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Legion closing down lounge

Vernon’s Royal Canadian Legion is undergoing major restructuring in an attempt to remain viable.

Financial challenges are forcing the organization to close the lounge and scale back to having just an office.

“We are not closing the legion. We are saving the legion charter,” said president John Miller.

“We want to start fresh and move forward.”

A Save the Vernon Legion fundraiser will be held Sunday at the lounge to partially address the financial issues.

“We are really hoping to see people come out. They can help us transition to our plan,” said Miller.

It’s anticipated the lounge will close in the near future.

“It’s not supporting itself and the day-to-day expenses,” said Miller.

The branch is completely reliant on revenue from the lounge to cover operations, such as utility bills, rent and wages. However, fewer people are walking through the doors and that has impacted the budget.

While there won’t be a lounge, the legion will continue with its meat draws.

“We can rent a hall for the day and have a liquor license for the day,” said Miller.

Gaming activities, such as the meat draw, raised more than $31,050 last  year for community charities. It cannot go towards operating expenses.

The legion will also continue with its poppy campaign, which raised $32,435 in 2012 for veterans and their families.

Miller anticipates some members will be upset that the legion is closing.

“We will probably have some people who are concerned but if they are legion members, they will stand by the legion,” he said.

Sunday’s activities will begin with a pancake breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. There will be a barbecue at 11 a.m. and three bands will play throughout the afternoon. There will also be a live auction starting at 4 p.m.

The Vernon legion is located at  4609 29th St. For more information, call 250-545-3295.

 

 

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