Roberts Creek Legion #219 is about halfway toward reaching its fundraising target, as volunteers work to keep the “little Legion” alive.
“We’ve found ourselves in a crisis with a deficit and difficulty making expenses every month,” said Diane McIntosh, a member of the volunteer group that’s dubbed itself Team 219. “If we don’t address that by raising money and making changes, we really do face closing our doors.”
Team 219 set a target of $10,000 and had raised more than $5,000 after Creek Daze, including $1,700 from its Close Shave event, where the top earners were Gail Bland, Medina Thorsteinson and Robbie Farmer. The trio shaved their heads for the cause at exactly 2:19 p.m. last Saturday, Aug. 17.
McIntosh said the Legion struggled last year with decreased attendance, but during an emergency general meeting held about two months ago, members learned that the Legion might have to close its doors if the bottom line didn’t improve.
“That galvanized the team into action,” McIntosh said. “We need to raise funds and get monthly income back into the black, by making operational changes to attract members and increase attendance.”
In October, representatives from Pacific Command will review the branch’s progress.
“We’re on track so far, we think, but our job isn’t over yet,” McIntosh said.
In response to the crisis, members have made improvements to the building and interior, brought in a wider variety of entertainment and cut new membership fees and renewals in half for 2013.
McIntosh said the branch is in a unique position to serve Roberts Creek because it’s a small community, and what the Legion offers is not available at any other venue.
“If we not only survive, but thrive, then we can do much more giving back to the community,” she said.
New activities or improvements in the planning stage include game nights, bingo, better street signage, new chairs for the Legion Hall, special fundraising events, hall rentals, sports teams, family events and increased community service. Several beautification and building renovation projects are also in the works, as is a plan to create a dedicated smoking area away from non-smokers.
To donate to the Legion, buy or renew memberships or volunteer in any capacity, see www.robertscreeklegion.ca.