Maggie Fowler, left, and Gabby Friesen of the Keremeos branch of the Royal Canadian Legion receiving monies from the federal government under the Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund. (Submitted)

Keremeos Royal Canadian Legion branch receives federal support

The funds are part of $20 million in support to veterans’ organizations across Canada

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 192 in Keremeos will be receiving some federal support to help get them through COVID-19.

The Keremeos Legion has received close to $12,000 that can be used for operational funding. This will allow for regular costs such as insurance, taxes, electricity, and heat to be paid.

While the Keremeos Legion is in a better financial position than other branches, with reduced income from the pandemic closures it would not have been long before cash reserves would have been depleted.

The closures due to the pandemic also affected the legion’s fundraising activities such as meat draws, bunny races, and raffles, which go the branch’s charity account to be donated to various organizations in the Keremeos area to help benefit veterans, seniors and the community when needed.

Even with the shutdowns for COVID-19, the Keremeos Legion was able to distribute over $26,000 from this fund to local groups in 2020. As none of the funds raised by these activities under the BC Gaming umbrella can be used for general expenditures such as heat and lights, it makes the receiving of federal funding that much more important to the survival of legions.

Gary Billon, president of the branch, said this was great news for the Keremeos Legion and that he was pleased with receiving the much-needed funding promised by the federal government. He went on to thank the government for addressing the needs of veterans and seniors who often depend on legion facilities for socializing and assistance.

“Royal Canadian Legions play an important role in the communities they serve. The Keremeos Branch 192 is no exception,” said Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola in a release. “I would like to thank branch president, Gary Billon and his team for the excellent work they do in the community. These resources will help them stay viable and weather the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Due to the pandemic, the legion was forced to curtail their usual November fundraising activities and Remembrance Day ceremony.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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