The Courtenay Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has received some welcome financial assistance from the federal government to help cope with pandemic challenges.
Branch 17 received $11,556 after requesting it through an application process involving its Provincial Command. The money will be used to supplement operating costs to keep the doors open.
“This funding is significant in keeping our doors open. Operating costs do not change during a pandemic but income is affected,” branch president Gary Flath said, noting Poppy Campaign funds are public trust funds that can’t be used for operations. “We need to keep our doors open in order for our members and the community to enjoy what we offer and contribute to raising funds for the many Comox Valley organizations we donate to.”
The Legion is a ioneer Contributor to the Comox Valley Hospital Foundation with more than $200,000 to date. Many bursaries and scholarships such as cadets and minor hockey total an average of $20,000 annually.
Flath said the main mission is to look after veterans, but the Legion contributes to the entire community.
“The entire community owes a debt of gratitude to the Courtenay Legion for its service to those in need and for its commitment to the well-being of veterans and their families,” Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns said. “This modest grant to supplement the Legion’s operating costs during this pandemic is an important investment and much deserved.”
On Nov. 10, the federal government announced a $20 million aid package to help veteran organizations get through the pandemic. The Legion received $14 million. The funds can cover a range of operational items such as insurance, utilities, rent or mortgage, property tax, administration costs and wages, among other needs.
“The Courtenay Legion is a crucial part of our community, serving veterans and their families, including the approximate 14 identified homeless veterans, regardless of whether or not they are members of the Legion,” Flath said.