The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #56 in Swift Current is attempting to raise $500,000 in order to complete major repairs to their building and preserve the future of the Legion in the city.
The Legion Hall dates back to 1967, with the building showing its age and in need of major roof repairs and a complete interior face lift.
"Anybody who owns a house knows everything needs attention over time, and unfortunately with not a lot of funds the thinking was that it doesn't really need it right now, let's just set that on the back burner. But now it's got to come to the front burner, and stay there. We have to do something," explained Swift Current Legion President Vel Burns.
They announced their Renew, Restore and Save The Legion Hall initiative in a business mail out in late July, specifically targeting this fundraising initiative for building improvements.
"Whatever we do raise is still going into the Building Fund, and hopefully being able to fix some of the issues. If the only money we raise is enough to do the roof, then we'll just do the roof this year. And then we'll have to work on other fundraisers for a later date to maybe do the floor."
Ideally, they would like to have a portion of the roof fixed before this winter, and other interior work during January and February during their slower booking times.
With a membership of 264 members, the Legion does not have the same financial resources they once had. The community initiative is designed to both fix the building and remind the community of the importance of the Legion.
"The hall is used by lots and lots of people for different events, whether its weddings, dances, community events," Burns said. "We would like to be able to keep it being used, but we would also like the Legion to stay alive and be a viable part of Swift Current."
Over the opening weeks of their initiative, they have successfully raised $6,800, but admittedly have a long way to go.
"I'm hoping that people who have rented over the years might feel some kind of a twinge and say they'll give $20 or $30. Every little bit helps. It doesn't have to be a big amount of money. $5 helps, and if everybody gives $5 it adds up really fast," she said.
"I'm hoping that people still remember the Legion. And I do realize that it's coming in slowly, but summertime is always a little slower, and we're hoping that when people get back into the swing of things in the fall that they will start realizing they should do something about that."
Burns highlighted that the Legion is not "an old boys club", yet they still have a roll to play for veterans who have returned over the past number of years, plus remembering the veterans who served in World War I and World War II for their efforts in preserving the freedoms we enjoy today.
"Everyone is welcome to be part of the Legion and be part of something that's actually a really great organization. And over the years they've done some really great things for this City, and they're still trying to do that."