scout Troop No. 1622.

“The visual will just be a reminder and honor the veterans throughout the week in the park as people drive down Tulip Avenue,” Troop Leader Kris Thomas said.

As part of their Silver Award project, the girls created and sold poppies for $20 each.

The girls repurposed plastic soda bottles to create the flowers. A metal stem, about 18 inches tall, and a tag commemorating an individual veteran are attached to each poppy.

“Surprisingly, you wouldn’t even know it was a soda bottle,” Thomas said.

The troop members, Emerson Lucatorto, Tulah Chatterton, Julia Manolios, Cailtin Burns, Ella Iannetti and Chloe Iannetti, have all been hands on in putting together the project, Thomas said. 

They first presented their idea to the Floral Park village board in November.

In addition to honoring the veterans – and keeping the bottles out of landfills – the project is raising money for service dogs, Thomas said.

The girls are working with the Floral Park American Legion as well as Canine Companions for Independence.

At $30,000 per service dog, the girls have raised just a “tiny bit of the puppy,” Thomas said.

The troop has collected about $2,500 so far and is accepting more donations, Thomas said.

“I can’t imagine veterans coming home, wounded warriors, have $30,000 they can spend on a dog,” Thomas said. “They unfortunately have to choose between putting food on a table and a service dog that helps them.”

Thomas said she got the idea to make the poppies from the Southold American Legion.

The legion has been a great help in showing the troop how to make the poppies, Thomas said.

In return, the troop has helped the legion, Thomas said.

The tech-savy 13-year-olds in Troop 1622 have been helping the legion create a Facebook page, Thomas said.

The troop is also using social media to help with the poppy project by posting on Facebook to commemorate veterans that poppies are dedicated for.

While all the poppies have already been planted for Memorial Day, the troop is still accepting donations and can post on social media for veterans.

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