McKena Christman has been named Miss Poppy 2011 by Shoemaker-Haydt Unit 314 Legion Auxiliary in Lehighton. A fifth grade student at Lehighton Area Middle School, the 11-year-old is the daughter of Kara Newton and Sean Christman.

As Miss Poppy, Christman will assist the Auxiliary in collecting donations for this year's Poppy Program throughout the Lehighton area. They will be accepting donations at Carbon Plaza Mall in Mahoning Township on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16 - as well as on Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7.

According to LaRue Fritz, Poppy Chairman of Unit 314 and Four-County Council for the past 13 years, "All donations are used for veterans and their families." In addition to helping veterans in local nursing homes, the donations collected by the Auxiliary also benefit those in the Veterans Affairs (VA) homes in Wilkes-Barre and Southeastern Pennsylvania. As part of its Adopt-a-Veteran Program, the Lehighton organization ensures that veterans enjoy gifts and cards on their birthdays and Christmas.

While congratulating Christman on being named Miss Poppy 2011, Lehighton Mayor Donald Rehrig recalled his own experiences as a youth helping to collect donations for the Poppy Program. "I think it's a great program. I encourage everyone to donate."

For more information on the Legion Auxiliary's Poppy Program, contact Fritz at (570) 386-5594.