Vernon Legion branch faces ‘serious’ challenge

The local Royal Canadian Legion branch is currently experiencing significant financial issues...

A Vernon institution wants to ensure it remains a vital part of the community.

The local Royal Canadian Legion branch is currently experiencing significant financial issues and there are some concerns about how long the situation can continue.

“It’s very serious,” said John Miller, president.

“We have formed a special committee to look at the situation.”

The branch is completely reliant on revenue generated in the lounge to cover day-to-day operations, such as utility bills, rent and wages.

However, fewer people are walking through the doors these days and that has negatively impacted the bottom line.

Like other legions, the Vernon branch is also faced with an aging membership.

“We only have one active Second World War veteran,” said Miller.

Through the 2012 poppy campaign, the branch raised $32,435 to assist veterans and their families.

And gaming activities at the legion, such as the meat draw, raised more than $31,050 for the community.

“We support the sea cadets, the air cadets, sports groups, Hospice House and other worthwhile local organizations,” said Miller.

“If we don’t do this, who will fill the void? The community will suffer.”

The loss of the legion could also mean fewer resources to organize the Rememberance Day ceremony Nov. 11.

Beyond expanded revenue, the 600-member branch needs more direct involvement.

“We are short of volunteers within the membership,” said Miller.

While circumstances are currently challenging, Miller is trying to remain upbeat.

“We have a plan. It’s absolutely important for the community to see the value in the organization.”

For more information, call 250-545-3295.